Little update on what's going on
I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I'm having trouble focusing on it (as usual, I guess :P ). Regardless, I figured I'd just tell you folks about what's cooking in the melonDS HQ.

The focus for the next release is basically on making melonDS less obtuse to the average user. One of the biggest parts of this is removing the requirement for external BIOS and firmware files.

We started the work in that direction by merging some relevant pull requests, making melonDS able to fall back to the DraStic FreeBIOS and a generated firmware for DS mode. There are still some issues we need to take care of in one way or another, namely:

* We need to either force direct boot, or include some small bootloader inside the replacement BIOS/firmware. The easiest route is to force direct boot.

* The original BIOS includes the Blowfish key required to decrypt the secure area in encrypted ROMs. Lacking the key would make it impossible to support encrypted ROMs, but including it is muddy waters from a legal standpoint.

* A notable exception is that some of the encrypted ROMs, like those found in VC titles, contain the data for Blowfish crypto. It could be possible to make melonDS take advantage of it, but not all ROM dumps out there contain that (it's not normally readable in retail cartridges).

All in all, it seems pretty manageable on the DS side. Things get more rocky on the DSi side:

* As the NUS is still online, it is in theory possible to build a DSi NAND from scratch, though it needs to be studied closer. Some of the contents, like font files, would have to be replicated in free variants. The NAND bootloader would not be terribly difficult to replicate.

* There are several more crypto keys found in the DSi BIOS. While it is still possible to load DSi ROMs without requiring any key from the BIOS (provided the secure area is decrypted, which it generally is), I'm not sure about things like DSiWare.

* There is also the fun part of replicating the DSi BIOS. It has more SWI functions (namely, SHA1 and RSA functions, how fun) and also some fun bugs and shit.

It's nothing insurmontable, but it needs more work.

Another part I'm currently working on is making melonDS's DLDI support less obtuse. For now, DLDI support requires the user to provide a raw SD card image, which isn't very convenient.

Well, you might have read about my latest fatfs adventures. I decided to take this further: basically coding a system that will take a given folder on the host filesystem, create a FAT image from that, and then keep the two in sync. For now, it seems to work reasonably well, but it's going to need some intensive testing before being merged.

There are also some tidbits left: integrating this feature into the UI, making it configurable without being overly complex, ensuring the ROM being loaded is present in the DLDI volume and passing its path to libnds's argv system, adding a read-only mode that will preserve the host folder from any modification, ...

We're working on all these fun features, but it takes time. Especially if you're anything like me, dealing with ADHD (it took me over one hour to write this post). I'm also dealing with some minor real life shito, finalizing details of my transition, social programs to help me find a job adapted to me, etc... nothing bad, though.
Sam says:
Oct 20th 2021
well, scanline hides the pixelated feel, a proven solution for vintage games
Bob says:
Oct 20th 2021
Turn on 2x-3x native internal resolution, Mr. Pixel Hater.
Generic aka RSDuck says:
Oct 20th 2021
there are some LCD grid shaders out there which can look quite nice. Shader support is planned to be implemented at some point.
that guys n64 says:
Oct 24th 2021
dude i'll wait till the cows come home, heck if i could id chip in id help but im not a programmer lol. i know this isnt high on your list but an avi dumper would be nice for TASing.

keep up the great work. and dont rush. a quality emulator takes time love and care :P
Thich Quang Duc says:
Oct 29th 2021
@Arisotura yeah once get ds games working without bios help outher builds of melonds like Android build yes I know Unofficial but still use staff for this build in it build for most part.
HowToInstruct142 says:
Oct 30th 2021
Y'all are doing some work I wish I could do. The amount of power and sheer tech know-how to do this stuff is mind boggling. Homebrewing my Wii gave me a headache because I couldn't get the folder names right. I would get so frustrated with this stuff, man. Keep doing what you're doing, you're keeping the DS-DSI-GameBoy dreams alive.
Oct 30th 2021
You guys are single-handedly ushering in a golden age for DS emulation. Keep it up! Also, I only have one feature request! Remappable hotkeys to select save states and the like would be really cool. Peace!
AsPika says:
Nov 1st 2021
Keep moving forward!
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