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Old 08 August 2022, 13:36   #1
DisasterIncarna
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Uni-Launcher (Work in Progress) Ideas?

Hi there, I am still happily working away on my Universal launcher program, this was originally to replace an old early startup sequence selector program i made years ago but lost the code for when my "back then" machine was broken in transit and yeah i had no backups.

So i thought to remake it, bigger, better, stronger, until i realized i could make a sort of one-does-all/many type affair instead, why only startup-sequences? why not my games and demos as well, i use iGame a lot as many probably do so having that kind of thing meshed into a startup-sequence selector seemed kind of natural.

heres a video of it working in workbench mode, and farther into the video the screen goes black for a bit as i reboot and hold my RMB button, in my startup if i hold RMB it launches Uni-Launcher veeeery early in the startup and the GUI has to scale itsself a bit to fit in the much smaller PAL and NTSC hires modes, so obviously the first thing that vanishes is game pictures.

[ Show youtube player ]

There are several filters to this that function atm, the first being the general/main filter at the top of the screen, the second being a listview of mostly prefix filters, A, B, C, etc, that listview also has quick/dirty filters for AGA/CD32, your list can be filtered by both main filter and the prefix filter. Add to that is the Genre Filter, it obviously only shows entries matching specific Genres, note the Main and Prefix filter also apply to further narrow down choice selection. Favourites currently is not implimented...yet.

I have only added a small amount of Genre tags to the games i have at present to test with, as i dont want to spend ages adding tags for 5k+ games only to need to change them later on, but the Genre tags do work and stack with multiple tags at once.

When launched from workbench the starting page is for "Games" in early boot mode it starts with "Boot" sequences showing, there is a seperate selection for Games / Demos+Megademos / Misc Early Startup Scripts / Boot Sequence Scripts (Workbench/Scalos/Dopus/etc).

I am open to some more ideas to squash in there, perhaps Genre tags for the demos/megademos? not sure what kind of taglist would be appropriate for them atm if any.

comments, queries, suggestions welcome!

some pics also attached showing the GUI in Workbench, Early Boot (PAL), Early Boot (NTSC).

I will release this....soon(tm), mostly when i stop having headaches when trying to scan whdload slaves for better functional names (having a nightmare there atm) or trying to get names from directory names, works a lot better but equally a nightmare formatting game names properly, i am already in awe of how igame manages to do it as well as it does.
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Last edited by DisasterIncarna; 07 September 2022 at 20:12.
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Old 08 August 2022, 18:06   #2
zx80
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Cool. Looking forward to test it. What are the minimum requirements for your launcher.
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Old 08 August 2022, 18:38   #3
DisasterIncarna
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superb question, not actually sure, as usual im making this on OS3.2.1 and if anything ive learned that i need to test the stuff i make on way more than that, its made with amiblitz3, and uses simple gadtools gadgets rather than MUI like igame does, so it "should" technically work on anything classic at at least OS3.x, not sur about os2, its all up for testing.

memory requirements, again up for testing, i havent tried this on anything even close to a basic/low mem system yet, i have ran it under emulation using a "real" cpu kind of setup just to make sure it wasnt stupidly slow, but i do know the functions used to get color remapped gfx on workbench adds a hefty chunk to the filesize when compiled, it probably eats way mroe than igame does.

basically, its all up for testing.... later mostly worked on getting it functional, then ill worry about trimming the fat so to speak

If it eats too much mem at boot time, i suppose i could split it into 2 programs, 1 that includes the screenshot support and 1 that leaves that out for when in bootup mode.

Last edited by DisasterIncarna; 08 August 2022 at 18:45.
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Old 08 August 2022, 19:35   #4
zx80
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OS 3.2.1 is what I use most times too. Regarding memory or CPU power I won‘t have issues anyway as I am using emulation on Pi400 (Amiberry) or Windows (WinUAE).
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Old 08 August 2022, 19:46   #5
EctoOne
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Looks interesting.

Some suggestions:
Maybe add support for arguments/tooltypes so that user can choose on what page to start.

Regarding WHDLoad names, maybe it would be possible to integrate this:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=108044
It's a great tool to get good names, but it sadly isn't available directly for the Amiga.
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Old 08 August 2022, 20:06   #6
DisasterIncarna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EctoOne View Post
Looks interesting.

Some suggestions:
Maybe add support for arguments/tooltypes so that user can choose on what page to start.

Regarding WHDLoad names, maybe it would be possible to integrate this:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=108044
It's a great tool to get good names, but it sadly isn't available directly for the Amiga.
args and tt's, ill add that to the list of things to do, as for names, i can get them, its just i get several that arent the way they should be, at least not without consulting a correction database which im trying to avoid.

Also i can read the contents of the slave files, its just a lot of guesswork needed as there is no clear way on how to grab the info as there is no clear ID/position to read from, again i have had success, but my issue atm is knowing where to end the read, many have a convenient NULL/00 after their names/top title, some dont and just carry on and i end up with heaps of info i dont want.

trying a combination atm, trying to cleverly see which title is 1) longer/more accurate, and 2) not a garbaged mess, which....isnt easy... for me.
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Old 08 August 2022, 20:16   #7
DisasterIncarna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx80 View Post
OS 3.2.1 is what I use most times too. Regarding memory or CPU power I won‘t have issues anyway as I am using emulation on Pi400 (Amiberry) or Windows (WinUAE).
yeah same, im using various UAE variants on a PC/Pi400 and i have my old Chameleon64 V1 FPGA, all of these have plenty of ram to play with.

did a quick test anyways and have this so far, i know i can improve/reduce ram consumption (for proper low mem amigas) as i'm not exactly trying to save ram atm while im making it, already know i can store the information without wasting as much memory, the way im using it atm is just more convenient for me to look at and debug so memory usage is higher than it could be.

I can change a lot of this once im at the point where im not getting annoyed and rewriting chunks to be better/simpler/etc, there always seems to be something i end up rewriting, stuff that works, just looks ugly or inefficient to me, something i didnt care about when using emulation, but on a proper amiga every little saving/optimisation may help.

heres a quick list of my memory hog of a program so far without any memory saving or optimisations, info below compares 2 compiles, 1 with image loading/color remapping support and 1 without, i use the image supported version for both workbench and early boot as again i have heaps of memory on emulation so it doesnt matter.

Did a compile with no image support for testing purposes, as at boot time image loading is removed anyways, theres no space for images at early boot and your defaulted to a 4 color screen, plus you kinda want low mem usage on an early boot.

Code:
Trialling 2 Compiled Variants of UNI-Launcher (Screenshot Support and Basic)

Compiled Filesize of Each.
ScreenShot = 223,188 bytes
Basic = 85,100 bytes

Test Setup In Emulation Using 2MB Chipram, 8MB Fast Ram

Memory Remaining Reports In Early Boot Mode

===============

ScreenShot Version (Used On Early Boot)
Uses more memory due to image handling routines merged into the program

Boot Menu Contains 5 Entries
CHIP: 2,031,352
FAST: 6,748,496

Demo Menu Contains 870 Demos
CHIP: 2,030,656
FAST: 6,391,240

Games Menu Contains 2424 Games
CHIP: 2,030,656
FAST: 5,862,272

===============

Basic Version (Used On Early Boot)

Boot Menu Contains 5 Entries
CHIP: 2,031,952
FAST: 7,674,360

Demo Menu Contains 870 Demos
CHIP: 2,031,256
FAST: 7,360,728

Games Menu Contains 2424 Games
CHIP: 2,031,256
FAST: 6,799,080

Last edited by DisasterIncarna; 08 August 2022 at 20:25.
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Old 08 August 2022, 20:45   #8
EctoOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisasterIncarna View Post
as for names, i can get them, its just i get several that arent the way they should be, at least not without consulting a correction database which im trying to avoid.
Understandable but even when/if you manage to find a solution to read the names. There are probably some that do look wrong. I believe it's the SimCity 1.2 slave that appears as something like **[ Sim City 1.2 ]** in iGame. Try to find that when sorting by starting letters.
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Old 08 August 2022, 21:20   #9
DisasterIncarna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EctoOne View Post
Understandable but even when/if you manage to find a solution to read the names. There are probably some that do look wrong. I believe it's the SimCity 1.2 slave that appears as something like **[ Sim City 1.2 ]** in iGame. Try to find that when sorting by starting letters.
yeah sim city is a bit off on my list atm.

Code:
Sim Life (AGA) : games:igame/whdload/S/SimLifeAGA/SimLifeAGA.Slave
Sim Life (ECS) : games:igame/whdload/S/SimLife/SimLife.Slave
Sim City [CDTV] *- : games:igame/whdload/S/SimCityCDTV/SimCityCDTV.Slave
Sim City [512K] *- : games:igame/whdload/S/SimCity512K/SimCity512K.Slave
Sim City [1.2] *- : games:igame/whdload/S/SimCity12/SimCity12.Slave
I'm currently attempting to find the start of the games name by looking for the first 3-4 chars of the directory name inside the slave, so in our sim city example, i miss the **[ prefix you showed in your example because the folder begins with SimCity and i end up searching the slave for "SIM C", which bags me a rough best guess of the game names start position in the slave file.

Then "most" but not all have a null 00 char after their name denoting a new line in the whdload box that pops up? that works well for me on a fair chunk of titles but some dont seem to have a convenient null char ending, the worst being 1 of the sensible soccers which currently lists everything and goes bonkers.

Code:
Sensible World Of Soccer +- : games:igame/whdload/S/SensibleWorldOfSoccerWC98/SensibleWorldOfSoccerWC98.Slave
Sensible World Of Soccer +- : games:igame/whdload/S/SensibleWorldOfSoccerEuro/SensibleWorldOfSoccerEuro.Slave
Sensible World Of Soccer +- : games:igame/whdload/S/SensibleWorldOfSoccer9798/SensibleWorldOfSoccer9798.Slave
SWOS v0.9.......94-95
SWOS v1.0.......94-95
SWOS v1.1.......94-95
SWOS............95-96
SWOS UPDATE.....95-96
SWOS EURO96.....95-96
SWOS v1.52 (v1).96-97
SWOS v1.52 (v2).96-97
-------------------------
(29/08/01 - FINAL)
 : games:igame/whdload/S/SensibleWorldOfSoccer9697/swos.slave
Sensible World Of Soccer +- : games:igame/whdload/S/SensibleWorldOfSoccer9697/SensibleWorldOfSoccer9697.Slave
got a few others that also show a bit too much such as
Code:
Rockstar WHDLoad Slave R0801.1 (22.08.01) : games:igame/whdload/R/RockStarAteMyHamster/RockStarAteMyHamster.slave
Resolution101 HD by Dark Angel V1.0 [08/02/99] : games:igame/whdload/R/Resolution101/Resolution101.Slave
Renaissance / Classic 4 WHDLoad Slave 1.01 (18.07.05) : games:igame/whdload/R/Renaissance/Renaissance.Slave
Still, its all work in progress, i'm getting....somewhere, slowly, the VAST majority show up and match perfectly fine, its just handling the ones that arent playing ball i need to work out fixes for without screwing everything else up.
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Old 09 August 2022, 19:43   #10
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Suggestions from my side:
- bottom buttons would have looked nicer if they were equal width
- have you considerer accepting igame.iff files as screenshots? this would make it easier to migrate and/or use both tools at the same system
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Old 10 August 2022, 11:36   #11
DisasterIncarna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanujan View Post
Suggestions from my side:
- bottom buttons would have looked nicer if they were equal width
- have you considerer accepting igame.iff files as screenshots? this would make it easier to migrate and/or use both tools at the same system
yeah, ill jiggle the buttons around, get them to be more smart fit in both workbench and early boot mode, in workbench mode it already reads igame.iff screenshots.

While i'm having issues scanning/parsing whdload slave names, i am using a slightly trimmed version of the gamelist igame uses, I have had a lot more success parsing the game names from directory names of late, its looking a lot better, esp handling alt/duplicate slaves, so very soon i wont need to use a frankensteined igame gamelist.

quick snippet of my game name parser doing its thing.

Code:
Legacy
Legacy (Slave:2)
Legend Mindscape
Legend Mindscape (Slave:2)
Legend Of Faerghail
Legend Of Kyrandia
Legend Of Ragnarok
Legends AGA
Legends CD32
Legends Of Valour
Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry Enhanced
Lemmings 1 Disk
Lemmings 2 1MB
Lemmings 2 1MB (Slave:2)
Lemmings 2 1MB (Slave:3)
Lemmings 2 512KB
Lemmings 2 512KB (Slave:2)
Lemmings 2 Disk
Lemmings CDTV
Lemmings Files
Lemmings Holiday 1993
Lemmings Holiday 1994
Legacy
Legacy (Slave:2)
Legend Mindscape
Legend Mindscape (Slave:2)
Legend Of Faerghail
Legend Of Kyrandia
Legend Of Ragnarok
Legends AGA
Legends CD32
Legends Of Valour
Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry Enhanced
Lemmings 1 Disk
Lemmings 2 1MB
Lemmings 2 1MB (Slave:2)
Lemmings 2 1MB (Slave:3)
Lemmings 2 512KB
Lemmings 2 512KB (Slave:2)
Lemmings 2 Disk
Lemmings CDTV
Lemmings Files
Lemmings Holiday 1993
Lemmings Holiday 1994
Still have the odd name that looks messed up, but that pool of broken names is getting smaller and smaller, or so small that i can safely ignore it.
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