Javascript MESS needs testers, smurfs

Javascript Hero

Let me state the goal again: take the MESS project, which is a massive open-sourced effort to emulate every possible computer system and console that exists, and make it run in a window in a browser. In doing so, allow anyone with a web browser of reasonable power the ability to experience, in great convenience, many of the aspects of any previously made software in human history. This is a very lofty goal.

Previously, previously.

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9 Responses:

  1. wkrick says:

    Someone at Google ported MAME to run in the Chrome browser...

    https://developers.google.com/native-client/community/porting/MAME

    • Native Client makes neat tech demos, but it's a dead-end Google-only technology. No other browser vendor is going to ship a complicated new-plugin API to support running sandboxed binary code. The JavaScript MESS port uses Emscripten, which compiles C++ to JavaScript using an LLVM backend. It produces JavaScript that can run in any browser.

      • Jason Scott says:

        Agreed - this is also why I didn't push us for Java, .NET, or a custom plug-in either - I want something totally open source. If (well, seriously, when) something comes along that is similarly inclined like Javascript and also faster, we can switch to it - but having everything stay open keeps anything from following the fortunes of one vendor.

        This is why it took 5 months to get a working Colecovision emulator. And 24 hours to get a working Odyssey 2 emulator.

      • zzz says:

        And they require signing up with the app store to see any of the NaCl games, same
        as Android Market. Hardly web-like.

        You can bypass that through some obscure settings but you eliminate 99% of your audience that way.

  2. Simon Leinen says:

    Please notify my children once you have Zmacs running on Genera. (As if they would care.) With Chaosnet-over-Websockets of course.

    • James C. says:

      Although I’d prefer Genera, I would also be satisfied with the Exploder or even the Lambda emulated in my browser. The interesting trick would be to convince the LM to share files via the browser’s upload and download. My life would be complete.

  3. Jason Scott says:

    24 hours after this was posted, one of the developers was able to compile out a working Odyssey2 emulator. To celebrate, I made one of my original plans come true: A page where you could read about and then immediately play K.C. Munchkin.

    We have a long way to go on certain things, but by attaching ourselves to an open-source emulator, it is possible to start making new javascript software players very quickly.

  4. Emscripten is crazy, mostly in that it actually works. Apparently we have azakai working full-time on that now, so he's doing other crazy stuff, like porting a C++ 3D engine to the web:
    http://mozakai.blogspot.com/2012/05/emscripten-opengl-webgl-conversion.html

  5. Jason Scott says:

    Yes, one of the things I had hoped for this project, and what it really has done, is caused Emscripten AND MESS to flex their muscles - we've done a small pile of bugfixes and modifications to both those projects (mostly in terms of increasing portability for MESS and flexibility for Emscripten) and they're better for it.