Re: [stella] Trying to get back in the groove

Subject: Re: [stella] Trying to get back in the groove
From: "Lord Spambraticus of Borg" <spambrat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 23:37:41 +1000
> I am going to make a
>concerted effort to "get back in the groove" so to speak, and to do that I
>have decided to make some improvements to Distella.  I have some ideas
>which I will present below, but I'd like to get some input from you!  Here
>are the modifications I am planning on:

Awesome, Bob!  Hey, your daughter is a perfect reason for your not being
active in this crazy geek universe of emulation, anyhow.

>- Write a simple 6502 emulator that will allow disassembly of bank-switched

Oh you mean, sniffing the code and detecting accesses which resemble
bank-switching behaviours?  This would be a pretty nifty thing, though like
99.99% of the other code-analysis/detection types of things, it often can go
awry.  If you do it, try to allow for lots of manual control over the
process, etc.

>- I'm thinking of rewriting the code in C++.  For no other reason than the
>simple fact that I would really like to get a better working knowledge of

YEEEUCK.  Are you getting bored by the fact that finally after a million
years (computer time :) ) that you can pretty much compile ANSI C code on
any platform or development system and have a pretty high chance of it
working within a few minutes?  I **BEG** you to reconsider this one.  C++
won't add anything, it'll make it bigger, slower, more problematic to
compile on a variety of platforms, and if looking at the raft of "modern
software" that's written in it is any judge, it will turn it into a crashy,
bloated, and slow P.O.S.  :)  This is just my two cents.  (I do find it
ironic that we're all devotees of a highly minimalistic game system, whose
stock environment could barely hold a few C++ function names, let alone
object code! :)  )

>- Have an external processor format file to allow disassembly for various

Geepers, you wanna make a king daddy of all disassemblers or something?  Now
I know why M$ Word is 80MB! :)  You idea's not a terrible one...  I suppose
someone could collect together all of the disassems from MAME and put
together a really mean disassembler.  Some of the things you've been
describing here are pretty tailored to the VCS (detecting multi-bank ROMs,
etc) and so assume 6502... But there's no reason why it'd have to stay that

But please, Bob...  Stop yourself when you're getting to the point where we
need to use Setup programs and Installers to install the 80 .DLLs and shared
libs to run DiStella! :)  It doesn't need to display HTML! ;)

>- Allow the use of the list file created by DASM during disassembly to
>variable and label names to the source (I'll make the reason for this clear
>in the next point)

This is pretty cool.  Especially with 6502/Atari carts where zero-page vars
are often fairly consistent.

>- Allow disassembly into HTML format where each label and variable
>is an HTML tag.

This sounds groovy, actually.  Especially with DiStella's role as a
documentor of code.  I like this.  Maybe some basic "template" defines as to
HOW the tags are formatted/etc would be prudent... but I don't think you
need to go crazy.

I'll volunteer my meagre trimmings of time to play around with it as it
goes - and "port" it to the Macintosh (MPW tool) (I did the MacDASM port
which is available at Mactari's site).

>Any other ideas?


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