Author Topic: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?  (Read 4516 times)

Fernando Aires (OP)

How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« on: April 01, 2011, 12:16:38 am »
I'm just starting to learn how to program with SDL for Dingoo, and I was wondering how hard it would be to port some emulator (written in SDL) from Dingux to the native OS.

I guess it depends on what I want to port, but in general, does it mean a LOT of work? Can a single person do it alone? Not that I'm actually going to port anything since I still lack the skills to do so. I just have too much free time now, so I can study more, and maybe I could come up with something.
My rambling (totally unrelated to Dingoo) - http://fernando-aires.blogspot.com/

clach04

Re: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 04:13:45 am »
You hit the nail on the head, it depends on what you want to port. It is sort of like the question, "how long is a piece of string" :D

If you are lucky and all the functions needed are present in the native SDK it can take as little as a few hours / day. Sometimes they can take a few days.

A while back it would take a long time, the SDK was very bare bones but these days it can handle quite a lot (look at the native port of VICE we now have, this wasn't possible a year ago).

Best thing is to just get stuck in and have a go. Ideally try and port to Linux (and/or) Windows so that debugging it is easier if there are problems. It also gives you a good base working line to compare with.

Your first port will be the slowest but once you've done one, the next time it should be much faster. Porting can be much quicker than writing your own software and it can be a good education about good (and bad) coding practices. I think zear started out this way, porting first and picking up more experience to help with his new game project.

Often, a well written app/game will port very quickly and easily, porting is hard when no thought for cross platform running was made. Those are more tricky, which is why getting it to run on say both Windows and Linux is a good first step.

One final tip, if something is missing from the native SDK, consider adding the code to the SDK! :) We'd love to improve the SDK.

Fernando Aires (OP)

Re: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 12:23:33 pm »
Thanks for your advice.

I want to learn how to port something from Dingux to the native OS because there are some emulators that I'd love to see running in the native OS, such as OpenMSX or Stella, but nobody seems to be working on it  :'(. So I've decided to try and do it myself, even though I have no experience in emulator development, I guess porting is much easier than coding everything from scratch, and I believe I'll learn a lot and improve my coding skills in the process.
My rambling (totally unrelated to Dingoo) - http://fernando-aires.blogspot.com/

pcercuei

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Re: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 03:24:30 pm »
Well then don't hesitate to pop up on IRC. I heard the authors of OpenMSX are lying there ;)

nightc1

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Re: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 08:54:28 pm »
If you end up porting OpenMSX or Stella or something, I'd be interested in reading about the progress (including the hard stuff to overcome).   I'm considering doing something similar with UAE4ALL (Dingux Amiga Emu) ... as well as doing some tweaks to some of the current emu's so they have more consistent features (like how the volume works, or how you exit a game and so on).  But I've never worked on an EMU before though I have done a bunch of embedded systems OS and software development and have programmed for stuff like the GBA.

clach04

Re: How hard is it to port an app from Dingux to the native OS?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 06:55:07 am »
If you want an medium sized porting project check out http://boards.dingoonity.org/dingux-emulation/new-dingux-msx-mod-pixamod/msg29320/ it uses zx-81's emu framework which is also used by the Hugo emulator. The native hugo port would be useful as a starting point.

 

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