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Dude, where's my Impression-X?

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Oct 2004, 13:27:27 | Permalink | Printable

This time last year we were happy

Impression X project logoDespite taking up the project some twelve months ago, X-Ample are still working on making DTP package Impression 32bit compatible. A year on, some users have argued that the market is now in a worse position as before X-Ample took over Impression, users could at least buy Computer Concepts' legendary software and run it with Aemulor if required.

Once you have the source code to an application, converting it to 32bit is fairly trivial, although a moderately tedious task. We contacted X-Ample to see what the hold up is, as surely, it's not that difficult?

"Well, in a way it is, given the massive number of optimisation and 'tricks' CC used to make Impression run on a small footprint machine (e.g. 1MB on the old Arc). It's quite a number of source files and it needs extensive testing after completing one of them, as they are all inter-linked," explained X-Ample's Paul Reuvers. X-Ample are also juggling 32bit Impression, dubbed 'Impression-X', with other outside projects.

"Another problem we faced was that some of the tools used to create, compile, test and maintain the source, were in 26bit format themselves. We've spend quite a bit of time finding the sources to most of them, or recreating them where necessary. We're back on track now so, if all goes well, it should be too long."

Also, Paul tells us that users can buy the 26bit only version of Impression from X-Ample on CD, although this fact hasn't been well publicised and an announcement is being prepared. Contact them for more details if you're interested.

Meanwhile, David Pilling has released a new demo version of the Windows version of OvationPro, along with pricing and ordering details. OvationPro and Impression have been long time software rivals, in the RISC OS market.


X-Ample website

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I always preferred Ovation Pro over any version of Impression, and I used Impression first. It's just a gorgeous piece of software.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/10/04 8:31PM
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I recently tried the OvationPro RISC OS demo on my RO4.02, it imports my Impression Publisher nicely, is there an OvationPro 32bit version? Could a 26bit Impression file be imported into a 32bit OvationPro version? I also heard a few months ago that the RISC OS OvationPro will not be further developed because David is to focus on the Windows version market (is this temporary or not true?). Is the 26bit version now available from Xample the 'Impression-X' version, and does this version have new features?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 30/10/04 8:56PM
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Yep, Ovation Pro is 32-bit. Has been since before the release of the Iyonix.

I'd like to know about development of it as well - I heard that the Windows version has been written so development can run cocurrently on both versions, but I'm not sure what the current situation is.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/10/04 9:40PM
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I have both, Impression and Ovation Pro and I'm keen to get a 32 bit Impression. I prefer Impression partially since I know how it works and partially since some concepts of how it works are more like I want them. On the other hand Ovation Pro is good and the applet interface is nice.

Since furthermore I have the impression that David is not working on RISC OS Ovation Pro anymore but now work on Impression is planned that is a clear plus for Impression.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 31/10/04 5:08PM
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I thought that. But the applet stuff makes the software *so* extendable that in practice it doesn't make that much difference.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 31/10/04 6:46PM
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I guess the rumors I heard that most of the impression source code went up in fire were less than accurate. I never used Ovation Pro, but if it's better than Impression it's pretty amazing. I still find myself hankering for the days when I could fire up impression, Openoffice/MS Word seem to make tasks which would be as easy as pie on Impression huge ammounts of work.

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 1/11/04 12:19PM
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MS Word is a feature rich word processor, not a DTP package. If you want a simple program, MS Publisher is aimed towards DTP. If you want a powerful application, you'll be looking towards Quark XPress or my personal preference of Adobe Indesign. Getting things done quickly and efficiently is all about using the right tool for the job. The problem with Quark, Indesign and most other pieces of excellent (Windows, Mac, less so now for RISC OS as it is largely hobby driven) software is that they come with quite hefty price tags for a private or home office user.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 1/11/04 12:49PM
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Unfortunately, MS Publisher, last time I looked, had a desperately poor user interface. Word isn't without plenty of faults in that department, but much of that comes from trying to provide a massive number of features.

If I were doing DTP on Windows, I would probably be using OpenOffice. but of course, I have a RISC OS machine here, so I use OvationPro, which leads us full circle to why there's a version for Windows (which I haven't tried)

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/11/04 1:01PM
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I've had a brief play with the Windows version of OvationPro and it seems like it's quite competent. The GUI is very much as a RISC OS user would create one, although I found the lack of context-sensitive menus somewhat irritating (this largely comes from using InDesign a lot though). I can probably see OvationPro having a market filled by the competent amateur, as anyone who requires professional-level DTP won't have many of their needs satisfied by this package, and anyone of a lower level will be crying out for their MS Publisher wizards. Anyway, I sincerely hope that OvationPro continues to improve (I tried a version quite a few month ago, and this version seems nicer) as I think it's got potential to be a lovely mid-level app.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 1/11/04 2:40PM
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