>> Sunday, February 10, 2008
Three years have passed since we bought CD-i Emulator and we all know there have been no update available since then. Thankfully cdifan actively posts on the CD-i Emulator Support Forum and responds to any questions asked about the CD-i Emulator. We all agree cdifan is a godsend to the cd-i community so that's why I feel the issue "CD-i Emulator going open-source" is sensitive. However, the discussions are rising because there are people interested to dive into the project as well. As we all want more updates and compatibility, I want to discuss the reasons behind it, because it was cdifan himself who posted the following words one year ago: "I still stand by what I said in 2005: the sources will be released at some point, but that point hasn't been reached yet. Of course, things have taken a year or two more then I originally expected..."
cdifan: "Releasing the source to CD-i Emulator is entirely possible, there are no legal or other issues preventing it except that I'm (still) of the opinion that it wouldn't contribute anything to my goals of the venture. And before you ask, these goals do not include making money as a concern of any significance. A few days of regular work earns me more then I ever got from selling CD-i Emulator. What exactly would [people] do (or expect others to do) with those sources? Please note that providing a full edition binary for free was discussed (in small circle) and considered unadvisable, months before the public release in 2005. To date I have seen no indications that this decision was wrong; every petulant whine I see (into which category I do not consider your posting to be), here or in other fora, actually supports the original reasoning."
First, I think we have to figure in the obscurity of the system, and available emulators. To date, this is by far the most complete emulator for the CD-I. No one in their right mind would stick with CD-Ice because it's free. And from a developer's point of view, the extra features are well worh the money. cdifan about the limited version of CD-i Emulator: "I am still quite satisfied with the price point. Anybody seriously interested will not find it a problem, and more then halving it like you suggest would make it feel "cheap" to me. The little extra money it might bring in (but that would mean at least doubling the sales, which I think is unlikely to happen) isn't worth that to me. I don't think the time limit is hurting. It allows you to do a reasonable evaluation of the program; three minutes is plenty of time to evaluate how a particular CD-i game works with the emulator, which is really the point. I rather thought it would be just enough to get you hooked into a level, so you'd really have motivation to get an unlimited edition!"
Most of you believe the project is dead as you've not heard anything for a while now. You remember how long it took for the first version to arrive? Years! I wouldn't exclude any possibility that cdifan will surprise us with his developments soon, but I'm sure that when kids question him and the emulator all the time, it doesn't help at all. As far as we're all concerned, CD-i Emulator is under development. But there are other opinions. Merijn: "Let me first say that it is all CDi fan's decision and rights to do whatever he wants to with the emulator. If he does not wish for it to be open source, then so be it. However, just like you say Bas, it took years for him alone to develop the emulator. Coming up on its 3-year birthday, the compatibility is still quite limited. Which is the main reason why even I myself haven't bought it yet. If money is not the issue, then why not try to create a community of developers for the emulator. It could still be a closed community, where you would have to apply to become a member, prove your merits and all (so as to keep the kids who want it for free out), but then at least it could perhaps take some of the burden Off CDIfan, and make for more updates). Again, it's CDIfan's decision, but it's still worth discussing."
The project is not abandoned as such, but he took a well deserved break from the project. I'm sure when the time is right there will be an update, but I believe cdifan has a lot on his mind now (his own baby!). Last year cdifan has been helping Charles Doty with getting Frog Feast running on CD-i Emulator and this has caused some small changes in CD-i Emulator (which nobody can see yet because they haven't been distributed). cdifan: "Actual development is still mostly stalled; still waiting for available time to restart full-bore development... Anyway, it *is* possible to emulate CD-i titles with only a small amount of exact hardware emulation; you would replace it with exact *software* emulation instead. This is what CD-Ice did, but in my opinion it is *more* work then the exact hardware emulation route. The main advantage of the technique would be that no system ROM images are needed. To do this, you would not need to reverse-engineer the exact details of hardware like I've been doing; the Green Book specifications of the system APIs should be enough."