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Thread: Suggestion for adding manuals to the emulators

  1. #1
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    Question Suggestion for adding manuals to the emulators

    I was thinking about putting a book together of all the manuals for the games I've set up... but that would be a lot of printing.

    I was wondering...

    Would it be possible to add a 'Manuals' path for each emulator... and then have GameZone look in there for PDF files that match the game rom?

    Example... Tetris.gb ( Gameboy rom ) and in manuals Tetris.pdf

    Then... in the Gamezone menu, in the Gameboy section you would have your list of Games... and to the right of them, the option for Manual.
    So, You'ld see

    Tetris ( Manual )
    Metroid II ( Manual )

    And then Gamezone, when the Manual is selected, launches the PDF? (Windows should be able to handle it if the extension is tied to a PDF reader. )

    And Manual would only show up if there was a PDF file that resembled the ROM file?



    If you want any methods written, I could maybe help?

    Private Function CheckForManual(RomName as String, RomExt as String) As String
    If File.Exists(thisEmuManPath & RomName.Replace(RomExt,"PDF"))
    Return thisEmuManPath & RomName.Replace(RomExt,"PDF")
    Else
    Return String.Empty
    End If
    End Function

    Private Sub ViewManual(ManualPath As String)
    Process.Start(ManualPath)
    End Sub


    ?
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  2. #2
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    I know... I don't know how the remote will react in a PDF reader... but Up, Down, Ch Up (Page Up), Ch Dn (Page Down) should work... and probably be all that's needed.
    Currently Running: 1.4.7
    HTPC:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5LD2 Mobo w/ 945P chipset / CPU: Intel P4 3.0GHz
    RAM: 3GB RAM / Video: ASUS Radeon X300SE 128Mb PCIx 16
    Tuner(s): ATI TV 650 Dual (PCIx)
    OS: Win XP Pro SP3


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  3. #3
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    being considered but no promises, I expect it has limited appeal
    Let the Games begin...Round 2!
    GameZone v2.9.6 - PVRx2 1.4.7 compatible!


  4. #4
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    The biggest issues I see:

    To be useful then it would need to support multiple document formats, thest could just use the mime options of windows to open the locally configured application. The important bit to take away is not just pdf.

    The second issue, to do as I believe you are suggesting and indicate on the same line as the rom filelist that a manual is available for that rom then when creating the list, GZ would need to go through the list multiple times each time looking for the extention of the document to see if one exists. this would really slow down the rom file list display time as some people have over 5000 roms for an emulator in the same directory.

    A more feasible way would be to have a button on the left hand side button list that switches to "Manuals" and uses the same directory path as the ROMS but looks for the manual file extensions instead of the rom extensions...

    The enabling and disabling of the Manual button being available would be a General (global) parameter so this would be in the config applet.

    Thoughts?
    Let the Games begin...Round 2!
    GameZone v2.9.6 - PVRx2 1.4.7 compatible!


  5. #5
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    Yea... multiple formats would be fine I guess. And yes, letting windows mime types handle the opening would be fine.
    Currently Running: 1.4.7
    HTPC:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5LD2 Mobo w/ 945P chipset / CPU: Intel P4 3.0GHz
    RAM: 3GB RAM / Video: ASUS Radeon X300SE 128Mb PCIx 16
    Tuner(s): ATI TV 650 Dual (PCIx)
    OS: Win XP Pro SP3


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  6. #6
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    Any comment on the second issue I raised which is more around user experience?
    Let the Games begin...Round 2!
    GameZone v2.9.6 - PVRx2 1.4.7 compatible!


  7. #7
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    A little off topic, but still a little bit relevant...

    I have Adobe Reader set up as an Xtraemulator named Manuals, and then have all my .pdf files set up in the same directory structure as the emulators in Gamezone. Not quite as eloquent as having a manual link to the side of the rom, but it's fast, and does work if you have an itch to read manuals, ATARI comics, or see NES posters...
    Be Different... Just Like EVERYONE Else!

  8. #8
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    I was thinking that as GZ goes through and builds the list of ROMS, the same method that would add the rom name to the list would also check if there was a manual of the same name in the manuals directory.

    For Each thisFile in RomsFiles
    AddRomToList(thisFile)
    thisManual = CheckManual(thisFile) 'would point to the method I put earlier
    If thisManual <> String.Empty
    AddManualToList(thisManual)
    End If
    Next

    But I'm not sure how you're building the list. I just assumed you went through the files in the folder and added each one to the list.
    Currently Running: 1.4.7
    HTPC:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5LD2 Mobo w/ 945P chipset / CPU: Intel P4 3.0GHz
    RAM: 3GB RAM / Video: ASUS Radeon X300SE 128Mb PCIx 16
    Tuner(s): ATI TV 650 Dual (PCIx)
    OS: Win XP Pro SP3


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  9. #9
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    GZ goes through the rom list once for each extension type adding each file found to the list, and then sorts the list.

    so take a user that has 6000 roms and is looking for 5 different extensions that would be 30000 files that would be I/O checked and then a sort performed on the list. if we added say three document types (pdf,doc,txt) thats another 18000+). ideally we should add pdf,doc,docx,rtf,txt I would guess this makes it really long and slow!!

    rather than going into details of code it may be better to stick with working with concepts and requirements. As you gave a wish (requirement) I answered with a possible solution which took the main essence of your requirement but in a more doable way for me to implement it.

    I have little time to spend on GZ at present so would rather get agreement upfront on users feature requests.

    Cheers
    Let the Games begin...Round 2!
    GameZone v2.9.6 - PVRx2 1.4.7 compatible!


  10. #10
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    Hmm... now that I see what you're doing... yes, it could take a while.
    If you want to have a Manuals section... that is fine.
    Currently Running: 1.4.7
    HTPC:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5LD2 Mobo w/ 945P chipset / CPU: Intel P4 3.0GHz
    RAM: 3GB RAM / Video: ASUS Radeon X300SE 128Mb PCIx 16
    Tuner(s): ATI TV 650 Dual (PCIx)
    OS: Win XP Pro SP3


    Feeding:
    2 - Wired MVP

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