Whether the executable is edited is not the issue, the effect is. You could edit it in a harmless way and that would not matter, and you can also use many external TSRs or apps that may be considered TAS or cheating.
This is getting off topic but I personally don't think using external programs to rebind to keys is cheating (as long as not one single binary digit of Vanilla Doom is changed)
Why torture TimeOfDeath when he could use Chocolate with less trouble? He's still be recording pretty much the same demos, with maybe a small performance loss due to occasional issues when typing in the command line with a messed up keyboard layout :p
I think we should encourage it so players that simply can't/refuse to adapt like TimeOfDeath could have a shot at C-N.
If his (Chocolate or whatever) demos went to the Compet~n+ tables, you could still check them if you want to beat them from Compet~n.
They could always cheat. It just shows how technology changes the game and using Chocolate starts to encourage different settings and behavior than using vanilla, changing standards. With Chocolate, you get more people using custom weapon key binds, which overall would improve average record times a little bit, and it would encourage people to rebind their weapon keys for the benefit, making vanilla somewhat obsolete.
Will that make a person that wants to be accepted as a compet-n player cheat? I don't get it.
Another comment (by fraggle) tried this argument and I had forgotten to reply to it, so thanks: So does PrBoom+, but the demo data or format can't be used as a basis. I mean, everything that is TAS also uses it. The written data and interpreters don't reflect input and playing behavior differences. That's not enough.
Chocolate Doom is as vanilla as it gets. in fact, it passed every compet-n demo. that means, every shot, frag, imp fireball, passed with flying colors.
To me the excuse is to say "lets add X engine to Compet~n"... to destroy vanilla-only competition. That may sound harsh, but why alter the rules of something that has a history and supporters, when you can make a new branch without harming anyone's freedom of choice, and when you can include Compet~n records in Compet~n+ tables? (But not vice versa.) However competitive, this is just a hobby and a game, anyway, so even if we assume that what the Vanilla School argues is irrational or dogmatic, it's still a valid option.
It sounds like excuses to me.
It is a difference, but so are different mice, keyboards, monitors, sound output devices, whether you use Windows 9x or real DOS and other such things. The Compet~n rules say that only the DOS executables noted may be used, which don't exclude DOSBox which they run on, but do exclude other engines like Chocolate Doom. The rules are arbitrary, defined by historical circumstances, but that is what makes them concrete.
Dosbox does have direct impact on how doom plays for me - at starts majority of attempts I usually end up getting twisted in random direction. Kimo already explained why but it's mumbojumbo for me as I'm technically impaired, although I understood that it's a failure on dosbox behalf. That's more than enough of a difference between 'real vanilla' and 'dosbox vanilla'. Sometimes it can result in a whole second or two lost were I to keep all attempts (which is partly why I went for lenghty stuff with dosbox in the first place - shorter demos are entirely impossible for me like this).