January 30, 2005
Update on progress...

Well it's been nearly 2 1/2 months since I anncounced that I was going to end development on DK and I still don't have a release ready.

This is because since my last wip update, mainly thanks to )p('s inspiration, I have added a TON of last-minute changes to the core. These are definately worth waiting for.

Also many of the changes are graphical (I'm not giving anything away, sorry) so the skins I was working on to go with the release have to be re-worked.

My new ipod isn't helping me get things done either. ;)

(Thanks Rampy and randomdrivel.com)

This release will just add a butt-load of stuff.... Although at first glance you won't notice anything, when you start burying your head in the various options and new skin features you'll quickly understand what I mean. Ican't stress that enough.... a HUGE release.

So I'm taking my time, but don't think that you are waiting all this time for nothing.

Posted by Howard at 09:37 AM
January 09, 2005
Random Rumblings of an Old Timer

I just wanted to give a quick status report. Yes, the final release of Dk is ready, but I won't be releasing it for some time. Why you ask. Simple.... many of the improvments I've made allow the user to make a lot of new content in terms of skins and such allowing for widely creative skins. Unfortunately, without said skins and such, the release would be rather anti-climactic. So I'm taking time to provide a lot of content to go with the release.

Also it comes to my attention that I've done a butt-load of core changes to the program with very little testing. I want to make sure everything is working great as I really don't want to have to bother with bugfixes later down the road. As I've announced before, this next build will be it for the most part, so I'm taking extremem measures to make it count.

With that being said, I wanted to make a brief editorial of sorts about the other thing I started in this community, mainly middle-ware apps for emus. I hope to go back to making some when dk is finished. I really feel that it's the thing I do better than anyone else. Unfortunately, as usual, everyone wants to do what the "cool kid" has already been doing for years now. Now there have been some authors, who have made utilities and wrappers and such that have really impressed me, and I'm proud to see it. There have also been authors that totally miss the point of companion apps. They are supposed to be just that, companions to a larger program. They should never become so complex that they overshadow the emulator or fe itself in terms of setup and learning curve. I've seen apps that require you to install dozens of third party programs and dlls on your own, I've seen ones that require you to make a custom build of mame, and I've seen one's that are pointless, as doing the task it's meant to do is quicker and easier to do manually than having the helper app do it for you.

This isn't meant to hurt anyone or knock their work, it's just.... as usual I did it first and thus I have a ton of experience in this department. And I'm giving this advice to all potential developers out there. Before you start an app ask youself the following quesitons:

Will my app benefit the community by allowing the average user to do something he can't normaly do?

Will my app actually simplify the process?

Is this a problem that's actually common enough to devote my time to?

Are there any other apps that can already handle this problem?

If you have trouble answering positively to any of these questions, then you shouldn't make it. And no, "it's good coding experience" isn't a good reason. Part of being a good developer is being creative. If you aren't creative enough to find a legitimate problem and solve it, then you'll never be able to make helpful middleware anyway. Also "don't tell me what to do, I've been a programmer fo 300+ years" isn't a legitimate reason to ignore advice either. First off, were you coding arcade specific apps longer than me or the other senior guys? No you haven't, so all your experince doesn't mean squat in this particular area. Secondly, nobody knows everything (even me) so you should always at least listen and consider what people are telling you.

When dk is finished I will return to my companion apps and once again show the community who "the man" is. I do so because I feel that no one has truely stepped up to the plate to take my place in this area. But as much as I hate to admit, when I finally do want to leave this hobby entirely, I want to make sure I leave it in good hands. This is why I say these things, not to pump my own ego or to discredit my peers, but rather to help them re-asess their direction and make sure their talents are focused on the right things.

Many might not like what I say, but by gum I've earned the seniority to say em. So listen up cause grandpa's talkin dag-nabit.

Posted by Howard at 09:38 PM