Software newsBy Chris Williams. Published: 11th Sep 2004, 22:32:14 | Permalink | Printable
Audio fun, programming, i18n and moreSo summer's over, and the fruits of the past season's coding labours are starting to ripen. Here's a run down of new and updated software for everybody's favourite platform.
Like, really good, like
Richard Windley of the Really Small Software Company has developed SampleEd, an interesting looking sound sample editor that provides a manner of effects including fade, reverse, echo and amplify. The software is currently in an alpha release, so all feedback will be surely welcome. It also supports LADSPA plugins for third party provided effects, and uses ports of libmpg and libsndfile.
Also released by Richard this month is Sourcery 0.30, the software development environment formally known as Builder. Sourcery allows developers to manage their source code and libraries to generally make project management less of a pain. Richard's also developed CLibSupport to provide POSIX functions missing from the Norcroft (Acorn C/C++) environment.
Port out, starboard in
The Unix Porting Project has updated its Dillo web browser port, using work being poured into the CX11 library by various contributing programmers. The project, run by drobe.co.uk's Peter Naulls, has also added the RDesktop RDP client to its list of ports, as well as MP3 player madplay. The addition of Madplay, according to Peter, "demonstrates the ability to easily use sound in ported programs". Controversially, madplay 'dithers' its output and claims this gives a better quality in audio output, compared to non-dithered players, such as the established native AMPlayer.
Gofer old time's sake
Once upon a time, in 1985, Haskell was drawn up as a standard functional programming language by an international committee. Although it tends to cause today's computer science undergraduates to pale, Gavin Wraith tells us that functional programming was all the rage in the 1980s.
"In 1991 Mark Jones, then at the Oxford Computing Research Group, produced a small Haskell interpreter so that he could experiment with Haskell's type class system at home on his PC. He called it Gofer", recalls Gavin, who used the Archimedes port by Brian Scattergood to teach first year students at Sussex University.
Although it was later superseded by Hugs, Gavin personally prefers Gofer and has thus ported version 2.30b to RISC OS. So, what can you do with it? "Apart from symbolic algebra calculations and using it as an aid to study FPs, not a lot, but I would be happy to be proved wrong. Somebody might find it fun", admits Gavin.
A little Help, please?
Following Castle's recommendation on providing end user help in software running on RISC OS 5, Adam Richardson has developed HelpScan, an application that lists all help available on a RISC OS computer. "It would be nice to get a bit of publicity for Castle's plan so that, hopefully, more authors implement the system", Adam told us. "I've only found NetSurf and Director (partially) implementing it so far."
News in brief
John-Mark Bell has developed TTF2f, an application that converts TTF and other font formats supported by FreeType2 to RISC OS format fonts, suitable for use with the RISC OS 5 Unicode font manager. John's also produced iconv, which "needs some more work" whilst providing character set conversion for other software - as an example, in this image, the top Netsurf window is using iconv and the window below is not.
Graphics package ProArtisan24 has been bug fixed, and vector art software DrawWorks XL now allows users to add whole directories of drawfiles to libraries.
David Llewellyn-Jones has released some new software: Igor, a simple telnet server, a port of libwww and an XML-RPC-C API library. Ext2/ext3 filesystem reader IscaFS has had its cache system fixed, boosting performance "radically". Finally, Dr. Wimp helper utility NurseW has been improved, as has Graphite, Marc Zinnschlag's flow chart-esque editor.
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