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Stella 2.7 released


stephena
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OK, it looks like it's that time of year again. :) Stella 2.7 has been released, with the following changelog:

 

  * Totally reworked the built-in UI to be font-sensitive and use higher-
resolution fonts.  Stella now requires a minimum screen size of 640x480.
If used in a resolution smaller than that, the fonts will be reduced
accordingly.  Related to this, switching between software and OpenGL
rendering now requires an application restart.

 * Added three different sized fonts (small, medium, large) which can be
used in the ROM launcher.

 * Added ability to temporarily override ROM properties from the UI.  This
is tied to a right mouse button context menu in the ROM launcher, and
is very useful when you want to use a set of properties for all
subsequent ROMs without having to manually change each one.

 * Added ability to filter the files shown in the ROM launcher.  Currently,
the choices are 'all files', 'all roms', or 'roms ending with a certain
extension'.  This functionality is tied to a right mouse button context
menu in the ROM launcher.  Extensions can also be set with the
'-launcherexts' commandline argument.

 * Added ability to reload the listing in the ROM launcher, either from
a right mouse button context menu or pressing the Control/Cmd-R key.

 * Made the ROM info viewer in the ROM launcher configurable to show
snapshots in 1x or 2x mode.

 * Made the delay between consecutive keys being recognized as one word
configurable in the ROM launcher.  This is useful if you find that you
have to press keys too quickly to jump to a specific ROM.  This can be
set in the UI or using the '-listdelay' commandline argument.

 * Updated internal ROM properties database to ROM-Hunter version 4
(thanks go to RomHunter for his tireless research in this area).

 * Expanded the statistics overlay for the TIA image to also show
Display Format and Bankswitch type information.

 * Added '-ss1x' commandline argument and associated UI item, used to
generate snapshots in 1x mode, independent of the filtering/scaling
currently in use.

 * Various path textboxes in the UI now recognize './' (or '.\') to mean
the current directory and '~/' (or '~\') to mean your home directory
(for Windows, home directory will be your 'My Documents' folder).

 * Large speedup in loading directories with many files in the ROM launcher.

 * Fixed reset issue in 3E, 4A50, AR, CV, E7, F4SC, F6SC, F8SC, FASC and MC
ROMs; the internal RAM wasn't being randomized after the initial reset.

 * M6532/RIOT RAM is now randomized at every reset, not just when the
emulation starts.

 * Fixed bug in _diff pseudo-registers in the debugger; they were actually
defined backwards.

 * Added fix for 'Challenge/Surfers Delight' ROM; the startup bank was
incorrect.  Combined with the new 'Override Properties' functionality,
you can now play both games directly from the UI (no need to use the
commandline).

 * Fixed paddle issue with Activision Casino ROM; the last card in game 4
can now be reached.

 * Added new pseudo-registers to the debugger, useful for conditional
breakpoints (_fcount, _cclocks, _vsync, _vblank).

 * Added 'timing' commandline argument functionality to the UI, so you no
longer need to use the commandline to set it.

 * Size restrictions on the TIA image are now strictly enforced.  The
maximum height of a 1x TIA image is now 256 lines.

 * Added a new setting to the 'fullres' option named 'auto'.  Using
'auto' will let Stella decide the best videomode to use in fullscreen.

 * Changed 'gl_fsmax' option to mean 'scale TIA image in fullscreen'.  It
will have no effect on UI modes.

 * Changed 'gl_aspect' option to range 80-100 (previously, it was 50-100).

 * Removed 'ui_zoom' and 'tia_zoom' options, replacing them with
'tia_filter' (which can be zoom1x, zoom2x, etc).  There is no equivalent
for ui_zoom, since the UI can no longer be scaled.

 * Added experimental 64-bit version for Vista64 (may also work on WinXP64).
This hasn't been extensively tested, and is probably quite a bit slower
than the 32-bit version.

 * OSX port now requires at least 10.3 and XCode 3.0 to compile.  Sorry,
but I no longer have access to older systems to compile for 10.2.

 * Huge updates to the documentation, particularly concerning the debugger.
Many features that have been in Stella for a while are now documented for
the first time.

 

The new UI and upgraded abilities of the ROM launcher are the main features of this release. The updated manual is very nice as well (it describes some features that have been in Stella for a long time but have never been documented). Also a highlight is the update to version 4 of RomHunters naming scheme for ROMs. This release basically consists of a lot of little requests over the past year or so, and is a precursor to the next major (3.0) release, which will contain the new TIA infrastructure.

 

For those of you waiting for the new TIA, I can in fact guarantee that this will happen in the next release. Because (a) I'm doing it myself, and (b) not another release is being done until I fill that request for good :)

 

As usual, Stella can be downloaded from the sourceforge page, located here. Remember to report all bugs in this thread or directly to me by email.

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As usual, Stella can be downloaded from the sourceforge page, located here. Remember to report all bugs in this thread or directly to me by email.

 

Hmm..I go to the downloads section but the latest release I see is 2.6.1?

 

Edit - I found the download :) Under stella link tho, I suggest getting it put in the download section as well so it's easier to find.

Edited by Jakenut86
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As usual, Stella can be downloaded from the sourceforge page, located here. Remember to report all bugs in this thread or directly to me by email.

 

Hmm..I go to the downloads section but the latest release I see is 2.6.1?

 

Edit - I found the download :) Under stella link tho, I suggest getting it put in the download section as well so it's easier to find.

Yes, there was an error in uploading the webpage, and it doesn't seem to available everywhere yet. Try it again now, and make sure to reload the page; it should be working fine.

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Just downloaded the update, and I have to say the revised UI is a nice improvement! I immediately set the window to a lager size, and with the small font I can view quite a few files at once. :) Will have to further explore the improvements later..

 

Thanks for all the hard work you put into Stella!

 

..Al

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Whenever I use OpenGL, I cannot get any sound from the emulator. Works fine when I use software. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Don

Yes, this was reported in a previous release, and I thought I'd fixed it. Are you using an ATI video card by any chance? In any event, I normally have to do a point one release each time I do a new release :), so this will be addressed in 2.7.1.

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I like the debugger's I/O tab and how you can control the joystick readings. Paddle readings would be handy too.

Yes. this would be an example of something that's been in Stella for a few releases, and is only documented now for the first time :) I plan to extend the RIOT tab in the future, and add different sets of controls depending on the controller in use (ie, if it were a paddle, show some sort of radial slider, if a keypad, show the 10 keys, etc). I just figured the joystick controls would suffice for now, as they're used in the majority of games.

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Great work!! I like using Stella to play games in the HSC when I don't have the real cart myself (not very often :D )

 

I was wondering if we can make suggestions for future releases. :ponder:

 

A big one I have is that many games require two players to play them, and I never really get to enjoy these titles as most Atari enthusiasts are spread all over the world. It would be awesome if some internet play were possible. Heck we could even have some bracket tournaments in the HSC! :)

 

I'm sure it is extremely difficult to do, but it would literally bring the Atari community together with this one addition IMO.

 

Thanks!

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Gui Looks great. Many thanks for all your efforts.

 

"For the Win32 port: default folder for Stella config files is now

'My Documents\Stella'; this can be disabled if necessary. This should

fix issues with losing settings when launching Stella from an IDE,

and the creation of stella.ini and 'state' directories in many

different places."

 

How can I change this? I want to keep configs in my stella root.

Edited by JL
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Great work!! I like using Stella to play games in the HSC when I don't have the real cart myself (not very often :D )

 

I was wondering if we can make suggestions for future releases. :ponder:

 

A big one I have is that many games require two players to play them, and I never really get to enjoy these titles as most Atari enthusiasts are spread all over the world. It would be awesome if some internet play were possible. Heck we could even have some bracket tournaments in the HSC! :)

 

I'm sure it is extremely difficult to do, but it would literally bring the Atari community together with this one addition IMO.

 

Thanks!

Netplay is on the TODO list, but you're right in that it's a big undertaking. It defintely won't be in the next major release, but perhaps the one after that.

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Gui Looks great. Many thanks for all your efforts.

 

"For the Win32 port: default folder for Stella config files is now

'My Documents\Stella'; this can be disabled if necessary. This should

fix issues with losing settings when launching Stella from an IDE,

and the creation of stella.ini and 'state' directories in many

different places."

 

How can I change this? I want to keep configs in my stella root.

Unfortunately, due to Stella losing settings, and weird directories popping up everywhere, I had to disable that feature. Your settings file is now always stored in 'My Documents\Stella\stella.ini'. Currently, and probably indefinitely, this won't be configurable. However, you can change all other paths in the 'Config Files' UI. Currently, the state directory, snapshot directory, ROM directory, palette file, cheat file and properties file can be anywhere you like. Only the settings file and SaveKey/AtariVox EEPROM file locations can't be changed, and I can fix the latter. Hopefully, it's not too much of an issue to have your settings file location be non-configurable.

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Whenever I use OpenGL, I cannot get any sound from the emulator. Works fine when I use software. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Don

Yes, this was reported in a previous release, and I thought I'd fixed it. Are you using an ATI video card by any chance? In any event, I normally have to do a point one release each time I do a new release :), so this will be addressed in 2.7.1.

 

Yes, I am using an ATI video card.

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Gui Looks great. Many thanks for all your efforts.

 

"For the Win32 port: default folder for Stella config files is now

'My Documents\Stella'; this can be disabled if necessary. This should

fix issues with losing settings when launching Stella from an IDE,

and the creation of stella.ini and 'state' directories in many

different places."

 

How can I change this? I want to keep configs in my stella root.

Unfortunately, due to Stella losing settings, and weird directories popping up everywhere, I had to disable that feature. Your settings file is now always stored in 'My Documents\Stella\stella.ini'. Currently, and probably indefinitely, this won't be configurable. However, you can change all other paths in the 'Config Files' UI. Currently, the state directory, snapshot directory, ROM directory, palette file, cheat file and properties file can be anywhere you like. Only the settings file and SaveKey/AtariVox EEPROM file locations can't be changed, and I can fix the latter. Hopefully, it's not too much of an issue to have your settings file location be non-configurable.

 

Not a problem having where it is, I just like having my apps in one place so they are modular, like they would be in a unix environment.

 

Thanks again.

Edited by JL
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Gui Looks great. Many thanks for all your efforts.

 

"For the Win32 port: default folder for Stella config files is now

'My Documents\Stella'; this can be disabled if necessary. This should

fix issues with losing settings when launching Stella from an IDE,

and the creation of stella.ini and 'state' directories in many

different places."

 

How can I change this? I want to keep configs in my stella root.

Unfortunately, due to Stella losing settings, and weird directories popping up everywhere, I had to disable that feature. Your settings file is now always stored in 'My Documents\Stella\stella.ini'. Currently, and probably indefinitely, this won't be configurable. However, you can change all other paths in the 'Config Files' UI. Currently, the state directory, snapshot directory, ROM directory, palette file, cheat file and properties file can be anywhere you like. Only the settings file and SaveKey/AtariVox EEPROM file locations can't be changed, and I can fix the latter. Hopefully, it's not too much of an issue to have your settings file location be non-configurable.

 

Not a problem having where it is, I just like having my apps in one place so they are modular, like they would be in a unix environment.

 

Thanks again.

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand your comment, as this functionality was added so that it would be more like Linux/Unix. That is, your app is stored in a one place (which you may not have write access to), and your config files are stored in your home directory. That way, a backup of your home directory preserves all your settings, and you don't have to back up all the apps as well. For Linux/UNIX/OSX, the default folder is $HOME/.stella. For Windows, it is now 'My Documents\Stella'. So functionally, it's doing exactly the same thing.

 

In fact, now it's exactly like the other ports. The settings file for Linux is $HOME/.stella/stellarc, and for OSX it's StellaOSX.plist, and those locations aren't configurable either.

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Thanks for the update. I knew it was coming since I subscribed to the developer mailing list.

 

I also like the new user interface. :thumbsup:

 

BTW: Not sure if it is a bug, but if I change the volume in the game selection screen, this seems to have no effect.

I'll check this out later this evening, when I'm in front of a computer with a sound card. I assume you mean that if you're in the ROM launcher and change the volume in 'Audio Settings', then starting a game after that won't use the now volume??

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BTW: Not sure if it is a bug, but if I change the volume in the game selection screen, this seems to have no effect.

Confirmed, after realizing I don't need to actually hear the sound; I can see that the volume isn't being saved. This will be addressed in the 2.7.1 release.

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Hmm, I'm not sure I understand your comment, as this functionality was added so that it would be more like Linux/Unix.

 

Right you are. I was referring to the other directories but as you pointing out that is configurable.

 

Cheers,

JL

Edited by JL
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Great work!! I like using Stella to play games in the HSC when I don't have the real cart myself (not very often :D )

 

I was wondering if we can make suggestions for future releases. :ponder:

 

A big one I have is that many games require two players to play them, and I never really get to enjoy these titles as most Atari enthusiasts are spread all over the world. It would be awesome if some internet play were possible. Heck we could even have some bracket tournaments in the HSC! :)

 

I'm sure it is extremely difficult to do, but it would literally bring the Atari community together with this one addition IMO.

 

Thanks!

 

And there has to be a built-in IM feature for trash talking! :D

 

Again, the effort you put into Stella is greatly appreciated!

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I can't the debugger window to come up on 2.7. My desktop resolution is 1024x768. The message says that the window is too big, but there's no way to reduce it past 1030xwhatever. In 2.6.1 it displays the debugger window even at 1024x768, it just cuts a little bit off the sides (not enough to be a problem). :(

 

Michael

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