Talk:Emulators and virtual machines

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What about the game console emulators listed on the gaming page?

EvilSporkMan 22:18, Mar 6, 2004 (EST)

Yeah, not sure what to do with this page (and the Virtual machine, Emulator and gaming list pages). The jails/chroot stuff is really a different category for me, so I think should be moved to a seperate page.

"Virtual machine" and "emulator" has always been pretty confusing. Specially when one also adds 'virtual machines' like Java,.NET/Mono and Parrot.
Common view is that "Virtual machines" is a superset, meaning all software that creates an 'abstract' enviroment for other software to run in. And emulators are specific VMs that try to replicate some special kind of hardware enviroment.
Another view is that an "emulator" is a piece of software that tries to mimic an specific hardware enviroment as good as it can. And a "Virtual machine" creates a 'abstract' enviroment for specific things to run it (so it doesn't have to replicate the complete original enviroment). That means the big distinction is: does it theorectically (if it didn't have bugs and was fast enough) allow _all_ possible original software to run on it?

My preference would be to try an avoid overlapping and duplicating info and links on the wiki, so maybe both emulator and virtual machine should be redirected to this page and on it a general explenation and a list divided into:

  • IA-32 hardware -- Bochs,Plex86
  • OS specific -- Vmware, UML and WINE (VMware is a bit weird, since it looks like a general (i386) hardware emulator, but only supports specific OS-ses because of all the shortcuts and optimizations it does)
  • Programming enviroment specific -- JVM,Mono,Parrot
  • Gaming hardware -- all the snes,nes,sega,arcade,c64 and stuff

This would kinda leave the whole 'What is an emulator/VM' discussion in the middle since both are on the same page in a section division that doesn't seperate them :) So what does everybody think about this organisation?
Jor 21:52, Mar 23, 2004 (EST)

Regarding games, emulators aren't games - they're for games, so should be pulled from that page. Regarding jails, they don't emulate anything at all, do they? They just monkey with the filesystem structure? So they should be shifted off the whole 'emulator/VM' discussion. Not sure about the specific arrangement (or even if I'm grasping what you're saying - I've got a truly splendid headache at the moment) but I think I like what you're saying - redirecting specific emulator and VM pages to one place where it can all be sorted out and keeping the emulator/VM stuff from getting too scattered elsewhere besides. Anybody else?

Digiot 22:36, Mar 23, 2004 (EST)

yeah, sorry... my comment turned out to a pretty long blurb :) But yes, my idea is to try and reduce the scattering, by just keeping both types on 1 page and categorise them on other criteria, and leave the whole emu-vm discussion for this talk page :) Jor

Just stumbled on the emulation page, which adds another list :) So, just to give an overview of the currently related pages in this mess:

Jor 11:32, Mar 24, 2004 (EST)