Les noms des roms (et zip) dans mame sont de plus en plus long, la récente xxx-M1d.bin transformé en xxx-m1_decrypted.bin du dat Neogeo en est un exemple récent.

Aaron nous explique alors pourquoi Mame pourrait utiliser des noms de roms qui font plus de 8.3 caractères ( 12345678.ext qui est le format Dos):

Every once in a while I like to suggest some provocative and wide-reaching changes to MAME. In part, it’s fun to see what peoples’ reactions are. But mostly it’s because I like to keep the core and MAME as a whole moving forward, even if it does end up being a big pile of work (usually for me). I’ve accumulated a pile of these suggestions over the last few months and have started unleashing them on the mamedev list to see what people thought.

My latest suggestion was a bit extreme, but I figured it was worth seeing what the general reaction was to the idea. Basically, I was pretty frustrated that we still limit all the game names to 8 characters. It’s not too bad for the parent sets, but every time you need to add letters to indicate different regions or versions, it gets tighter and tighter.

It also has always bugged the crap out of me that some alternate versions are tagged with extra letters (marble, marblea, marbleb, etc), because suffix letters have traditionally been used for region/bootleg info (is marbleb the « B » revision of the game or a bootleg?) Numbers seem like the way to go, but then it gets confusing when you want to specify Gauntlet II, version 2. Is it gaunt22?

And finally, there is absolutely no consistency when it comes to picking names. This is just a niggling thing, but why is it lkage instead of legendok? Why is it vf instead of virtuaf? Why is it marble instead of marblem? There are a ton of questions along those lines I’ve always had.

So all this combined led me to propose the following:

1. Get rid of the 8 character name limitation for clones. Parents still need to fit in 8 characters. This means DOS still works as long as you use merged ROM sets.

2. Propose a standard set of suffixes for clones, and append them to the full base name (thus in general exceeding 8 characters). So the German version of Gauntlet would be gauntletg (instead of gauntleg) and version 10 of the Spanish version of Gauntlet would be gauntletsv10 (instead of gaunts10).

3. Propose a consistent naming scheme (which I won’t reproduce here) for parents, to eliminate the questions of how a ROM set would be named. Furthermore, it would eliminate guessing: if you knew the basic rules and the name of the game, you could come up with the name of the ROM set quite easily.

4. (Here’s the kicker.) Go through and rename all the existing drivers according to the new rules. 🙂

Of course, these all come with their baggage.

(4) + (3) is the worst since it would affect not only MAME but all other programs that match MAME ROM sets, even if there were tools to rename existing files en masse.

(4) + (2) would probably break some frontends that assume 8 character names and would force DOS users to merge their ROMs. But it wouldn’t be quite so disruptive to people who mostly run parents only.

I’ll state for the record that the general idea was met with much skepticism and « Is it worth it? » questions, which are all valid. I’m just kind of curious what non-devs thought of the idea….

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