> 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.
If you look at what MAMEdev's actually shipping, you'll see that we've been converting the entire codebase from fake OO with macros to real OO in real C++ over the last 2 years. MESS is actually farther ahead on this than MAME, but the core is ready in either case. This has enabled a whole slew of good things to happen, including the combined build under discussion and much better separation between chip emulations and drivers.
And just like the Linux kernel, we reserve the right to change the API and ABI any time it makes sense to, lest anyone get any dumb ideas about subjecting users to drivers-as-DLLs.