Subject: Re: [stella] AtariVox EEPROM file format|
From: "Eckhard Stolberg" <Eckhard_Stolberg@xxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 22:31:37 +0100
The original format just specified 8 bytes for a filename with the 7th bit in the first byte as an indicator to whether the 128 byte block is used or not. We've been debating changing this format a bit.
The VCS isn't really an ASCII machine anyway, so there isn't really a need to use 8 bits per character. If we could agree on a 5 bit and a 6 bit character list, we could use a naming scheme like this:
Use two bytes for the file type with 5 bits for each character, and use 6 bytes with 6 bits for each character for the file name. That way you would get the 8+3 (or rather 3+8) DOS style file naming format and still have 1 bit left in the file type bytes to indicate if a block is used or not. And you wouldn't even use more than the 8 bytes from the original suggestion.
DOS only has 52 different characters for naming files, so we would only be more limited than DOS for the file type. But I don't think that would be much of a problem, since most people would use letters for theiry like type names anyway.
The encoding routine for the names would have to be a bit more complicated than with real ASCII characters, but since the VCS dosn't have ASCII inputs anyway, that isn't much of a problem.
Once the name is encoded, searching for a type or a file name is just a complex as with ASCII characters, so no extra work there. And since the file type and the file name are seperated, finding all files of a certain type is quite easy too. And managing files with a maintainance cart would be easy too, since everyone could easily see which file type belongs to which game.
The other issue is: should programs be able to delete other program's file
types? Alex thinks they should, but I think they shouldn't. I think that
there should be a 4k program (that can run on the Supercharger) that can
maintain the memory and delete/move/etc files. But not everyone may have a
supercharger. Yet I don't really want to have to use extra space in my
program to include the ability to delete other program's files.
The AtariVox will be sold by AtariAge soon. So the Als probably will be able to offer a cheap maintainance cart in a bundly with the AtariVox too. Therefore the need for the Supercharger isn't much of a concern.
And while I don't think games should be forced to offer file management for all types of file, I think they should be allowed to let the user manipulate files from other games too, if they want to.