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Select for Iyonix spotted in public

By Chris Williams. Published: 9th Jun 2005, 10:59:08 | Permalink | Printable

RiscWorld nabs a surprising scoop

What's going on here, then?It's claimed that an early version of Select for the Iyonix was on display during some of Wakefield 2005 show, although RiscWorld was amongst the few to spot it.

In the latest issue of the CD based magazine, editor Aaron Timbrell reports that the joint APDL/RISCOS Ltd. stand "had a new softloadable version of RISC OS Adjust on sale as well as an Iyonix which the keen eyed might have noticed spent some of its time running a beta version of Select32."

It turns out that the APDL stand, shared with ROL, did exhibit an Iyonix and Aaron has since confirmed to us that there is no mistake: it was allegedly running Select32 at some point. He explained, "If you remember the floor plan the Iyonix was on the APDL/ROL stand facing towards the Advantage6 stand."

David Holden of APDL said today: "We did have a development version of Select32 at Wakefield but I received it only a couple of days before the show and although I understand it was working OK on [RISCOS Ltd. managing director] Paul Middleton's Iyonix it didn't seem to like mine."

He continued: "As you can imagine I was too busy to sort out the problems in the short while remaining before the show, but I took the machine hoping that I would be able to find time to get it running. After a bit of fiddling from myself, Dave Bradforth and Aaron we did get it working, but not properly. This is probably why most people would have seen the machine either switched off or running vanilla RISC OS 5, certainly during Saturday."

In April this year, RISCOS Ltd. stated that RISC OS 4 was now largely 32bit compatible, an undertaking independent of Castle, who say they own 32bit RISC OS 5. In November 2004, RISCOS Ltd. predicted that Select32 would be complete by around late 2005, "if there is sufficient demand", and previously called on Castle to cooperate in the production of Select for the Iyonix.

It's understood from those close to RISCOS Ltd. that the development team have spent most of their time abstracting hardware dependencies and preparing the OS for the A9home.

David added: "I would stress that this was just a 'preview' version and is really not yet ready for public showing. The only reason it was at Wakefield was because there is a lot of interest in this project and we were hoping to demonstrate that although there's still a lot of work to be done real progress has been made."

RiscWorld is published by APDL and Volume 6 Issue 1 should be with subscribers this week.

RISCOS Ltd. were unavailable for immediate comment.

Links

RISCOS Ltd. website

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Discussion

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It looks like progress is being made and hopefully select for the Iyonix should be released in the near future.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 9/6/05 12:26PM
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This is fantastic news as long as ROL and CTL follow through with it. Jack Lillingston seemed to imply at the show that the ball was very much in ROL's court at the moment (whether that acutally is the case or not I don't know) so to see them get as far as a semi-public preview of 32-bit Select on the Iyonix is extremely encouraging.

The question then is what will happen to RO5 if Select32 is completely converted to run on Iyonix? I can't imagine Castle would just dump it after all the work that's been done on it. Real merging of features also needs to take place and so far we still haven't seen any co-operation on this kind of level.

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 9/6/05 12:54PM
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There is a serious problem emerging for software developers based on the number of varients of OS and hardware. Right now I can think of about 8 different OS varients/hardware platforms (maybe more) for RISC OS apps, each wildly different from the next. Even from a users' perspective, I see problems gauranteeing the software that you buy will work on the system you own. Whilst of course it is down to us as developers/publishers to ensure as much compatibility as we can, it makes it more and more expensive to support/develop RISC OS apps. It doesn't help the huge number of RO4 varients tht now seem to be running on different hardware. From an outsider's perspective - which is better 4.40 or 5.09? (based on version numbers) All rather confusing.

I can't help feeling that Iyonix Select and the A9 should really be classed as RISC OS 6. That would leave OS 4 as 26bit RiscPC era hardware. RO5 as Iyonix/32bit castle. RO6 as 32bit RISCOS Ltd (assuming that Iyonix-Select is similar to the OS in the A9, which may be too much to hope).

But perhaps that would be too simple and logical. Here's hoping.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 9/6/05 2:30PM
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arawnsley:

The multiple versions of OS and hardware are certainly a problem for developers (and one which I sympathise with), but in some sense it's a good problem that's a sign of a vibrant market. Particularly from an "outsider's perspective", the idea of multiple vendors competing in these areas is a healthy indication. The problem in the PC/Windows world is far far worse.

As far as the numbering of the OS is concerned, I'm not sure that what you suggest is really as sensible as it seems. We've already had "number trumping" before and it doesn't really make things clearer. Especially since there are benefits to both RO 4 and RO 5 which in my opinion (as a user of both versions) means that neither is a clear advance over the other.

If Castle and ROL can manage to create a single merged version, then that would be the time to call it version 6.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/6/05 2:47PM
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As the ROM chips on the Iyonix are flash-upgradeable, I really do not see the point in having a soft-loading version of Select-32 for the Iyonix. When ROL send out the its discs to subscribers with IyonixPCs, it should contain an utility that will reprogramme the ROMs to Select-32, and one that can reflash them to the current vanilla release of RO5, if the user wants to switch back.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 9/6/05 3:16PM
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JWCR: At least to begin with, I think it'll be easier to have a softloaded. The time for re-flashing will come (as flyping hints at) when the two branches finally remerge. If each still has its own advantages then the best approach is whatever makes the switching easier, which would be to softload one of them.

Anyway, it all sounds like good news, although the pessimist in me wonders if it'll somehow be the spark for another RO Ltd - Castle dispute :-(

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 9/6/05 3:24PM
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It seems to me that RISC OS 6 should not be contemplated unless and until the separate developments of RISC OS 4 and RISC OS 5 come together into a single, unified tree (however feasible that is). If there is one new OS that can work on any modern hardware (Iyonix, A9, Virtual RPC and whatever else might emerge), and we don't have different people developing the OS in multiple opposing directions, then that's the time to call it RISC OS 6 (and to rejoice at the new-found unity it brings); not before.

Even if it were to happen, though, developers would still be faced with support issues for existing RISC OS 4 (whatever flavour) and 5 users. It would take a long time for there to be widespread adoption of any hypothetical RISC OS 6, and existing software would still have to cater for the machine it's running on, so introducing RISC OS 6 would add just one more combination to cope with, regardless of how good a move it might be for the future.

Anyway, practically, I would imagine that there would be some significant technical differences between Iyonix Select and RISC OS 4.4 as seen on the A9, even if the APIs are compatible and the actual 'bullet-point features' turn out to be much the same.

(Disclaimer: I'm speaking entirely for myself, not on behalf of RISCOS Ltd, Castle or anyone else. I can't comment on what they're doing; if I could, I wouldn't be posting this! ;-))

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 9/6/05 3:45PM
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If anything, maybe wait until we are a little closer to 2006 before considering RISC OS 6 name?

Although I don't quite see a "big" difference between RO4 & RO 5, but it would make more sense to a new market user the name RO 6 in 2006?

What about PCs? Does XP Windows support all or any of its earlier software products from Windows '93, '95, '98 era? (I don't personally know). I was just wondering by a RISC OS/Windows comparison.

On a similar line, I get odd remarks from PC users when I mention that I have the music software Sibelius7 and most PC users only know of Sibelius 1, 2, and the latest 3.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 10/6/05 11:33AM
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it is becoming very rare to find software that supports windows 95 and below.

I have come across a lot of badly written programs (sometimes correctly written) which fail to work on XP mostly due to the direct NT support

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 10/6/05 12:25PM
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I worry about the issue arawnsley and others are pointing out, in that the amount of different versions of the OS is getting very difficult to support - we may end up buying totally seperate versions of a program, depending on wether one uses OS4, Select26, OS5, Adjust32 or Iyonix Select and being forced to upgrade when one changes OS, never mind any new features the upgrade may or may not offer!

I hope both Castle / ROLtd (ie. the -seemingly competing- OS developers) and (commercial) software developers can agree upon a certain compatibility standard upon which to assure as much software compatibility exists among the various versions of RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 12:39PM
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the great thing about Acorn in their hey day, is that you brought a computer with the latest version of the OS, and that was it, there weas no other 'flavours' of the OS

Question - You have purchased a 1000 computer, would you spend more money on it, to replace the specifically designed OS for it, and replace it with an un-tested OS designewd by differnt people.

Now, I have the money for select for my RISC PC, and will be buying it for that, is it is the latest.

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 10/6/05 1:19PM
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em2ac: I hardly think that Iyonix Select will be sold untested, and it's not as if it would be written by people who have never seen an Iyonix in their life. If there are any problems with the initial release I can't see why they wouldn't get rectified sooner or later.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 10/6/05 2:15PM
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em2ac Indeed. RO5 seems to function just fine. So why spend more for something that will inevitably (on the Iyonix) have undergone less testing than RO5?

SimonC Re testing why should Iyonix Select be any different to 26bit Select? ;o)

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 10/6/05 3:48PM
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SimonC: What I meant was would you use a BMW, with a Merc engine in it? Which would run better?

Sure you can modify the engine but would it be as reliable / effiecent?

Does ROL or whatever they are called, know the specs of the iyonix to the last chip?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 10/6/05 3:50PM
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"Does ROL or whatever they are called, know the specs of the iyonix to the last chip?"

That is a very good question em2ac - they should know the exact specs of the Iyonix to be able to offer a stable, complete version of Select32. As was mentioned, ROLtd asked the cooperation of Castle to bring Select to the Iyonix. Now, this is the point where it remains silent... Mr. Middleton has said on different occasions they first intend to bring Adjust to the A9home, of which they'll probably know the exact specs because Ad6 wants Adjust32 to be its primary OS. When there is 'sufficient' demand, work will continue to develop a version of Select/Adjust for the Iyonix, which will hopefully offer the same functionality RO5 has as standard besides the obvious known Select enhancements. I wonder how cooperation between the OS developers is progressing.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 4:52PM
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simple questions:

select/adjust32 - does it fully support the USB on Iyonix?

select/adjust32 - does it fully support the graphics acceleration on Iyonix?

RO4.40 may be OK for an A9 - but how much of the RO5 stuff will be implemented?

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 10/6/05 6:01PM
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Indeed. And how much of that work are ROL going to have to do for themselves (reinvent the wheel, so to speak) because they don't have access to the RO5 source code?

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 10/6/05 7:14PM
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Hopefully there won't be too much duplication. My understanding of the situation (from [link] ) was that Castle and ROL had reached agreement that the two branches would merge. So whoever is doing the merging must have access to the source for both versions. Right?!

I'd hope that Iyonix Select will represent the merged version.

Incidentally, TIB has an interesting quote from ROL regarding Iyonix Select. [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/6/05 7:28PM
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Sorry, that IconBar link got broken. It should have gone to this: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/6/05 7:32PM
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ROHC: "select/adjust32 - does it fully support the USB on Iyonix?"

It definitely should, if it in any way pretends to be a worthwhile replacement for RO5. Imagine installing it and not being able to use the mouse, because it relies on Castle's USB stack...

"select/adjust32 - does it fully support the graphics acceleration on Iyonix?"

Again, it definitely should and in some sense it must, because the Iyonix relies on it for its display.

"RO4.40 may be OK for an A9 - but how much of the RO5 stuff will be implemented?"

Some features were already implemented in Select, like DHCP, whereas others not, like UMDA. I can only expect Select for the Iyonix to build upon the functionality already present in RO5 to offer a definite, uncompromising upgrade for existing users.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 10:57PM
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Pleae excuse me for saying the mouse relies on Castle's USB stack, that's rubbish ofcourse, since I assume it isn't hardwired or anything and is just your average USB mouse. My point was that Select on the Iyonix must have support for USB, as it is pretty essential for your average use. It seems obvious it'll use the Castle USB stack, as opposed to the A9home's Adjust32, but ofcourse we'll have to wait and see to be sure...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 11:08PM
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Would Select for the Iyonix have the same support for the Castle USB stack as Select and Adjust have on the A7000 RPC for the Castle USB stack?

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 15/6/05 7:15PM
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