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Poster: Jason Scott Date: May 19, 2022 10:44pm
Forum: software Subject: Regarding Emulated Item Policies, from Jason Scott, Software Curator

Hello, I'm Jason Scott. One of my titles is Software Curator at the Internet Archive, and I was also the spearheading person within the organization for what's called "The Emularity", or the ability to make programs emulate within the browser at Internet Archive.

I thought I'd step out for a moment to mention a few aspects of the emulation system vs. archiving at the archive, and ask people to at least be aware of them. These are not specifically documented somewhere and may change, but they may help explain the system as it is, and moves to make things more clear going forward.

Originally, the purpose of the Emularity was to allow in-browser emulation to be used to preview/try out software without the burden of downloading it, setting emulation software locally, and then having to wade through a bunch of software to see what you were even looking at. This project, ultimately, was successful, and millions of plays of programs have happened at the Archive in the last decade.

The emulation has also extended over the years to dozens of platforms, with major home computers, consoles, flash animations, arcade machines and many obscure platforms being emulated. We are closing in on 250,000 individual items being playable at the archive.

Two issues have risen up over the years, which I hope to address.

The first is that many of the original thousands of items went up, then were proven to "work" in some way, and didn't get touched again. Some of them have poor metadata, don't actually work if you watch them past title screens and so on. Through continued re-configuration and improvements, I hope more and more of the items on the Archive that "work" will "work better" in the future.

The second is that it is possible for anyone with upload privileges at the Archive to set their software to in some way be "emulated". They can set all the same configurations as they see in other items in the software collections and often they can get it to work, but they also often do not.

This year, I'm trying to address the second situation with both improved testing, moving items into subcollections in a coherent manner, and generally making the archive easier to use. I'm also going to attempt to comprehensively document how emulation works, since this is the only site that things work this way, and so there's no way to see how the "others" do it. I'd like to encourage more uploading, but also uploading that produces a quality emulated item. It's a team effort, and I appreciate people trying to work with me on this.

Thanks to people trying to add new items and improve the software stacks. Right now, all emulated items live under here:

And the uploads from people wait in this waiting area for movement to permanent homes:

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Poster: Rodrigues520 Date: Apr 10, 2023 3:37am
Forum: software Subject: Re: Regarding Emulated Item Policies, from Jason Scott, Software Curator

Hi Jason. What happended to the Xbo Collection? Only the Halo games are available now.