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ROL surveys Select32 interest

By Chris Williams. Published: 15th Nov 2004, 21:57:34 | Permalink | Printable

You can't miss it

Select cogsRISCOS Ltd. contacted its Select subscribers today to gauge the demand for their 32bit Select. Perhaps throwing the survey out to non-subscribers too would be even more useful, but who are we to say.

"We are very interested to find out what the real level of demand is for a 32 bit version of Select, and the features that are expected of it," reads the notice sent via email.

"As you all may be aware Castle are not proceeding with the Merlin project and major developments on the RISC OS desktop features will be done by RISCOS Ltd via the Select scheme."

RISCOS Ltd. believe Merlin will be quietly dropped by Castle, as the merger of RISC OS 5 and 4 leaves ROL at the helm of desktop development, while Castle focuses on embedded technologies.

According to ROL, users can choose to either:
  1. transfer from Select to Select32
  2. add Select32 to an existing subscription
  3. join straight into Select32
  4. join both Select and Select32 (useful if you have two machines, we presume)

The ROL statement adds: "If you are an Iyonix user and would like Select to be available for it, then please let us know."

Users are invited to email ROL via their developer [at] riscos [dot] com email address, with a firm "yes, please".

Castle and RISCOS Ltd. recently signed a new licensing deal for the future development of RISC OS. RISCOS Ltd. have been working on a 32bit RISC OS since the start of summer this year, and AdvantageSix are already using Adjust32 in their ARM9 powered embedded products.

RISCOS Ltd. currently expects Select32 to be complete by late 2005, if there is sufficient demand.


RISCOS Ltd. website

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With the 32bit select demand just asking the select subscribers is a bit limiting as if someone just has an Iyonix then they are unlikey to be a select subscriber but would possible be interested in the 32bit select.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 15/11/04 10:36PM
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Well, as an Iyonix user with an Adjust ROMed RiscPC I'd buy it right away if it were available for Iyonix; and that without whatever Merlin ends up adding to the OS.

Personally, I'd prefer to hand over cash and get Adjust32 on a CD in exchange - I'm just old fashioned that way - but I can see why RISCOS Ltd prefer subscribers funding on-going developement. Adjust certainly shows that RISCOS Ltd can deliver on their promises.

Crumbs; can you imagine them turning round and saying there's insufficient interest ? I've no idea of the level of enthusiasm voiced for Merlin. Was that alone not warm enough to suggest that there was the demand from the Iyonix user base to make a Select32 (including Merlin) worthwhile ?

It must be one hell of a task to merge this forked OS - They are wise to tread carefully - Presumably the continuing success of Virtual RiscPC must make RISCOS Ltd wonder if their time would not be better invested developing that further.

Looks like 2005 will be another year of interesting twists and turns for users of our favourite opperating system.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 15/11/04 11:24PM
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I'm a little disturbed by this development. Firstly, how can ROL expect to gauge the "real level of demand" for a product if they don't actually ask the relevant people? Secondly, the impression I got from the SE Show was that the Merlin wishlist and relevant information was to be handed over to ROL. If ROL are now hoping that Castle will quietly drop Merlin and leave them to do desktop development, it suggests a lack of communication (which I find hard to believe as Paul M was in the room when Jack L stated that the details were to be handed over). Thirdly, and to my mind, more importantly, if ROL turn round and decide there's insufficient demand for a 32bit Select (or whatever) it leaves the future of RISC OS on the desktop looking rather bleak (as the desktop OS developer would be showing a distinct lack of interest/resources in moving the platform forward).

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 16/11/04 12:28AM
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I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that you need an Iyonix to utilise a 32bit select?

Could one assume that only some of the current Select users/subscribers have an Iyonix? If you do the survey seems seriously flawed by ignoring the largest pool of Iyonix owners i.e. the ones without Select.

The only people with a more complete list of Iyonix users, the most likely customers of 32bit select, is Castle. Why aren't Castle/ROL using their customer database to get an accurate picture of possible demand?

It almost seems like a survey designed for the purpose of establishing a low demand for 32bit Select - virtually guaranteed without surveying the owners of Iyonix machines. Will this then be used to justify NOT 32bitting Select?

 is a RISC OS Userrmac on 16/11/04 1:38AM
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rmac: The StrongARM is a 32-bit processor with a legacy 26-bit mode which RISC OS 4 uses.

So you could theoretically run Select32 on a RiscPC. Most likely the 32-bit version of Select, once merged with RO5, would implement RO5's HAL (how else would it run on the Iyonix?) so if ROL decided to make a compatible layer for Select32 to run on IOMD/VIDC in the RiscPC then it would run.

But then you have to ask yourself, why would you want a 32-bit OS on the RiscPC, particularly if it provides no extra features over Select26? As on Iyonix, 26-bit software would break and have to be run under an emulator such as Aemulor. The RiscPC is simply too old and slow to make this feasible.

I agree about the rather limited scope of the survey though - surely the Merlin wishlist is enough for ROL to realise that there is demand, but most of their potential customers are still just potential customers so there's no use asking only existing customers what the potential customers would like!

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 16/11/04 2:06AM
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I have an Iyonix but have not been a Select subscriber for a while (last installed version was 4.37)

The problem for me is not just whether or not Select 32 provides 'significant' improvements over RO5 but also the fact that I decided not to buy products again that require deposits paid or subscriptions in the hope that something useful is delivered the money you place in advance.

Until there is a finished product (like Adjust) then I can only ever be a potential customer.

I realise that people have found Select on a RiscPC to be a great improvement. For my useage patterns, Select did not provide any noticeable improvement over RO4 and a number of disadvantages. RO5 is pretty much what I want, fast stable and a clean simple desktop.

If aspects of Select/Adjust that make my Iyonix go noticeably faster were to be included without the multi-user logon (and the associated additional complexity in the Select !Boot) and GUI 'enhancements' then I might be interested in those improvements.

Ultimately the biggest problem for me is having to buy products from a company that I decided I wasn't going to buy from again.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 16/11/04 6:56AM
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I have just received a letter from RISCOS Ltd confirming my renewed Select subscription (dated 14th Oct) attached to and invoive and credit card slip (dated 17 September). So I know I am on the subscriber list. But I haven't received any emails about a 32bit Select. Mind you from the time it took to confirm my Select subscription, I'll probably have to wait until mid December.

Do I want a 32bit Select? Yes, I've got an Iyonix as well. What I would really like is a roadmap for RISC OS, show what is planned for the next 1-2 years in the same way other companies provide roadmaps for their OSs. That should indicate when Merlin and other features are in the development priorities and when releases are planned.

In the meantime I'm getting to likeLinux on Iyonix, having bought it at the SASAUG Show. maybe that's where the future lies.

 is a RISC OS Userchriswhy on 16/11/04 8:30AM
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ROL should know how many Iyonixs have been sold? Surely, wouldn't this info and Merlin Wishlist info would be shared between the "Now in Partnership" RISC OS companies? In one view, ROL are only asking the current market for a gauge of demand on Select32, on the other hand it sounds a bit of a daft question pointing to an uncertain RISC OS future "if there is sufficient demand" ? To justify 32bitting Select by the current user market doesn't make sense, forward thinking to produce Select32 for the future RO market and it's growth irrespective of considering the effective production cost factor for now! I strongly believe the future of the RISC OS market is our future growth, and not just us. We are not a big number to gauge any financial forecast on really? I wonder how costly it really is to produce Select32?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 16/11/04 8:51AM
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I think that the problem for those of us who have never experienced Select is to know what we will be getting for our money. RISC OS 5 already does what I need it to do, so I need a good reason to buy Select 32. However, the ongoing development and support of RISC OS is important, and if there are worthwhile improvments (ie not just cosmetic or things that I don't need like multi-user login) I will almost certainly support it. As an Iyonix owner who has never used Select, I would like ROD (as I suppose we should call them now) to send me a mail shot or even an email describing the existing Select features that will be included in Select32, plus their planned future developments and asking for support. If there are significant improvements existing or planned, I, and I am sure many other Iyonix users like me would be happy to subscribe. I think ROD are missing an opportunity here.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 16/11/04 9:12AM
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Sounds like ROL are trying to wriggle out from producing Select32. Perhaps I should just buy an Iyonix and quietly forget ROL exists With the promise of XScale for the Omega there is another interest group to be added to Iyonix users.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 16/11/04 9:15AM
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Running a 32bit OS on a RiscPC may have a use: RiscPCs are somewhat cheaper than Iyonixes if all you want to do is test your software builds for 32bit compatibility.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/11/04 10:00AM
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other benefits of a Select + RO5 on an RPC:

RO 5 allows huge memory slots,.

It would be the same OS as new machines would have.

If people (who otherwise would stick to 26 bit) migrate to a 32 bit OS, then it would encourage even more 32 bit updates, which must be good for the platform as whole.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 16/11/04 10:35AM
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If Select is not 32-bitted, it will only be usable in future under emulation (VARPC or a future Linux equivalent), which would result in the somewhat bizarre consequence that the main product of the company responsible for the platform's OS development wouldn't run on native hardware.

Now it may well be that an emulation-only strategy is practicable and defensible, even desirable, but if that /is/ ROD's business plan then I would hope they would make that clear. But their track record does not inspire confidence that such a pro-active approach will be adopted. Nonetheless, it is most important IMO that our main desktop OS developer has a clear strategy which they are prepared to defend and promote as required. Hopefully that will embrace modern native hardware in addition to any other solution.


 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/11/04 10:59AM
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CTL: OK, ROL, you can look after the desktop side of our OS and provide new versions for the Iyonix

ROL: Sounds good to me.

...some time late...

ROL: Anyone interested in 32bit Select? No? Didnt think so. Job done. Man, I'm good.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 16/11/04 11:09AM
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fonze, what the

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 16/11/04 11:27AM
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Select on the Iyonix is fundamental to ROD's (ROL's) plans for the future so I don't know where "ROL is trying to wriggle out of doing Select on the Iyonix comes from". They could have worded the posting better. As to why ask on the Select mailing list surely that is the obvious place to start (i.e. existing customers), I expect they will also ask on the Iyonix mailing list.

I do understand those people who are reluctant to use 'beta' software, and releases do need to be managed, but to some extent Castle have been doing that for the last two years and have not attracted criticism!

In view of the complaints (unjustified I believe) about Castle's recent email shot ROD may have been a bit wary!

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 16/11/04 12:21PM
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Hasn't select already been 32 bitted? A9 range.

The question is whether it will be ported to the Iyonix or it will be a new OS combining the best of both select and RO5.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 16/11/04 1:00PM
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Indeed. The question is actually more relevant than it appears. Select32 exists - but not Select for Iyonix. The two are different concepts.

Remember that running on an Iyonix requires two components: a 32-bit OS and suitable hardware-dependent code to run upon the machine.

ROL without question have a 32-bit version of Select; this is already running upon the A9 series as has been announced by Advantage Six's press release. My understanding from that press release is that they are able to ship to their corporate customers machines running Select32 on an Arm 9 based machine now. Advantage Six would no doubt have been involved in developing software to control the hardware specifics of their machine.

However, just because it runs on one design of Arm 9 machine or runs on the RISC PC doesn't mean it runs on any ARM based system (which is why Select32 wouldn't run on my phone, if I'm being silly about it!), and it is further development work to then develop for Iyonix hardware.

That work would therefore need to be done to integrate Select 32 with the Iyonix hardware, and that needs to be funded by the potential profits.

Clearly ROL are selling Select to Iyonix users not Castle, so no doubt it would be ROL who would be footing that development bill. Therefore enough users would have to want it to be worthwhile.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 16/11/04 1:28PM
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md0u80c9: OK, that all makes sense to me. But Castle have passed the batton of "desktop" development to ROD, right?

So, presumably, whatever the specifics of the question on the select list, the *real* question that they are asking is: "Do you want any further developement of a desktop version of RISC OS?"

Or have I missed some other option here? (Sorry if I'm being stupid!)


 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 16/11/04 1:34PM
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It makes sense to ask current Select subscribers whether they are interested in a Select32 as development of 32 would have to take a chunk of time/money away from the current Select. Having a ballpark figure for the number of current subscribers wanting to switch to Select32 or add it in to their current sub allows some idea of how much funding may be available before looking outside the current Select 'fold.' People with experience of Select can then more realistically know which of those features/improvements they would find useful and expect to see in Select32 and so it might enable development to be pitched towards what a majority would want. I'd hope that this is just the start of the process of getting the show on the road. The message was only sent at 2140 last night and seeks to gauge the "real level of demand" and "features expected of it". They state that "much of what was proposed for the Merlin project was not of general interest" suggesting they have worked through the Merlin list and now seek sensible suggestions. As we still have Risc PCs here, I'd be in the (b) add-in group.

 is a RISC OS Userxyzzy on 16/11/04 2:56PM
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Jess: you're right of course: Select32 does exist - for the A9 family. The problem is, the impression that was given when peace broke out between ROL and Castle of a coherent strategy for the future whereby Castle would concentrate on the embedded market and ROD would do desktop development already appears to be fragmenting, and ROL/ROD to be reverting to type, i.e., 'give us a wad of cash and we'll do you a version of the OS'. Hence Select32 for the ARM9. But what about ARM10/11/X-Scale?

Castle's strategy, of developing an OS core-plus-HAL, at least had the merit of being adaptable to other versions of the ARM, as I understand it. ROD's apparent strategy will simply replace hardware dependency with software ditto.

If I'm talking through my hat, please say: it wouldn't be the first time.


 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/11/04 5:13PM
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No, Select32 doesn't exist - Embedded Select32 does. The distinction is a matter of effort, which this is presumably to fund.

However, many of the proposed Merlin improvements are really quite different to those in Select - both are important in different ways, but I'm not so sure about "choosing" between them.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 16/11/04 6:00PM
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From the answers Jack & Paul gave at the SE show presentation, Select on the Iyonix will initially consist of softloaded components, untilising the exsiting HAL and hardware dependant drivers of RO5 (so all existing Iyonix hardware will containue to work).

Wotk on merging the Select and RO5 source trees will eventually result in a single ROM image incorporating both the RO5 HAL and the Select enhancements. This will still be softloaded on the Iyonix, and a vanilia RO5 image will remain in flash as a fall back. Although eventually when mature it there could be an Iyonix Adjust which would be committed to flash.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/11/04 6:06PM
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MrChocky - agreed that this is strictly true; the definition between what constitutes 'embedded RISC OS' and what constitutes 'desktop RISC OS' is blurry; I'd maintain the issue is more one of hardware compatibility than missing components. I think we would have to wait until a review or larger description of the A9 came out before we could comment on how much of 'desktop RISC OS' is present in the A9 series.

bucksboy: Where is your hat ;). The issue of processor support is one, but probably not the biggest issue by any means. I would suspect running on an XScale is the least of the problems.

A HAL is exactly what you describe: a 'Hardware Abstraction Layer'. It allows you to carefully define with as little code as possible, differences in machine architecture. All OSes have hardware dependency - 'ROD's apparent strategy will simply replace hardware dependency with software ditto' therefore makes no sense. Linux, to quote the 'daddy' of interoperability has fantastic hardware support, but still requires work to function on a new system. It is, to all intents and purposes, hardware dependent.

What a 'HAL' /isn't/ is a magic wand allowing RISC OS to work on any ARM machine thrown at it. RISC OS 5 stands as much chance of working on my phone as 4.37 does in that respect. The lack of suitable hardware support is the reason why unmodified 5.0X won't work on a RISC PC.

I'm not in a position to comment on whether or how complete Select 32's hardware independence is, BUT a HAL doesn't mean it's easy to port to any machine you like; it just means you provide entry points for a potential hardware manufacturer to insert their code. You still need to write code for every processor or controller chip in the system, and that takes time and money.

Normally the person doing that coding is the machine supplier; Castle are in the position that they don't need to do this as they're shipping 5.08. Therefore, ROL needs to pay for that development.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 16/11/04 6:14PM
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Sod porting an existing version of RISC OS onto a machine which /already has one/.

Surely it would be more use to try to move it onto ARM-based hardware which doesn't currently run RISC OS? For instance, there are many ARM-based machines which run WinCE. These can run other OSs - there are several versions of Linux which run on them to some degree, e.g. Familiar, Debian and OpenZaurus. Ergo, there is freely-available information out there on how to access the h/w of these machines. If there's any commonality to that platform, a port to this would be more use. While RISC OS might not be much use on an iPaq, it would be very useful on subnotebook-class machines, such as the Compaq Aero. Alternatively, Simtec's ARM development boards spring to mind.

If something must be dropped to free up development effort, then I'd ask why maintain Norcroft C/C++? Might it be possible to move to GCC instead, thus getting the benefit of a lot of external development work? BeOS did this around the move from r4 to r5, and it is, for example, possible to compile a compatible, working Linux kernel using Intel's C compiler instead of GCC.

 is a RISC OS Userlproven on 17/11/04 3:23AM
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How will this work? Exactly the same way as with Select on 26 bit machines?

That is to say IyonixPC's will continue to ship with the current version of RO5.0x and then as a user you can choose to buy a replacement Select version?

Or will IyonixPC's in the future start shipping with the current (stable) version of Select-32?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 17/11/04 6:58AM
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I really think that Select-32 as a seperate ongoing project is an irrelevence. The advances that ROD have produced in Select-26 should be made available for the Iyonix (or any new 32 bit machine that might become available), as a one off paid for upgrade. If RISC OS Developments is to be the guardian of desktop OS, it should be properly financed to develop and upgrade the unified OS for all users

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 17/11/04 9:59AM
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mdOu80c9: thank you for pointing out the non-sequiters in my post. In effect, RO5 and Embedded Select32 are not as dissimilar in concept as I thought. But the implication of ROD's question still makes me uneasy: why spend time establishing the /real/ level of support for something you've committed to do anyway? And if you're possibly not going to do it (as a result of the response), what then?

George (plus hat)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 17/11/04 11:38AM
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Then presumably they have other work on, and the question is simply which should take priority. If you were sat around with nothing to do, you wouldn't ask whether it's worth doing something ;).

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 17/11/04 12:46PM
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I have had my Iyonix for nearly 2 years, during which time I have received over 40 upgrades from Castle (excluding betas). If I don't subscribe to Select32, will I stop getting updates to RISC OS 5? When?

I have suscribed to Select(26) since it started and received 3 releases and 1 set of ROMs which I had to buy on top of my subscriptions. OK, the Select releases contained a lot more change that 1 of Castle's upgrades, but you have to wait a long time between releases for bugs to be fixed. besides my RPC is now shut down most of the time so I am not sure I need Select26 any longer.

If very few of us subscribe to Select32, does that mean no more development of RISCOS 5? Does it mean no more development of 32bit RISC OS in any form?

Given that in the past ROD have said a lot of the changes are under the bonnet in Select26 and that prevented providing the visible bits (Paint, Daw, Edit etc) for RISC OS 5, just how easy is to provide partial upgrades vias softloaded modules before a softloaded Select32 for Iyonix is available?

I would relly like to see a roadmap from ROD for RISC OS, the 26 bit and 32 bit5 select streams and RISC OS 5, what comes together when, what new developments are expected and what releases are planned. I am not asking for an exact list of developments for each release with exact shipment dates, rather a prioritised list of planned developments and which quater/year they are penciled in for. Other companies do this, why can't ROD?

 is a RISC OS Userchriswhy on 17/11/04 12:55PM
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chriswhy RO5 is however still eminently usable as an operating system. Having invested in CDROMFS Photo Filer and Win95FS upgrades I find there is little that I need or want from Select on my Iyonix (the last version of Select I have experience of is 4.37).

Whilst I can appreciate that Select/Adjust may be more elegant than RO5 as a user I am not going to 'poke around under the bonnet' as I do with cars and therefore elegance is of little importance to me unless it provides significant performance advantages.

The interesting question for me about what happens at a certain point when the two OS strands are merged. At that point is the Iyonix going to ship with the last iteration of RO5 or will we have to buy a product from ROD whether we want to or not?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 17/11/04 1:44PM
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If they were truly merged then that question wouldn't arrive, since there would only be one OS (whoever it comes from), and buying it would be part of the cost of the machine.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 17/11/04 4:45PM
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Simon When merged you are inevitably contributing to both ROD and Castle.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 17/11/04 6:07PM
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A case of wait and see. RO5 is (actually) fine enough and does what I need. If Castle were to continue to upgrade it, as they have, that would be fine enough for me. I can understand that that might not suit everyone - but then that's what this consultative process is all about, namely to find out what people want.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 17/11/04 7:28PM
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blahsnr: Well, yes, but why is that a problem? I thought you were implying buying a separate "merged" OS to replace an Iyonix-only RO5 that would come with that machine. Which sounded a bit odd to me.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 17/11/04 7:42PM
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> When merged you are inevitably contributing to both ROD and Castle.

Rather than paying Castle for something they stole from ROL?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ via on 18/11/04 4:35PM
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Realist > Whoa there man !

Ok, so ROL's version of RISC OS doesn't have a HAL, doesn't have UDMA support, nor Gigabyte network support, lacks some of the USB facilities of RO5, can't handle PCI the list goes on and on. And you say Castle "stole" it from ROL. The version Castle have is a variant of 3.8 that was used by both Pace (who at the time OWNED RISC OS) and ROL (ROL's version later became RO4.XX and Pace's (later Castle's) became 5.0X).

ROL since 1999 have managed to produce a version of RISC that (apart from maybe CYMK sprites, round buttons and gradient backdrops) has changed little and is only fractionally closer to 32bit than it was then (when ROL committed themselves to produce a 32bit RISC OS). Pace (repeat PACE) owned RISC OS (lock stock and barell) and sold their rights to Castle - LIVE WITH IT and move on.

I am no lawyer but what you've written sounds very much like slander, perhaps next time you can publish your actual name so you can stand over your words eh ?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/04 8:08PM
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[link] [link]

I doubt though that anyone clever enough to write such a comment would have done it from their own domain or account anyway :o)

According to dnsstuff netgeo is very out of date. My own gateway IP address appears to be located in California don't know if that is possible ;o)

I hadn't really considered the possibility that IP addresses were geographically traceable before. You learn something new every day. Thank you and goodnight!!

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 18/11/04 10:33PM
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Interesting thread.

First of all I'm not surprised that ROL - or should I now write ROD now - asks the Select subscribers only since they did expect all those wanting Select for the IYONIX pc to keep up subscribing to Select :-) As you remember they wanted our committment (read this as money) for their committment (read this as plans to do a Select for the IYONIX pc at some time in some future). But we know that their business model seems to be "Acquire new clients by asking the current ones if they want to be a client" ... and thus they address the Select and/or the Foundation subscribers. As for asking for future plans you should know that in the past AFAIR ROL never said which new feature will be available when but just what might make it into the next release with no dates mentioned.

My hope is that Castle will not sit back and let ROL/ROD stick to their way of doing things like they did until now (or to be precise: gave the impression of doing). One important issue as for Select for the IYONIX pc is what it really will be: Based on RISC OS 5 with Select-Add-Ons, or based on RISC OS 4.

Yes, I'm interested in the odd Select feature for my IYONIX pc but I will definitively wait until ROL/ROD has something to look at for the IYONIX pc before I put any money there since. Thus I can't write the mail with a firm "yes" to developer at riscos dot com since I wouldn't know what I would say "yes" to.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 19/11/04 08:37AM
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ROL had an exclusive licence to use RISC OS in the desktop market and they paid a lot of money for it. So not even Pace had the right to use it in that market without asking ROL. Castle could sell the stock of RISC OS ROMs in their RiscPCs and A7000s, because they had been produced by Acorn before ROL's licence was issued. So where did you get the idea that there was anything legal about Castle using a version of RISC OS in their IyonixPC desktop computer without a sub-licence from ROL? So Realist seems to be right in a way. Castle abused ROL's rights wich resulted in lost licence fees, and thus in financial damages to ROL. Because of that Castle was also able to offer their new desktop computer at a lower price, thus gaining an unfair advantage over their competition, likely resulting in lost sales for these companies.

Also we all now that ROL did quite a lot more to their version of the OS than only "CYMK sprites, round buttons and gradient backdrops". Also very few of us know what improvements they have done to RISC OS over the last year, maybe they have finished their ADFS replacement, wich might well support UDMA. PCI support is present in the Omega and probably also in the A9. The A9 probably also has USB 2.0 support, as well. Gigabit (not Gigabyte!) network support is a hardware issue, it probably would not be much harder to produce a gigabit network card driver for RO 4.4x than for RO5.xx. The HAL is only a minor issue, both versions of the OS have a good level of hardware abstraction.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 19/11/04 10:20AM
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AMS: Frankly, UDMA and Giga*bit* are driver issues, not OS issues. It's just there's no gigabit hardware for older machines. There's no support for PCI for similar reasons. I've not had much experience of the competing USB stacks, though. What features does Castle's lack? Last time I looked, it appeared that Castle's didn't even do HID properly.

It's nice that you know how far ROL's RISC OS is away from being completely 32bit. Other than that, Realist does seem quite vague and sensationalist. Although I'm not sure what he said classes as slander.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 19/11/04 10:47AM
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fwiw, as the statement was written, it's libel, and not slander which is for spoken statements. Statements are libellous if they defame someone, and defamation is well defined legally.

But this is annoying off topic. Sorry.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 19/11/04 11:11AM
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Nun: What makes you think UDMA is a really major step forward? It's relatively straightforward to do, it's just that there's no point doing it if ADFS doesn't have supporting hardware.

Basically, it boils down to changing the way ADFS talks to the memory-mapped registers; and that's quite easy really.

Probably took them one to two day's work, assuming they were familiar with the source code. Someone very familiar with ATA and with the source code could probably do it in a couple of hours.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 19/11/04 1:36PM
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Md0u80c9: What makes you think I think UDMA is a major step forward? I'm sure some of the other IDE podules can, or do do it.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 19/11/04 1:43PM
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Well, you listed it as a 'driver issue'. It's not - it's not needed because no hardware exists for it. It could be easily added, as I said, in 1-2 days maximum, if suitable hardware required ADFS to use it. Given a bus that supports transfers aiming anywhere near 33Mb/sec, and of course it would be an issue. NB Omega and RiscStation use their flavours of IDEFS, which are much more advanced than ADFS in many ways.

My point is that although it's touted as such, it's not really a 'great leap', it's more a minor tweak to adapt to the hardware. The podules don't need to - because their transfer rate bandwidth is 6Mb/sec, and maximum possible given the constraints of Filecore's efficiency is around 3-4Mb/sec.

The 'great leap' is actually having hardware that /needs/ it :).

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 19/11/04 5:00PM
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Md0u80c9: When I said "driver issue" I meant that in the sense of it having nothing to do with the OS itself. And I'm sure some of the IDE podules could do something akin to it if the hardware did support it. Most people also seem to forget that ADFS is not a file system - it's the IDE driver for the motherboard's onboard controller. I also wasn't saying UDMA could be implemented in ADFS for RiscPCs. Because it can't. But it could be in one of the various flavours of IDEFS.

Filecore needs rewriting. It utterly sucks compared to any modern file system these days, and has done for some time. The non-reenterancy of it, and its horrible slowness aren't nice either. What might be a nice idea is a new Filecore that acts as a proxy for other modules providing different file systems, so you could use all the current ADFS/IDEFS/ATAFS/etc drivers, and yet still have a choice of file system to run on top of them.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 19/11/04 5:22PM
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In reply to

You write "Also we all now that ROL did quite a lot more to their version of the OS than only ... Also very few of us know what improvements they have done to RISC OS over the last year ..." First you write that we all know that ROL did and then that just a few know about the improvements :-)

Well, sorry I have to say this, but until now I never got a list of the benefits ROL built into RISC OS from the user's point of view, that is things like DCHP, or round buttons e.g. On their list of new things in RISC OS (I don't remember the URL, I mean the site with the CVS infos included) there are quite a few changes which are absolutely uninteresting like module so-and-so inserted into CVS or amended for new compiler or reference to Acorn removed which does increase the number of changes quite a bit. Since ROL never published a new features list to attract potential clients you can get the impression that that list would be too short ... as I wrote I mean a list with features that appeal to the end user! What I do know is that the initial missions like 32 bit and HAL which were reasons I subscribed to Select since those things would bring RISC OS forward, were dropped a while ago. But perhaps now they come back into life.

But anyhow, let past be past and I couldn't care for the legal issues looked into above less since now Castle and ROL/ROD have an agreement and the question arises what we might get in the future. So I sincerely hope that they will not let us stay in the dark but tell us what they will offer and what we are asked to pay for it.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/11/04 10:16AM
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I'm an Iyonix owner that subscribes to Foundation RU (ROL's CD magazine) but not to Select. I thought that made me an obvious and accessible potential customer but no info received here.

Since I gather that there is no proposed list of contents available anywhere I'm not going to go looking.

So how do ROL propose to turn me into a customer for Select32?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/11/04 4:50PM
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I haven't been contacted by ROL :-( I guess I'm not the only one so their survey will be even less meaningful!

 is a RISC OS UserBassy on 22/11/04 09:20AM
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The simple fact is that ROD might not be out for a 'meaningful' survey, just a quick one. For example, if 100% of those asked had said yes to a 32bit select, then they might feel doing a more complex (and costly) survey is unnecessary, only if the results show a medium to low 'yes' count might they feel the need to do a more complex survey. Asking current customers is always going to be a low cost method to obtain low value data, but the data should be good enough to simply say, "wow, we must do this now!!!" or "ok, we need to go and collect more data." I'm really surprised how much fuss who ROD ask questions to can cause!

 is a RISC OS UserRimmer on 22/11/04 10:33AM
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I ommitted saying I was an existing select subscriber hence my chagrin about not being contacted.

Since ROL/ROD have publicly committed themselves to merging the 2 OSs by mid 2005, they need to know how it will be financed. Subcription of 1 off? Hence the survey (however limited).

 is a RISC OS UserBassy on 22/11/04 12:30AM
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Not true. /Castle/ have publically committed to merging the two OSes - it will be the responsibility of their team to get that sorted.

ROL are asking whether it's financially and practically worth porting Select32 for Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 22/11/04 1:24PM
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In reply to Chris:

ROL/ROD have NOT asked subsribers to Select, Foundation or any other list of potential customers. What they did was post the question on the RISCOS Select Smartgroup, so it went to a really small audience. This annoys me, and has done so in the past, because I don't read the smartgoup daily, I just get the digest and read it every 2-3 weeks and look at any posts that may be interesting. Unless i am looking for the answer to a Select question, not very frequent.

 is a RISC OS Userchriswhy on 22/11/04 3:11PM
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Chris W: Huh? I'm confused: -You subscribe to the Smartgroup because you're a Select subscriber. -You acknowledge it's the main communication channel between the developers and the userbase. -And then you complain that they didn't ask you because you didn't read it??? -And that's therefore /their/ fault?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 22/11/04 3:29PM
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It's a signal to noise ratio thing. If you're only interested in the odd specific answer to a question or off announcement then it's a lot to filter through to find just that. To put it another way: there are more effective ways for getting people's attention than newsgroups/forums. Email, for instance, if your spamfilters are working :) -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 23/11/04 09:44AM
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I think it's the words used that are confusing (since they are in quotes, I presume it's ROL's words, not Drobe's reporting, that's the problem):

"We are very interested to find out what the real level of demand is..." would seem to be best addressed to a wider community. The easiest 'wide' community is ROL's current subscription customers, viz Select and Foundation subscribers. Using the Select mailing list is choosing a subset of a subset.

Perhaps some interested party could repost the message on the Iyonix Smartgroup? *That* would reach a relevant audience.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/11/04 7:04PM
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