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Sweep articles under the carpet?

By Chris Williams. Published: 17th Jul 2004, 23:22:46 | Permalink | Printable


Now, here's an interesting email from a reader that hit our inbox earlier today:

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 12:02:59 +0100
From: "John"
To: comments@drobe.co.uk
Subject: Now that sense appears to have struck the RISC OS market

Dear Drobe,

Might I suggest that all the news items relating to the dispute are archived and restricted for general viewing. There is now little or no point in people, especially non-RISC OS users, being able to read about the bust up, fight or what ever!

As you will see this is being mailed to you from a PC...... I still use RISC OS though, and yesterday renewed my lapsed RO Foundation and Select memberships again.

I must admit, to have felt that the writing was on the wall, prior to sense being seen, I have admittedly grown accustomed to Windows XP through using my Alpha, and for internet access tend to use the PC natively.

I now intend to acquire the latest Virtual RiscPC / Adjust version to run on here and a newly acquired top spec PC. My Acorn RiscPC has many years of life left in it, and will be retained for the forseeable future.



This is an eyebrow raising, and therefore unusual request, we'll admit: the 'archiving' of articles to basically hide them away, which many will see as tantamount to censorship. It's been a while since we were last accused of censorship, mind you, and the last time someone asked us to tear down an article, our legal person wept with laughter.

So no, there will be no article removal, even if some of you would prefer the outside world to not know of the recent troubles - look, newsflash: it's already been reported outside of the RISC OS bubble (The Reg, OSNews, etc.)

As Santayana once said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." The coverage of the dispute on drobe.co.uk should serve to remind everyone as to what happens when, depending on your viewpoint, one party decides to upset the boat for their own gain. It also means we can hold each party accountable to their public statements and claims, now and in the future.

It also gives us something to look back on in a year or so, hopefully when we've all fully moved on and enjoying the next round of developments and drama.


News? Comments?

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Hide news? He's having a laugh!

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 18/7/04 8:20AM
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The articles show a dispute coming into public view and /then being resolved/ fairly in a fairly short time (longer from when the dispute really first started, though, obviously). That isn't something to hide away from public view in shame.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 18/7/04 8:46AM
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The RISC OS market was not in termoil: The RISC OS market had never been in termoil. A large part of the news sites and discussions of five years was now completely obsolete. Reports and records of all kinds, newspapers, websites -- all had to be rectified at lightning speed. Although no directive was known that the groups involved intended that within one week, no reference to the problems or the discussions should remain anywhere.

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 18/7/04 9:06AM
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(insert 'issued, it was' between 'directive was' and 'known that'). Sorry; brain not working.

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 18/7/04 9:08AM
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Whenever I see the Windows XP 'green hillside' it makes me think of 'Telly-tubby land' in which, I am sure, Microsoft would like us all to live - they proving the patronising speaker announcements; 'Time for Tubby custard' etc.

The official Windows XP magazine is equally bland with a 'pointless' lady on each cover, and no troublesome news items inside.

Heaven help us if drobe ever goes down this route.

Ah, must go now as, apparently, its 'Time for tubby bye-byes'. (burp - sorry, too much custard)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 18/7/04 9:32AM
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Hm, I don't see how removing the articles will help anything. It's been reported more or less everywhere vaguely RISC OS related, and deleting from one site won't hide it. I don't think the chances of getting it removed everywhere is very good ;)

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 18/7/04 9:59AM
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Andypoole : That five spot graphic avatar of yours is from the 'Tweenies' - remove it at once - and repeat after me; "The alternative to Telly tubby land is not Tweenie-land; it's RISC OS".

But seriously, even if we could remove all news of the dispute whereever it reside - should we ?

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 18/7/04 10:25AM
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NB "John" isn't me, just for the avoidance of doubt.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 18/7/04 10:47AM
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Even if you did hide these articles they are plastered all over the newsgroups, riscos.org, TIB, etc, etc... Who really looks back at the bad stuff on an OSes history before deciding whether to use it?

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 18/7/04 11:03AM
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Neither is it me ;)

Silly email. Even worse than a really stupid one I did recently, albeit only just.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 18/7/04 11:13AM
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martin: Aww, I might be able to find a suitable Disney one to replace it with if it makes you happy ;)

Andrew Duffell: You'd be suprised :|

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 18/7/04 1:24PM
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Incidentally, I notice that The Register managed to publish an article on the bad news about the dispute, but don't appear to have found out about the good news.

Ears not very close to the ground?


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 18/7/04 3:07PM
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I don't see what would be acchieved by "restricting" access to (or removing) articles.

In fact it's *actually* benefitial that those articles are there for *all* to see, they provide an invaluable record of what *may* turn out to be a turning point for RISC OS and what lead up to it. Who knows maybe if more had been *publically* known at the time of Acorn's demise in 1999 some of the problems might have been avoided.

What's needed is an impartial press (of which drobe is a good example) and the free, open and vigourous debate that at least shows a public interest. If everything were "sanitised" would it be anything like as interesting - I think not.



PS: I'd like to thank "JOHN" for at least confirming that the use of "emulation" has allowed him to appreciate XP, another valuable win for the Microsoft camp (sigh). Well at least it counters some of the biased comments that have issued from some quarters that said emulation would do no harm....

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/7/04 4:23PM
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If people want to appreciate XP, let them.

We should try and spread RISC OS because of its own merits - not through ignorance of the alternatives.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 18/7/04 4:35PM
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moss > "We should try and spread RISC OS because of its own merits - not through ignorance of the alternatives."

A strategy that Microsoft has assiduously followed to such good effect, oh Hang on they didn't, and now they have >95% of the desktop market ;)

In all seriousness it's not a case of preventing people from experiencing the alternatives that I am against, I *do* have a problem though with people advocating the notion that emulation will *not damage* the native RISC OS platform - and this single example shows one occurance of this (to the point where the writer "John" has *already* bought a "top spec" (to use his words) PC and no doubt the obligatory Windows XP licence) rather than buying extant RISC OS hardware (like Iyonix or Omega).

RISC OS has it's merits - but if you stick it on top of a layer of software (an emulator) and then on top of another layer of software (Windows XP) you add the greater potential for bugs and problems. On top of that you have the fact that Microsoft often appears to play by other than fair rules that discriminate against "non-Windows" products - just because you can run RISC OS on top of windows doesn't insulate you from that. It just makes the final move over to Windows that little bit easier - and that is the true danger of emulation.



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/7/04 4:47PM
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moss There are no merits to RISC OS.

Expensive relatively slow hardware, or you have to buy WinXP to run it, precious few applications compared even to Linux,

Companies that raise hopes and then dash them and finally get handsomely rewarded for their intransigence sorry *perserverence*.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 18/7/04 5:33PM
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Yeah, no merits at all. What I want is a system with a crap GUI, viruses, constant security updates, that's hard to use and understand, with almost every small util shareware or badly documented. One that heats up my room during the summer and creates more CO2 than the alternative. An OS without a standard Vector graphics format, without 2 great free text/binary editors, without proper drag and drop, without an iconbar, Director, Techwriter, Artworks. I want an OS that needs a harddrive to function at all, an OS that won't run on old machines that are lying around. I want an OS that assumes when you use the mouse you also want to spend half the time with your other hand controlling modifier keys, or an OS with no consistancy between apps. I want an OS that needs a 1000 page manual before you even start to try to program it. I want an OS where the apps don't fit on a floppy disc for no real reason.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 18/7/04 6:32PM
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To blahsnr: Expensive - not really compared to a like silent reasonably fast Windows PC the IYONIX pc is not expensive.

Precious few applications: OK, I have the choice of some 50 text editors, 20 image editors ... so what: All I need is one good text editor. So the number of apps is not important but the kind of apps available. Pity that on this account some things do miss on *every* platform!

Merits: There are starting with much faster booting, quite a bit good and efficient software, no hassles with virusses (at least not these days), no need to check for security fixes every day and to apply them pretty often, no stupid Open-File-Dialogue boxes and so on.

In case you want an explicit example then try to find something which is as good as ArtWorks 2.2 on other platforms offering e.g. the different types of transparency including group transparency for a vector-graphics application.

To show in a slightly strange real-life example that these "global" statements are not really useful try this: "I prefer to use the telephone since there are much more phone numers available than email addresses or fax numbers... so why buy a computer or a fax machine :-)"

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 18/7/04 6:32PM
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hzn/mavhc Do you honestly think I do not know the arguments at all?

Not quite sure yet if my posting was irony or just plain fed up entirely with the hypocracy in the RISC OS scene.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 18/7/04 6:42PM
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In reply to Blashnr:

Every OS (Windows, Mac, BEOS, RISC OS, etc) has a cross spectrum of users ranging from the totally evangelical and dogmatic to the pragamatic, with a silent majority. You should read some of the other OS threads on OSnews for comparison. Most people use RISC OS because they feel it still delivers the goods for them...

I just enjoy using the machines... The user groups seem to be a good place to actual discuss using the machines (and you get a really good curry at the ROUGOL meetings if you are near London).

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 18/7/04 7:15PM
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mavhc: I'm not actually sure the OS you seem to want exists.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 18/7/04 7:40PM
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mavhc: I can't think of an OS that fits what you want.

(Second time I've tried to post this, as it didn't appear last time.)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 18/7/04 7:44PM
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Just so there is no doubt, I am the offending John.....I must take exception to the publishing of my private eMail to Drobe. But then they are renowned for bad form, so guess I cant really be too surprised. Yes they sent me an eMail suggesting that they would publish paragraph 1 of my eMail, to that I had no objection, so didn't forbid them. They then go and publish the whole eMail without my permission, and Instead of sparking a debate on what should be done with the old out of date non news.....we have a diatribe on the merits demerits of emulation. Yours suitably annoyed John

 is a RISC OS Userjcmcculloch on 18/7/04 10:37PM
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Section "Getting in touch" :

"Please note that all correspondence is for publication and we reserve the right to reproduce any material sent to a drobe.co.uk email address"

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 18/7/04 10:58PM
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Are you allowed to do that, surely anything you create is copyright to yourself.

And the OS I "want" is called winux, obviously

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 18/7/04 11:00PM
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Aw, I was betting on it being John Ballance ;)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 18/7/04 11:16PM
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martin: I do like your idea of the Telly-Tubby Land on the Windows 'Green Hills'. I use some of Windows Flag logo designs and some of it's M$ Wallpaper logo designs on my school RISC OS machines "!Cycle" (screensaver programme) mixed with other choice photos of our school changing the backdrop every one minute. The only difference with MY M$ images are the jokes, like... Windows XP UnProfessional. Windows XP Another broken Pane!

Now I might make one with the TellyTubbies on the Green Hills!!

Cheers, Steve

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 18/7/04 11:49PM
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D underheads R adicals O r B loody E xcentrics ........

 is a RISC OS Userjcmcculloch on 19/7/04 1:35AM
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> It's been a while since we were last accused of censorship, mind you, and the last time someone asked us to tear down an article, our legal person wept with laughter.

I'm glad drobe would never remove an article, just to get rid of, say, the comments

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 19/7/04 1:55AM
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I agree with *ams* that is really better for all to actually see, remember, most comments were only speculations from us users??? But really, if any of us were "REALLY" concerned about the public viewing what went on with ROL & CTL, I would be more concerned about the way us Drobe Users behave and garble on...... Personally this does not worry me, but strikes me as more unusual behaviour (often childish) towards each other etc etc than worry about a RISC OS dispute being bad publicity??? Just an opinion! :grin: Regards, Steve

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 19/7/04 2:31AM
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Drobe has always (for a long time anyway) had that policy and the only way to get it changed would be to get out your lawyers (and even then it's not guaranteed).

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 19/07/04 11:11AM
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In reply to DGS

The Register has now written a story about the <a href="[link]">reconcilliation</a>.

 is a RISC OS UserLoris on 19/07/04 2:49PM
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