> Remove the Neo Geo games? All the artwork as well?Blasphemy! Glad you are not in
I understand your reason, let me explain mine.
I think MAME core should be handled like the development of Linux kernel - modular, or "Object Oriented" if you will, where adding support for artwork would a simple matter like adding network support to some Linux distribution.
One core, many distributions and flavors for everyone's taste. The main point of this design and development scheme is that everyone should be able to easily make (compile) their own distribution (MAME build) by simply enabling or disabling these add-on features at compile time, only I would separate code completely instead of use #IFDEF or anything like that. What you really need in any case is a just a good compiler front-end which should be no harder to use than say MAME .ini file, that's all.
The most import benefit of such modular design is independence of one piece of code from another and self-contained functionality, which makes for many little "Objects" that can be re-designed, re-written and optimized without having impact to other parts of the code. This means that particular people with particular skills would be able to concentrate on specific things without unrelated stuff obscuring the code or standing in a way for better implementation. Smaller independent chunks of code, like game drivers, are much easier to re-write, optimize and maybe most importantly *test* , as you can do it in small steps and independently of everything else. Each module itself, including core MAME, would become easier to improve and changes to any of these separate modules (add-on features) could not possibly have any impact on how actual game drivers or other modules work.
Does that sounds better?