Tag archieven: progress report

Dolphin Progress Report: April 2015


On the one year anniversary of the Dolphin Progress Report, we have a fairly slow month in terms of emulation development. While there are certainly some big things on the horizon, unfortunately development managed to hit one of the gaps where there were mostly some fix-ups and optimizations this month with only a few changes that users will notice.

With that, let's take a look at this month's notable changes.

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Dolphin Progress Report: March 2015

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Console add-ons and linking emulation are almost always difficult tasks. Worse yet, availability, software support, cost, and even popularity can limit the ability to get these hardware add-ons documented and emulated. While their are numerous examples spanning tons of consoles and their respective emulators, this month, we're talking about GameCube to Game Boy Advance Connectivity.

Timings and synchronization are a given on real hardware; games know how it's going to work and many expect it to always work perfectly. When it doesn't? Certain games break. Now imagine a synchronization task more complex than dualcore and netplay. That would be GBA to GCN connectivity.

When skidau took up the task of renovating Dolphin's connectivity to Visual Boy Advance-M, he knew that it would require not only work on the Dolphin side of things, but also VBA-M. Getting two completely different emulators to sync up (up to 5 instances!) and play nice was the heart of the issue. Months of prototype builds (over 60 total!) between Dolphin and VBA-M were tested and the best possible combination was chosen for high compatibility and reasonable performance. The result is Dolphin (and VBA-M) finally getting a taste of what this feature was like on console.

That, and much more, is featured in this month's progress report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: February 2015

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One of the topics of talk that have been hitting up message boards and social media is that of when the next official Dolphin release is coming up. So much has happened in the past year that it's kind of crazy. Huge speedups that hit the core of the emulator, crazy accuracy improvements, hundreds of games with higher compatibility ratings and much more. Most people by default recommend the latest development builds over Dolphin 4.0.2.

But a release build is about more than the latest and greatest features. It's about putting the absolute best you have in terms of stability and usability as well. Yes, the latest development builds are fast, they're accurate, but they also have loads of issues that need to be taken care of before a release can even be considered. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people still use our older releases, and we don't want another case where a release has huge, advertised features broken. Dolphin 4.0 was a lesson that we'd rather be safe than sorry and have to release multiple hotfix builds shortly after a much anticipated release.

We understand that everyone is eager for the next official version, but when there are so many known critical issues on the tracker and others still getting discovered, it's just not the right time for release. While a lot of the issues have owners, due to the volunteer nature of the project, many of the problems aren't currently being worked on. For a lot of the issues, a little time and expertise may be enough to narrow down and fix release critical issues. For our users? Keep finding mistakes in the emulator and making developers aware. Especially when there are so many new features being added.

With that in mind, let's get to a more fun topic; February's Notable Changes!

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Dolphin Progress Report: January 2015

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Let's kick off the new year with a bang! January will finally let Dolphin answer the question that gets asked every progress report: "Does Rogue Squadron work yet?"


Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader in 1080p 60 fps with Dolphin


Thanks to a ton of work from the staff, tons of testing from the forum users, hardware tests, newcomers and veteran's alike, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike are both playable and completable in Dolphin at long last.

Considering just how many big merges were changed and how much work was done that may not even be the biggest news of the month. So hold tight, and please enjoy this month's Notable Changes!

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Dolphin Progress Report: December 2014

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The Dolphin Progress Report is not only about featuring high impact changes, but also smaller changes that do interesting things, changes with interesting stories behind them and more. This month has a ton of everything to offer. Dolphin is graced with a new graphical enhancement that will have games popping right out of the screen, a new way to accurately use native controllers, more MMU optimizations, graphics fixes, and even a few other surprises sprinkled in. Some of these changes made us regret running the Best Of blog entries mid-month; as they would have been shoe-ins to be featured!

With that, let's say goodbye to 2014 with a bang and take a look at some of the biggest changes that hit the emulator in December!

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Dolphin Progress Report: October 2014

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A single merger can represent days, months, or even years of work. Most of the commits are relatively small, but once in a while you get absolutely huge changes like Tev_Fixes_New or the GLSL rewrite that span across years between initial concept and merged code. There's a special sense of accomplishment when one of the long awaited changes finally show up in the emulator. The number of commits and the amount of code changed; neither of those indicators often tell of the trials faced by the contributor over the course of their journey.

And don't think that just because the code is merged that things are finished. Part of the purpose of having progress report is to put a spotlight on some of the latest and greatest changes. The users are the last line of defense against potential bugs, problems, and unintended consequences that often come with new features.


All of the latest features mentioned this month can be found in the latest development builds available here.


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Dolphin Progress Report: September 2014

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Optimizations seem to beget even more optimizations. It was big news when last month we got a nifty 26% boost in CPU performance, but somehow, two dedicated devs managed to top it this month. Not to be upstaged by Fiora , comex has dropped new features and two absolutely gigantic performance commits. By making tricky use of registers and native RET behavior, two of his merges alone result in a massive 16% performance boost to games.

Not to be outdone, Fiora has continued her rash of optimizations as well. If we were to include every single one this progress report may never end. So instead, she crunched some numbers with all the optimizations over the last two months put together.

Let's just admire that list for a moment. The Last Story is considered the most demanding game on Dolphin, requiring massive overclocks on even the strongest of machines. A 38% speedup is the difference between it being playable and choppy for users with powerful computers.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader has a lot of problems, but MMU performance will be the least of them from now on. Fiora's optimization of how the JIT handles MMU games brings us huge speedups to every MMU title!

Of course, speed isn't everything for an emulator: Performance is pointless if the emulator does the rest of its job in a lackluster matter. Have no fear, we have new features and some critical bug fixes to go along with Dolphin's newfound speed!

All of the latest features mentioned this month can be found in the latest development builds available here.

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Dolphin Progress Report: August 2014

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This month, the story can't be anything else but CPU optimizations and fixes, after Fiora decided that if the code is in the JIT, she will make it faster. Nothing is safe from her. Since the end of July, Dolphin's JIT CPU core has seen a 26% performance boost in the Dolphin Benchmark. That is not a typo.

On the accuracy front, we've got some nifty changes that fix bugs going back to the beginning of time for Dolphin. Some ancient audio bugs bite the dust, some floating-point accuracy are ported into the JIT from the SoftwareFP branch, and we found out that some games are doing things they really shouldn't be doing. If you see a change that affects a game you're playing, remember that all of these changes can be found in the latest development builds!

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Dolphin Progress Report: July 2014

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In programming users usually don't see or care about what's going on on the inside all that much. All those boring code optimizations may make things easier for the developers and slowly improve the emulator, but hard-to-quantify changes are not exactly exciting. This month was full of those, with several hundred changes yet very little the general user would find interesting. Nevertheless, in the sea of code improvement, there are some real treasures: big performance improvements, some ancient bugs squashed, regression fixes, and some exciting new features to boot.


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Dolphin Progress Report: June 2014

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When an open source project is really working, things can move frighteningly fast. One developer can focus on a feature while others are reviewing the code and preparing it for merge, allowing things to move forward in a very streamlined fashion. This not only gets things done faster, but each coder can specialize in what they do best, producing the best possible product for the user base.

When things come together just right, months like this can happen. The June Progress Report is a massive monument to months of hard work put together by not one, but all of the people contributing to the project.


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