Anyone paying attention to the project for the past few years can see that MAME is moving more towards its own integrated frontend than supporting other peoples' frontends.
I've been paying attention to MAME since the days it exclusively emulated Pac-Man and a few other Z80-based titles, yet this is news to me.
MAME has never gone out of its way to cater to other peoples' frontends, and if anything it's moving even farther away from that direction now than it has been in the past.
I don't think it should go out of it's way, but I don't see why you would actively oppose it either. Maybe because it 'hides' MAME somewhat and makes it look like the frontend is doing all the work, to the uninitiated?
I have no particularly strong opinion one way or another
I find that hard to believe
so far be it from me to reject your idea, but I'm just informing you that it's going to be an uphill battle for you if your proposal starts from an argument of "let's cater to other peoples' frontends".
I'm mostly blind to behind-the-scene emu politics, and I choose to remain that way to preserve what little sanity I have left
I just want to make the overall MAME experience as good as I possibly can, and since there's pretty much nothing left to improve on except nitpicks, I'm pickin'
Your proposal itself essentially comes off as "the MAME team has no style, so let's abdicate any responsibility for style or presentation to people who, outside of qmc2, have shown no inclination to provide full support for all of MAME's features".
Well, since not being honest here won't do both of us any good, I'm going to go ahead and stick my neck out by saying that I believe there's some room for improvement in that regard, yes.
And it's such an incredibly tiny regard, to boot.
It's a tough sell. What I would suggest instead is, if the current startup sequence is not "aesthetically pleasing" (for whatever that's worth, being subjective from person to person), that you suggest ways of making it more aesthetically pleasing, rather than the non-suggestion of "MAME's presentation sucks, so let's ensure it continues to suck by foisting responsibility off onto a frontend author".
I did very clearly suggest what I believe would make it better - output the "Initializing/Loading machine" messages to stdout instead of displaying them in centered message boxes, and spawn the window right before any warning messages, instead of straight away - even if only in 'console' mode.