Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some changes to AmiBridge you'll love

AmiBridge is Icaros Desktop's way to support legacy AmigaOS applications. It runs them into an emulator after creating the necessary launch scripts from AROS. Originally, it replaced AmigaOS' startup files (autoexec.bat and conf... ehi ehi! stop! I was only kidding!) with personalized startup-sequence and user-startup for every program, but this created some issues that Stephen Jones from ClusterUK Developments (the creator of the iMica computer) brillantly fixed changing AmiBridge a little. With his mods, which had been officially integrated into Icaros starting from version 1.1.1, original startup files never change, but a nice amibridge.script file gets executed by Janus-UAE, loading only the required application and nothing more. Well, many Amiga users on, and other Amiga sites all over the world, complained that this way to do is still too much tricky and unnatural: they asked for the ability to launch Amiga application straight from their icons... and they got it. Just look at the following video:

it shows the upcoming new version of AmiBridge dealing with two different Amiga applications from Amiga Forever. AmiBridge will be bound to general 68K executables. This means that, as you can see in the first example in the video, when you launch a 68K program without a personal .info file, AmiBridge will detect it, create a launch script, and execute it. The next times you'd like to run the same application, you will find the launch script in the usual AmigaApps directory, in AmiStart's "AmigaOS Applications" menu, and even in the same drawer of the Amiga application. You can even continue clicking the same icon as well.

What I couldn't get yet, however, is launching the Amiga application straight from its icon when it has one. I am trying to spot a solution for this, but I doubt it would be a good idea at all: in the second case shown in the video, you can notice AmiBridge running an application straight from its icon, but how is this possible? Simply by manually binding the icon to AmiBridge instead. Under AROS, select it, press rAROS+I and then associate the icon to extras:AmiBridge/AmigaApps/AmiBridge, save and you're done: every time you launch the program, it will be run under Janus-UAE. What is the drawback of this? That you wouldn't be able to run the same program anymore from a emulated Workbench, when you decide to "go the old way". AmiBridge 1.5 will be released in the future, integrated in Icaros Desktop 1.1.2.

PS: sorry for the Windows white pointer moving on the screen. It has been recorded by DesktopActivityRecorder for mistake. It usually doesn't appear on the screen when using VMware, but it has to be explicitely turned off during recording. And I completely forgot it. I'm too lazy to record the video again, so please live with it...