It’s not that long since the previous news update, but there are a couple changes that are especially important:
Application bundle writable file system support
One problem with the app bundles was that by nature, their contents have read-only privileges to prevent unwanted modifications. However, as the emulator’s virtual filesystem needs to be able to not only create new files, but also modify existing ones (such as highscore saving in ZeroGravity and Continuum), using the files directory from inside the app bundle was not suitable.
To make the virtual file system writable, the emulator now relocates it to a safely writable location at /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/MACE/<application-name>/vfs. This has a couple of neat features:
- On every launch, any original files which are either not present or zero-length are copied from the app bundle to the writable location. This includes the initial launch, during which the entire filesystem gets replicated there.
- Holding down the “Shift” key performs a “soft-reset” of the writable filesystem, meaning that all originals files are replicated even if they exist already in the writable filesystem. This is handy in cases if the original system or application files get damaged and would cause the emulation to fail to start. NOTE: There is not yet any prompt when performing the “soft-reset”, but there is plan to add a confirmation dialog (including a option for “hard-reset” feature) later at some time.
- Any files modified or saved by user are fully accessible through this folder in AppleDouble format, which can be exchanged between applications and/or other emulators (or with appropriate conversion, real Macs).
MacOS Catalina support tweaks
As the new macOS Catalina was released recently, it was discovered that there was a unnecessary privilege used by the SDL2: It was listening to background key presses solely to track state of the caps lock key. Luckily, there was already a patch for this issue in SDL 2.0.10, so updating the SDL2 library (and adjusting some caps lock support code) fixed this problem.
(Please note that there will still be warning for unsigned applications, as to remove this Apple requires not only signing, but since 10.15 also notarization of any downloaded MacOS applications, both which require the paid Apple Developer Program membership.)
New test application: Continuum 1.04
Thanks to the personal permission by Brian Wilson, in combination with the writable bundle support we added this weekend, we have now Continuum 1.04 available as a fully functional MACE app bundle (including planet editor):
Other new test applications: Mac Concentration and GunShy 1.3
Thanks to the small fix done to the bug in SANE FP68K trap’s FMULD selector, Mac Concentration now works perfectly (it was previously stuck in game board generation loop due to the messed up multiplication results).
With the writable file system support, GunShy 1.3 is also finally feature-complete as a application bundle, as players need to be able to save & load games.
Like Continuum, these two new app bundles are available freely for trying out in the downloads section.
Full list of changes since last post
2019-10-27 07:49:25 +0200 • Relocate VFS to writable path on Mac OS X startup 2019-10-27 04:52:17 +0200 • Update Alice, Continuum and GunShy JSON configs 2019-10-27 04:45:56 +0200 • Adjust CapsLock check to work with new SDL version 2019-10-27 04:44:03 +0200 • Update to SDL2.0.10 to remove scary Catalina popup 2019-10-27 04:21:42 +0200 • Tweak InvalRgn/InvalRect to work better in Conti.. 2019-10-26 05:17:58 +0300 • Update cmake JSON config for MacConcentration 2019-10-26 04:25:41 +0300 • Adjust VBL routine call order for sound refresh 2019-10-26 03:50:40 +0300 • Fix FMULD bug (param1 not assigned correctly)