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Spellings.net to open e-shop for software

By Chris Williams. Published: 3rd Dec 2004, 09:52:29 | Permalink | Printable

Aemulor, CinoDVD, Geminus, DeskDebug all under one roof

Spellings.net are to create an online home for all their software titles, thus injecting a little coherency into their product range.

The Internet shop will open early in the new year, says Neil Spellings of Spellings.net, who also noted the benefits of online distribution of software: costs are kept to a minimum allowing more cash to be passed onto the developers, and the ability to deliver software and upgrades 24 hours a day. The notion of sticking purely to online sales is certainly not a new concept, and you could even claim that in 2004, it's a tried and tested method of doing business. However, that's not to say it's a poor idea, and if it keeps the Spellings.net team developing RISC OS software, then it's a smart approach to take.

Neil has also asked for any software authors who are "interested in online commercial opportunities" to contact him, which is a good initiative because perhaps if some RISC OS developers were paid a little more, they'd stick around longer. The last time we heard, which was 2002, his company employs three staff and enjoys a turnover of around 100,000 quid. Neil also wants to start bundling relevant hardware, such as graphics cards and LCD monitors, with his company's software.

The Spellings.net team, consisting of Neil and programmer Adrian Lees, first started out with Aemulor, but are now also juggling the development and marketing of CinoDVD, Geminus and DeskDebug. In a way, the team are treading on thin ice with the user base, having somewhat hyped up CinoDVD and Geminus, and now DeskDebug, while offering no real release timescales. The fact that Aemulor has proved to be such a success and turned out to be a pivotal component in the RISC OS platform's migration to 32bit ARM cores, means the Spellings.net team have earned themselves enough trust to ward off accusations of vapourware.

DeskDebug screenshotWe reported yesterday that Spellings.net are to be the distributors for Niklaus Weiss' DeskDebug, a new development tool for programmers, and that it'll be at the Midlands show on Saturday. We now know that DeskDebug will cost 50 quid (ex VAT) and is RISC OS 3.5-5 compatible, but won't be available until Q1 2005.

In an announcement this morning, Neil added: "I'm very excited to welcome Niklaus as our second programmer. Niklaus has spent many years working on this, which shows in its ability to offer advanced features and continue where other debuggers fall short."

DeskDebug enables programmers to more easily hunt down bugs and crashes in their software, allowing them to hopefully release more stable software to end users. DeskDebug includes features such as single step through ARM instructions, source code and WIMP redraw and message handlers,ARM and FPU register display, breakpoints, context, stack and variable display for C procedures and error trapping.

Author Niklaus, a Swiss RISC OS user, says he's been working on the software for the past five years, and most incredible of all, it consists of 12,000 lines of ARM assembler.


Spellings.net website

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I think the fact we are also open about development progress on all our projects is another factor to counter "vaporware" fears -we attend all the shows and demonstrate everything including "work in progress". Those who attended Guildford show would of seen Cino running significantly faster than shown previously, plus it running on a second monitor, previously impossible under RISC OS.

With limited resources, software projects can and do run late, but we have a choice of releasing "alpha quality" products to end users and fielding dozens of "this doesnt work"-type support calls, or waiting until things are release quality, keeping our customer based fully informed whilst they are waiting. Hopefully users appreciate we choose to do the latter.

From my personal perspective, slow but steady active development for RISC OS is far better than no new developments whatsoever :)

See you at Birmingham!



 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 3/12/04 10:17AM
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Amazing work by Niklaus - when released this should improve software quality drastically, thus a very worthwhile base for future investment and should strengthen future commercial developments and could help to re-stabilize RO market. Ofcourse it may also help RO Ltd with the OS itself...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/12/04 2:27PM
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Also worth pointing out (utterly shameless plug!) is that spellings.net web hosting facility is excellent. I believe gcse.com is hosted by them, and it's rock solid. With over a million hits a month, it's high-grade hosting too. Recommend it to anyone...

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 3/12/04 9:08PM
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Excellent news Neil.

It makes sense to not only have your own software online 24/7 but more sense to encourage other authors and developers to work together this way to save costs and pass on these benefits which appears to make as much sense as ROD & CTL joining forces recently!?!

Wow, 5 years to produce DeskDebug! Sounds like a lot of work done by Niklaus, it must be a long awaited important piece of software for RO programmers, have we not had "anything" like this before?

Wasn't there suppose to be some RO4 &/or Iyonixs hardware changes to allow CinoDVD to run at maximum or more suitable speed? I recall an article about 6 months ago talking about it.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 4/12/04 6:03AM
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Good news! With Aemulor they proved that online sales of software works, even when the user gets a presonal, registered copy. I remember when I upgraded to Aemulor Pro, I went to the site, logged in, selected the upgrade with credit card payment, my card was checked online and very shortly (I'm talking about about a minute) I got the download link for my registered copy. AFAIR I did that on a sunday. That is what I consider a good kind of online store and a very good way of offering software.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 5/12/04 8:53AM
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