Amiga Forever Cataloging Effort Reaches 10K Milestone
December 14, 2007 - Cloanto, Amiga software developers since 1986, announced today that their Amiga cataloging effort reached the milestone of ten thousand disk-based applications.
So far, Cloanto's effort focused on the cataloging of Amiga games and game-like educational titles. Reaching ten thousand titles (counting different major versions, but excluding minor variations) meant, among other things, processing several tens of thousands of floppy disk images, including format variations and non-exact duplicates, which have now been "handprinted". In practice, this data can be used to allow Amiga Forever users to search for games by title or keywords, to access multiple independent partner websites with additional information and downloads, and to more easily play games without complex configuration work.
Many Amiga enthusiasts already have a multitude of game floppy disk images on their PCs. Having access to this cataloging data, a future version of Amiga Forever will be able to recognize a disk selected by the user, automatically finding the required companion disks and starting the game with the correct (emulated) hardware configuration. All of this, with a simple click on a downloaded disk image (e.g. an ADF file).
The handprinting technology used by Cloanto goes beyond traditional CRC32 file-level checksums which have commonly been used in the emulation community. Rather, Cloanto's software can analyze the images at the Amiga disk block and file system level, extracting precious information, ignoring simple modifications such as a saved game state or high score data, and applying other smart identification algorithms. In this way, more duplicates and disks that would otherwise go unrecognized are identified.
Cloanto's cataloging project began in 2004. In 2005, a number of specification drafts (e.g. XADML, an XML-based application and configuration description format) were announced and published on the Amiga Forever site. At the same time, also with the help of numerous contributors, a database of applications was slowly being built, one title at a time. At Pianeta Amiga 2007, Cloanto announced that the "10K" milestone was near. The effort is now being expanded to content available in formats other than disk images, and to applications other than Amiga games and educational titles. First implementations embodying this new technology and data are planned for 2008.
Cloanto's Amiga Forever website is at www.amigaforever.com.
Amiga Forever Homepage
Game Download Sites
RP9 File Format Information
Cloanto at Pianeta Amiga 2007