What have you in mind to do with OCM ?

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Par dvik

Prophet (2200)

Portrait de dvik

15-12-2006, 20:48

MSX was one of the most flexible and most extensible homecomputer systems, if not the most. It was designed to be so. If there is a MSX philosophy at all, than it's that. With FPGA and VHDL, flexibility and extensibility extends to the hardware which now becomes configuable.

This is a ENOOOORMOUS stretch Smile The philosophy is maybe a small part of what the MSX is, but you can't say that just because something is flexible its MSX. A rubberband is very flexible but I wouldn't call that an MSX, would you?
MSX defined as an open quite flexible standard but it has well specified boundaries, see my earlier posts. You can implement an MSX in VHDL but VHDL is _not_ MSX or vice versa.

Your reasoning about philosophy does not make any sense at all. My guess is that you are a lawyer. They are pretty good at stretching the truth Smile

Par Edwin

Paragon (1182)

Portrait de Edwin

18-12-2006, 01:44

Due to lack of time I haven't joined in the discussion here, but I have been reading the thread. In my opinion, the wishful thinking level is a bit too high.

I don't see the definition of a new msx standard as something that will happen. No organisation is going to blindly define a new standard without controlling the creating of it. And since "they" don't have an army of vhdl coders on the payroll, there is no way to enforce anything. Personally, I'm not at all concerned about this because I firmly believe that "defining" a new standard is an exercise in pointlessness. Standards were defined within the limits of hardware capabilities at a certain time, and a vision of how things should work together. Today all these limits are so far beyond anything that would resemble msx, that any definition would be arbitrary and have no real point to it. However, there is one limit that has now been defined: the ocm hardware itself. To me, this is the boundary to work in, not some unfounded ideas.

Related to this is the discussion about what should or should not be done. To me, this is also futile. Anything vhdl that may be written in the future is done so by people who are trying to have fun in their spare time. This automatically means that they will be doing what they will find the most fun to do. This is uncontrollable by definition. I consider myself to be someone that will be learning vhdl and have fun with ocm. I have some small ideas of what I want to accomplish. Anything more will come to me as I'm trying to gain knowledge about vhdl design. But I'm sure that I'm not going to restrict myself because someone else wants the development of functionality to stay within the capabilities of the current msx. I will do what I feel like doing, and I suspect that will be the same for other developers as well.

Also, apart from the ESE Artist Factory vhdl designers, there is little to no experience in vhdl design. I think it will take years for people to become experienced enough to actually be able to do the more complex projects. I hope this will eventually lead to some interesting things. If that is indeed the case, this could be taken as the basis for a "new system". At that point, the software problem that Alex mentioned still has to be overcome. To be honest, I think that the work that needs to be done to combine vhdl projects into a new system with the appropriate software is nothing less than staggering. It may happen, but it will take a good long while.

The success of any alternative development on the ocm is going to be people that will put in the time to actually learn about vhdl design. I suspect that one or two hours is not really going to cut it. Getting a significant number of people to become proficient will be a challenge in itself. I think that that should be the primary focus for now. After all, without active developers there is nothing.

Par dvik

Prophet (2200)

Portrait de dvik

18-12-2006, 06:56

Edwin, you're right that its the limits of the vhdl hardware that defines what is possible with the OCM and what is not. But although it is possible to do almost anything I wouldn't call a C64 VHDL implementation running on the OCM for MSX. It is a tricky question though. But of course its nice to see other things than an MSX2 emulation running on the OCM. But I wouldn't call that MSX and I think that's a big part of what's been discussed here. Most is about what potential features would make sense to put on the OCM and still keep the MSX feeling of it.

You're right about that without developers its nothing. Ideas alone doesn't make the OCM useful Smile

Par Latok

msx guru (3866)

Portrait de Latok

18-12-2006, 09:45

Due to lack of time I haven't joined in the discussion here, but I have been reading the thread. In my opinion, the wishful thinking level is a bit too high.

I don't see the definition of a new msx standard as something that will happen. No organisation is going to blindly define a new standard without controlling the creating of it. And since "they" don't have an army of vhdl coders on the payroll, there is no way to enforce anything. Personally, I'm not at all concerned about this because I firmly believe that "defining" a new standard is an exercise in pointlessness. Standards were defined within the limits of hardware capabilities at a certain time, and a vision of how things should work together. Today all these limits are so far beyond anything that would resemble msx, that any definition would be arbitrary and have no real point to it. However, there is one limit that has now been defined: the ocm hardware itself. To me, this is the boundary to work in, not some unfounded ideas.

Related to this is the discussion about what should or should not be done. To me, this is also futile. Anything vhdl that may be written in the future is done so by people who are trying to have fun in their spare time. This automatically means that they will be doing what they will find the most fun to do. This is uncontrollable by definition. I consider myself to be someone that will be learning vhdl and have fun with ocm. I have some small ideas of what I want to accomplish. Anything more will come to me as I'm trying to gain knowledge about vhdl design. But I'm sure that I'm not going to restrict myself because someone else wants the development of functionality to stay within the capabilities of the current msx. I will do what I feel like doing, and I suspect that will be the same for other developers as well.

Also, apart from the ESE Artist Factory vhdl designers, there is little to no experience in vhdl design. I think it will take years for people to become experienced enough to actually be able to do the more complex projects. I hope this will eventually lead to some interesting things. If that is indeed the case, this could be taken as the basis for a "new system". At that point, the software problem that Alex mentioned still has to be overcome. To be honest, I think that the work that needs to be done to combine vhdl projects into a new system with the appropriate software is nothing less than staggering. It may happen, but it will take a good long while.

The success of any alternative development on the ocm is going to be people that will put in the time to actually learn about vhdl design. I suspect that one or two hours is not really going to cut it. Getting a significant number of people to become proficient will be a challenge in itself. I think that that should be the primary focus for now. After all, without active developers there is nothing.
I understand your point, Edwin. Of course I do. But talking like this makes the 1chipMSX nothing more than a modern computer with a hardware MSX2 emulation. I think that's 'dangerous'. IF we want to keep the device MSX-ish, we should keep talking and acting as if we're creating an MSX3. Something good should come out of that eventually Smile

Par Tanni

Hero (556)

Portrait de Tanni

18-12-2006, 12:12

MSX was one of the most flexible and most extensible homecomputer systems, if not the most. It was designed to be so. If there is a MSX philosophy at all, than it's that. With FPGA and VHDL, flexibility and extensibility extends to the hardware which now becomes configuable.

This is a ENOOOORMOUS stretch Smile The philosophy is maybe a small part of what the MSX is, but you can't say that just because something is flexible its MSX. A rubberband is very flexible but I wouldn't call that an MSX, would you?
MSX defined as an open quite flexible standard but it has well specified boundaries, see my earlier posts. You can implement an MSX in VHDL but VHDL is _not_ MSX or vice versa.

Your reasoning about philosophy does not make any sense at all. My guess is that you are a lawyer. They are pretty good at stretching the truth Smile

Did I say that? According to www.leo.org, the terms flexible and extensible mean -- besides others -- anpassungsfähig and erweiterbar. Of course, this was and still is within well defined boundaries.

Par Trebmint

Champion (294)

Portrait de Trebmint

18-12-2006, 12:53

This when is an MSX not an MSX conversation is a little weird imho. If it says MSX on the box and was put together by people calling it MSX then that's what it is, and even if you turn it into a spaceship that's what it will remain. Is an Apple anything other than an apple because they've changed processors again. Is my PC a C64 becuase I run an C64 emulator. The thing is defined by who made it, not what is subsequently done with it.
Will there ever be a MSX3 standard? No I don't think so. The bottom line will be is that people will eventually push the hardware as far as it can go, and whatever they achieve will be running on an msx

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9950)

Portrait de wolf_

18-12-2006, 13:08

Is my PC a C64 becuase I run an C64 emulator.

Is the Altera an MSX because you run an MSX configuration on it?

In pre-FPGA, a combination of chips made a machine, in this FPGA-age these chips are open.. hence, an FPGA machine is nothing and has the potential to be everything.

Par Trebmint

Champion (294)

Portrait de Trebmint

18-12-2006, 13:26

Is my PC a C64 becuase I run an C64 emulator.

Is the Altera an MSX because you run an MSX configuration on it?

In pre-FPGA, a combination of chips made a machine, in this FPGA-age these chips are open.. hence, an FPGA machine is nothing and has the potential to be everything.

The Altera is a component, albeit a major component, but components aren't the whole product. The box says MSX therefore that's what it is imo. Okay I can understand the software/hardware on chip thing emulation confuses things, but from my point of view you could have no backward compatibility with old msx, even not emulate z80 etc and it would still be MSX because that's what the makers have called it. And I say this as a cpc coder who has never owned an msx so I don't have a particular point to make.

Par Ivan

Ascended (9305)

Portrait de Ivan

18-12-2006, 14:39

The Altera is a component, albeit a major component, but components aren't the whole product. The box says MSX therefore that's what it is imo. Okay I can understand the software/hardware on chip thing emulation confuses things, but from my point of view you could have no backward compatibility with old msx, even not emulate z80 etc and it would still be MSX because that's what the makers have called it.

I fully agree. Future extensions for the OCM shouldn't be necessarily compatible with previous MSX generations. Remember that you can always load whatever (and whenever) you want on the OCM: compatible -or not- MSX extensions. For instance MSX Association could be in charge of MSX compatible extensions while other groups of developers could try to push the OCM to its limits developing non MSX compatible VHDL implementations.

Par dvik

Prophet (2200)

Portrait de dvik

18-12-2006, 15:14

Of course, this was and still is within well defined boundaries.
not even close to the MSX definition, but nice ideas Smile

Future extensions for the OCM shouldn't be necessarily compatible with previous MSX generations.
I agree. There is no reason to not use the OCM to its fullest potential. Its just sad seeing it be called MSX. I'd prefer to call the hardware 'retro platform' or something and the current VHDL implementation MSX. But I guess Trembint is right. If the box says MSX, that's what it is. Unfortunate that MSX no longer is the nice well specified hw and software platform that it once was Sad

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