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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME

From: Felipe Sanches
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:45:54 -0300

That's not entirely true.

MAME has got drivers for open hardware systems which run fully free
firmware (even though their emulation is not yet working perfectly).
Some examples that I can remember right now are:

* The Makerbot Replicator 1 3d printer and other RAMBO-based 3d
printers running Sailfish and/or RepetierFW
* The Uzebox DIY game console (and its full library of free software
8-bit games)
* There may be more, but these are the ones that I quickly remembered right now.

Also there's the fact that MAME itself is a collection of general
purpose emulation modules for all sorts of CPUs and auxilary chips. So
it can be though of as a framework for the creation of emulators of
anything! For leveraging that, you'd have to build it yourself,
instead of simply use a binary package, though.

Having said that, I should mention that I have myself contributed code
to the MAME codebase during the past few years (without being an
official member of the core-dev team though). But that does not mean I
have a vested interest in here. Actually, I think it could be pretty
reasonable to only ship source-code packages of MAME, but not
pre-built packages (as the true value is in the driver sources). And
even not shipping anything at all could be pretty much OK as well,
given the extreme fast pace of MAME development on git making it much
preferable to build it from a git repo checkout.

I hope this provides some additional insight on the bright-side of MAME.

Felipe Sanches

On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 1:59 AM, J.B. Nicholson <address@hidden> wrote:
> I think I've identified a difference between Gnash and MAME/MESS pertinent
> to this thread -- a requirement of nonfree code:
> MAME requires nonfree code (game ROMs) to run the game. As far as I know all
> MAME ROMs are nonfree.
> MESS emulates many computer systems and (of the code I've seen so far) each
> emulator loads nonfree system ROMs in addition to running whatever program
> the user wants emulated under MESS. Therefore, for example, if the user
> wants to run a free program on an emulated Apple IIgs, MESS will load ROM
> files as well (read the ROM_LOAD() calls in src/mame/driver/apple2gs.cpp to
> see the names, CRCs, and SHA1 hashes of these files). I'm presuming that
> these ROM files are all nonfree as I am not able to find source code for any
> of them.
> Gnash can be run completely in freedom: Gnash requires no nonfree code to
> play a free Flash program. As far as I know, Gnash has no nonfree
> dependencies (despite being useful to play nonfree Flash programs).

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