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Old 29 August 2016, 20:48   #1
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Plugable expansion devices?

Have you given any thought to allowing expansions to be located in separate DLL's and loaded at runtime?

Looking at some of the more recent changes makes me think it's almost possible already.

I'd think that would allow you to move some of the expansions into separate DLL's that don't need to be recompiled every time and would not be affected by changes in the core of WinUAE.

Once you have an A2065 or A2332 or whatever working correctly as a separate ZorroII-ish x86 and x64 DLL, why have to build it and potentially break it with every release?

It could potentially clean up a lot of the WinUAE source if they didn't need to be individually woven into the emulation core too.

It would also allow others to write expansions without having to understand the internals of WinUAE, just how their card operates and how the standardized interface works, which I would assume would be very similar to normal ZorroII/III autoconfig with no internal knowledge of the emulation calling it.

Maybe there are cards that you aren't interested in that someone might want to take on themselves and this would potentially allow that.

Anyway, just a thought. Thanks for reading.
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Old 30 August 2016, 09:30   #2
Toni Wilen
WinUAE developer
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hämeenlinna/Finland
Age: 43
Posts: 21,503
No. It never works in real world.

There is no way to make stable API for these kinds of low level expansions. It would break in every version. I would break it in every version just like Linux does it with kernel module API always when/if needed!

EDIT: For example 3.4 breagage is because of updated "internal API", now each configured device is queried (tell me your autoconfig data, whats your memory bank, requirements, limits etc..) before asking it to configure itself. This would also have broken _every_ plugin device completely.

Last edited by Toni Wilen; 30 August 2016 at 09:58.
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