Thursday, August 07, 2008

Future plans....

There was a question about using the RR-NET instead of the serial port, so I thought I'd answer in depth here.....

Currently I'm debugging via the user port on a Commodore Plus/4 and the parallel port on the PC, but the plan is to then do two C64 versions using both the userport AND the RR-NET (since the RR-NET is far easier to get a hold of). However the user port version would allow you to develop more hardware as you can't always use RR-NET if your trying to develop for a bit of hardware where theres no passthrough, or it's simply not available (The current cart disables the pass through when in use.)

That said, for normal apps and games, I hope the MMC64/RR-NET (and the MMC Replay) will be invaluable for getting things working on real hardware. Theres nothing quite like debugging on a real machine, particually if you are using the MMC64 file loader stuff I did in the framework, as thats currently impossible to develop with via an emulator. Of course someone could also implement a SilverSurfer stub as well - nothing to stop them!

In between these versions (probably at the same time as the RR-NET version), I'll write my first emulator plugin and get Minus4 working using it. This will then be given away for everyone to use. I then hope that new modules will start popping up as all the hard work should be done, and emulators should just be able to plug it in. Once we have some simple CPU types (Z80, 6502 etc.) then all an emulator should have to do is implement the STUB and it'll all magically work.

The idea is to give away the source to the 6502 module, the COMMS modules, all the STUBS that I end up doing, and the Symbol table module. This should allow you to write whatever system you want, without having to implement all the crap around it that makes up the debugger - in theory. It also means you can easily adapt modules for your own use; so the 6502 one could be changed to be a 65816 one, or a 65c02 etc. allowing for new machines like the SNES or PC Engine to be added easily.

Lastly.... if theres ever any real problems with getting a particular machine to work using the interface provided, then all you need to do is put both modules in the same DLL (comms and cpu) then you can add extra interfaces to expand or alter the behaviour. Lets say you couldn't implement single stepping in the way thats assumed you would, then you can add a new comms command that only YOUR cpu module knows about and call it instead.

Thats the theory......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice news, it should also be compatible with the ethernet extension of 1541 ultimate which is compatible withe RR-Net. (more info on the forums)