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While BPS is certainly objectively better, the downsides of IPS patches don't really affect SMW hacking. Hacks are far smaller than the upper data limit of IPS and the compressed size difference is negligible.

Not really sure it's SMW Central's place to push data formats without reason. It was important for the site to push new versions of addmusic, since old ones literally made the game unplayable. IPS patches don't cause problems to SMW hacking.


That said, I certainly won't be up in arms if IPS patches are no longer allowed.
And what will we do to the 1000+ hacks that are still IPS?
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
the downsides of IPS patches don't really affect SMW hacking

With BPS, Flips can apply patches to headered and unheadered ROMs alike. We get about one question per month about that.

With BPS, Flips can automatically find the correct ROM, if you tell it to.

I do believe those advantages are highly relevant to SMW hacking. None of it is possible with IPS.

Originally posted by MercuryPenny
And what will we do to the 1000+ hacks that are still IPS?

I'll be glad to make a script for that. I'm sure several others would be equally eager to volunteer.

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<blm> zsnes users are the flatearthers of emulation
Originally posted by Alcaro
With BPS, Flips can apply patches to headered and unheadered ROMs alike. We get about one question per month about that.

With BPS, Flips can automatically find the correct ROM, if you tell it to.

Oh, okay then.

Yeah let's nuke IPS patches.
I guess the only problem is that LM can't make BPS patches and emulators won't auto load them. Neither of those should actually big problems, but it would be nice if we could get the first one fixed.
Originally posted by HuFlungDu
I guess the only problem is that LM can't make BPS patches and emulators won't auto load them. Neither of those should actually big problems, but it would be nice if we could get the first one fixed.

Snes9x does, though I don't know if it's in 1.53. RetroArch supports it too.

Why would we need softpatching, anyways? Just tell Flips to open the ROM in the emulator after patching it. With the auto ROM finder, you can just double click the BPS. It's even easier than softpatching, because you won't need to copy and rename ROMs.

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<blm> zsnes users are the flatearthers of emulation
Out of pure curiosity, can we submit BPS files to the site even though IPS is the current standard?

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the "current standard" allows for IPS or BPS. see the hack upload page
Counterfeit // FIRE AND FORGET [~]
(CCCP:~) counterfeit% cat чики-брики.txt
I will not forbid the submission of IPS patches for now. MercuryPenny is one (the only?) user who submits his hacks as BPS patches and yes they are acceptable.

When the legacy hacks are finished being re-remoderated then I believe Alcaro is willing to make a script to mass-convert and reupload them, and only then will .BPS be the standard we enforce. This will likely take anywhere between six months and one more year or so and it will give users notice so they can get used to producing BPS patches.

As someone who doesn't have a desktop environment or file manager, I find soft-patching IPS with any emulator to be really useful for saving a little time just copying a clean file with tab completion and launching the emulator in one go, and I don't *just* use bsnes (and pretty much can't for 1/3 to 1/2 of legacy hacks,) so at this time it'd be really inconvenient on me personally to just go all BPS. I can't speak for everyone else but I know that if we just changed rules overnight everyone's hack waiting now would be rejected for that reason, they may disappear and never replace them, and it'd take a long time for other users to catch on.

I will set a notice date and give users time for that to soak in once we are ready to change over completely to BPS.
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Originally posted by Counterfeit
As someone who doesn't have a desktop environment or file manager...

Whoa. Hardcore. I could never forsake my OpenBox, ahah!

Anyway, I suppose I'm in agreement on this subject. BPS patches are simply superior, and there's no reason to not use them now that flips is a thing.
And you guys seem to have all of the technical details under control, but I'd recommend no longer mentioning IPS patches as being allowed for a while. Still allow them for the people who are currently developing things, but the idea should be to move as many people over to BPS as possible during this process, yeah?

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I've become very grumpy these last few years, and have been biting my tongue here in SMWC's forums quite a bit. I just want to let you all know that if ever I come off as harsh, I still care about you all. You guys are great.

(Avatar by http://reyleias.tumblr.com/, butchered by me)
Originally posted by Counterfeit
copying a clean file with tab completion and launching the emulator in one go

You can make 'flips hack.bps' launch snes9x, but that means different methods for IPS vs BPS and doesn't allow you to launch zsnes, so it's not a good solution.

But this one should do everything you want:

#!/bin/sh
rom=${1%.*}.smc
flips --apply $1 ~/smw.smc $rom
snes9x $rom

Copy it to ~/bin/snes9xp or whatever, and you can use 'snes9xp hack.ips'. Not only does it support both patch types, it's less typing than tab completing 'cp clean.smc hack.ips^H^H^Hsmc; snes9x hack.smc'.

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<blm> zsnes users are the flatearthers of emulation
I haven't been involved in SMW hacking for a while, but suddenly I hear about BPS patches. What are those? And are those really replacing IPS patches?

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don't click this link...
BPS is another type of patch that's, by definition, similar to IPS, except the former is far smaller than the latter and it verifies that you do it to the correct file only. You can apply it to a (clean) ROM with this tool which is the current standard here. And according to a few posts above yours, they will replace IPS patches at some point in the future.
Remember what happened the last time the site stopped accepting certain things? I'd rather not see that happen again. *shudders*

Just let people do whatever for now.
I just read about something called RXL, a patch format created by saxman (who is also the creator of things such as DOOM 32X WAD Converter and the Sonic Boom Engine) that addresses certain IPS patching issues. How does it compare to BPS?

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Your layout has been removed.
There's very little information available about that format; neither a format specification, nor any relevant source code, only a Windows binary. Our Linux users would be quite disappointed if we switched to that.

Judging by this, it forces the user to set the freespace. This means it's intended for feature patches, not hacks.
Additionally, it died in 2002, seemingly in favor of something ASM-based.

While interesting, I believe that format is not suitable for our purposes.

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<blm> zsnes users are the flatearthers of emulation
Wow, who are you guys and what have you done with my smwcentral? :D

> Hacks are far smaller than the upper data limit of IPS

Is now a bad time to unveil my 64MiB "Far East of Super Mario World" ROM? :D

> With BPS, Flips can apply patches to headered and unheadered ROMs alike. We get about one question per month about that.

Applying is fine; but when it comes to creating patches, I would kindly ask that you please not allow that. Both bsnes and Snes9X will only soft-patch with unheadered ROMs. And that's very much by design.

That said, it's not *as* critical since we can at least now detect this situation and verify checksums. Much better than the 50/50 crapshoot that was IPS.

But if you make a BPS patch with your Super Wildcard DX2 headered ROM, and someone applies it to their Super UFO 8.3j headered ROM, it's gonna cause a false failure match for no reason whatsoever.

> I guess the only problem is that LM can't make BPS patches

Lunar Magic seems to hold everything back. A shame nobody has come along to make an open source replacement for it. Plus I'm sure there's gotta be at least a few Linux hackers that would like to ditch Wine.

Come on Alcaro, pretty please? :)

> I thought about making a little helper application that allows you to double click BPS/IPS and load it instantly in your emulator of choice but it seems you beat me to it.

Didn't Alcaro also come up with that really clever idea of caching the checksums to remember the source ROM for applying patches to?

I wish I had thought of that first. That's just genius.

> it verifies that you do it to the correct file only

Just before it gets brought up: the verification is optional. So if you are zany enough to stack patches, you absolutely can do that.

There's literally no downsides and only upsides to the BPS format. And a big part of it compared to other formats is that it's simple as pie to apply (or to create IPS-style linear patches), in only a few lines of code. Aside from a *very slightly* tricky variable-length integer encoding (keeps patches small and also avoids any size limit), it's as simple as IPS.

A lot of the other alternatives like Xdelta or bsdiff ... there are no third-party implementations, because nobody can understand how they work (myself included; I really wanted to write an O(n log n) delta patch creator, but I just can't do it. I'm not smart enough. It's possible for someone to make a BPS patch creator like this, just it's not gonna happen from me.)
Originally posted by Koops
If open source version of Lunar Magic will be done, then what everyone wants since the appearance of mobile SNES emulators may become possible. I mean Android version of Lunar Magic. Let's harass FuSoYa until she will release it under licence like MIT (Not GPL, combining GPL code with code under proprietary licences is forbidden, but software licencing deserves a separate thread).

If our plan fails I am sure the community will be able to piece the editor together in around a year.

There have been a couple of attempts to create new ones, but none have really gotten that far. LM does a bunch of stuff and has many years of momentum, and creating something with all the same capabilities would be real difficult.
p4plus2 made the most progress, and not to belittle his work or anything, but it didn't get that far. The problem is that at this point, it really is quite a monumental thing.

You might think we could make it a group project and split the load up, but the problem with that is that no one wants to get involved in a project that they don't know will get very far, which basically means that the first person needs to at least get to a certain point before anyone else will join in, which is a problem with any open source project. People will add to an own source project, but they won't "complete" it.
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