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By Chris Williams. Published: 16th Jul 2005, 14:15:25 | Permalink | Printable

Podcasting client, RISC OS on Java, PDF generation and more

Headphones with codeThe latest craze tearing through the savvy Internet denizen population is podcasting. It is typically a combination of RSS XML and MP3 files to ultimately enable anyone with a website and a microphone to become their own independent broadcaster. Users record their own audio piece, upload it and create an XML file that links to these MP3 files. Other users can then check the XML file and download any new broadcasts. Although it's used by various bloggers who love the sound of their voice, larger broadcasters have caught on, including the Beeb who are podcasting some programmes in a trial this year.

The good news is that Carlos Michael Santillan has created and released spc, a podcast client for RISC OS. His software will download a podcast RSS XML file, fetch the associated MP3 files and finally build a DigitalCD playlist for users to listen to the audio.

Emperor's robes
Gareth Boden's project to develop a RISC OS environment emulator in Java continues to make progress. His work, which can be found on sourceforge, includes an ARM processor emulator and aims to recreate the RISC OS SWI API so that native software can be executed on alien architectures. Gareth told us, "Quite a lot of simple command-line programs now work just fine". Nearly 80 SWIs and over 60 C library functions are now implemented and a similar project attempted some time ago called riscose has, according to Gareth, only a third of the SWIs that his project has implemented.

"I've been working with Draw Plus, since Jonathan Marten kindly made the source code publicly available - of course this necessitated me getting SharedCLibrary working but that wasn't so hard after all, although I was very glad riscose had reverse engineered some of the initialisation behaviour," he commented.

"Draw Plus is a great test because it uses an awful lot of different RISC OS APIs. So far, it executes most of the initialisation code from Draw Plus up until the point where it fails to find Trinity.Medium because no such font exists on Mac OS X."

News in briefIn brief
Steve Fryatt has developed PrintPDF, which simplifies the process of generating PDF files on RISC OS with Ghostscript. The software is currently in beta and Steve says he will welcome any feedback from users.

SpamStamp 1.03 now supports statistics for multiple users, is more friendly towards AntiSpam, supports encoded message headers, and includes some bugfixes too. Liquid Silicon have halved the price of AddressIT, a CD based postcode-address database. Web gallery generator WebGen2 is now up to version 2.19 and includes various tweaks. For Version 2.20 author Dave Stratford promises to use CSS for the layout of galleries. High quality graphing application Tau now supports 24 bit colour output for drawings.

Software development aid DrWimp is now up to version 4.30, as well as NurseW, and includes font blending support, window position saving, system variable support and various other updates. Ext2/Ext3 filesystem reader IscaFS has been bugfixed to version 0.17. Stephen Revill's Routines programming library now provides buffered access to files, which can increase performance on filesystems such as ADFS and NFS. Variations 0.41 now supports thumbnail sorting and searching as well as various other updates. Compo 1.23c also adds an area image blur effect, the ability to bleed into a canvas plus other tweaks. Both are available from author Rob Davison's website.

And finally, Acorn users are invited to XzentriX 2005, a three day event in Germany for alternative computer users. With all the hallmarks of a nostalgic nose-bleed-techno music fuelled demo party, the organisers say it's "a party for people who love their computer more than their wife and kids, and dogs". Just make sure you leave your PC at home. The event is scheduled to take place in September.

Also, the fat lady has finally sung for ISP Argonet.


News? Comments?

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Looks like there's no shortage of good development work going on B-)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/7/05 4:40PM
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Is there also a RISC OS Application, which can handle a Nokia 7250i to a RISC PC and show the images from Camera on Display ?

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 16/7/05 9:17PM
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Buy an Iyonix and a Sony-Ericsson K750i....


 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 18/7/05 1:07PM
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I can reccomend the Sony Ericsson K750i, very nice phone.

 is a RISC OS Userjonesd98 on 18/7/05 8:47PM
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& camera & walkman & mass storage device... :-D

What gets me is that my *phone* has 1GB of storage :-o

...was only 6 years ago I got a HD of that size for my RiscPC

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 19/7/05 10:33AM
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Re Gareth Boden's Java emulation project, I don't understand whether the alien hardware would need to be running an OS already (such as WinXP etc) or wheither the emulator would execute at hardware level and present a RISC OS desktop to the user. In other words, would the RO apps run within an alien desktop environment or not?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/7/05 1:45PM
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bucksboy: it appears you will need an underlying OS (such as WinXP) to execute the RISC OS environment. so yes, the RO apps run within an alien desktop environment. The difference between Gareth's project and VirtualRiscPC, is that Gareth's project doesn't need a copy of RISC OS and will appear as separate applications, rather than inside an emulated display (as per VRPC).

All as far as I understand Gareth's work.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 19/7/05 2:17PM
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Wouldn't an emulator be incredibly slow when written in java? Or is that part of the emulation? *ducks*

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 19/7/05 6:35PM
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No. Quite apart from the fact that Java, by itself, isn't slow, read the previous article on the issue. JITed Java (or any language) should approach the speed of fully compiled code.

However, I suspect Gareth's work won't be as fast as Nick Burrett's equivalent work on QEMU to run RISC OS binaries under Linux. I'll be making a version of that available soon for people to try.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/7/05 6:56PM
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On the subject of cameraphones, those which support OBEX transfers via serial, IR or Bluetooth (or even other mechanisms) could be supported under RISC OS by a port of something like obexftp (and openobex), although I guess you'd have to start with the device drivers first. ;-) This method isn't going to show you live footage from the 'phone, if that's what was meant by "showing the images".

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 19/7/05 9:45PM
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Well, you asked for it: [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 20/7/05 3:29PM
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in reply to mrchocky: Downloaded that, but when i click twice on it, it says: Bad Archive.:-((( Please Help!

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 29/7/05 5:44AM
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Did you understand at all what the program does, by for example, looking at the ReadME? If you did, you'd understand that it's a Linux program - there's no reason for it to be readily accessable on RISC OS. Of course, you could apply the bzip2 port to it - the clue is the .bz2 extension.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 29/7/05 9:18AM
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