[stella] ROM image classifications

Subject: [stella] ROM image classifications
From: "Glenn Saunders" <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 16:52:37 -0800
I think the idea of distributing patch files vs. patched ROMs is excellent for one very important reason:

Distributing the already patched ROMs ultimately confuses the public as to what the DEFINITIVE ROM image is. Sure, on Atari Age everything is labelled, but the nature of independent files being what it is, this will invariably get muddied over time.

By making sure the original ROMs are the only ones downloadable that are already playable, it's up to the user on the client side to apply the patch, therefore not cluttering up the net with derivative ROM images (no matter how good they may be, mind you).

In fact, it should be possible to build in patch support into emulators so that you can still play a game by loading the original ROM and specifying an available patch. That will also force the meta files for the emulators to associate ROM images with their appropriate child "patch" files, which helps to categorize all this on the client side.

Either that or there should be, within the metadata of emulators, a way to highlight the original ROMs by checksum that are authentic vs. hacks, some flag, something more than just the description field.

There is the original "canon" of commercial releases for the 2600 and there is everything that has happened since then. It's important that we separate the two, plus protos which I guess are a 3rd category.

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