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ROL cuts deal with Omega users

By Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Sep 2005, 19:18:06 | Permalink | Printable

In brief: Select features freebie pondered

ROL logoRISCOS Ltd. are running a special offer on RISC OS Adjust for Omega users. While a copy of Adjust can cost up to 125 quid for existing RISC OS 4 users, owners of the StrongARM powered MicroDigital computer can pick up a set of new RISC OS 4.39 ROMs for 69 quid. The offer lasts until the end of November.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that ROL last released a version of Select, upon which Adjust is based, in mid-2004, work is still said to be on-going towards Select 4. Since the release of Select 3i4, ROL had been distracted by negotiations with Castle and the development of Adjust-32 for the A9 range of computers. Not all the features in Select 4 will make it into the OS used in the A9home, though.

"The apparent progress on any project is often not related to the amount of work going on behind the scenes. For example, to the public there hasn't been anything apparently new since May 2004, however A9 developers are already able to see some of the new features that will become Select 4, and hopefully the final stages of the A9 development will lead on very quickly to a Select 4 release for all users," said ROL managing director Paul Middleton.

He commented, "It is unfortunate that the release of Select 4 is taking longer than originally planned, but the decision to move over to the new 32 bit neutral source, was a decision that had to be taken at some point, and I am sure that there will be few users who will complain that we should have not developed a 32 bit RISC OS 4 and should have instead stayed stuck with a 26 bit OS and ignored the potential of the new 32 bit only processors."

Paul added that particular OS features that form part of the Select scheme, which has been running since 2001, may be released for free to entice users into subscribing to Select or purchasing Adjust on ROM.

Links

RISCOS Ltd. website

Previous: RISC OS 5.10 readied for release
Next: Iyonix USB mice and keyboard drivers updated

Discussion

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My Select sub is coming up for renewal - I've paid it for 2 years as I hoped I would see something for my Iyonix. Please ROL, give me some reason to keep giving you money....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 22/9/05 7:38PM
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Good news for Omega users! Roll on ROAdjust32 and Select 4.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 22/9/05 7:44PM
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markee174> ROL seems to have the interests of Omega users (yes that up and coming platform), A9 users (more than the 6 who voted in the recent poll I hope) and RISC PC users at heart. Iyonix with it's large existing userbase doesn't seem to rate.

My advice is simple, RO 5.10 is out, it costs nothing and has the neat feature of actually running on an Iyonix.

Now what you do with your money is your business, but if it were me I'd save the money until ROL see sense, or use the money saved to buy software from companies that *do* support Iyonix users. Eventually ROL may get the message and wise up (I hope) if they don't RO 5.XX is good enough (and getting progressively better.....).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 22/9/05 7:48PM
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"I am sure that there will be few users who will complain that we should have not developed a 32 bit RISC OS 4"

I *hope* that there are very few users who would say ROL should have stuck with a 26-bit OS. However, there might be an argument for saying it would have been better if they'd developed the 32-bit version in collaboration with Tematic, rather than starting from scratch.

I suppose it's possible that option wasn't available to them at the time?

Regarding the offer, it looks like very good value. Given the hard time Omega owners seem to have been having lately, it's good to see something positive they can take advantage of.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/9/05 7:51PM
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I would hope that the release of any 32bit neutral version of the OS is a step on the way to the merger of versions 4 and 5 compleatly.

 is a RISC OS UserYorkey on 22/9/05 7:57PM
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Its the "Anyone else bar Castle" attitude of RISC OS Ltd again.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 22/9/05 8:06PM
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Most users want ROL to succeed and want 1 unified RISCOS (at least to our external view). It would not take much to keep Iyonix users onboard (some addins giving some Select functions with gradual releases).

At the moment, it just looks like the subs are subsidising other commercial clients and not producing any benefits :-(

Most businesses would kill for such a sympathetic potential market....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 22/9/05 9:15PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but maybe ROL and Castle have to fulfil legal obligations as a result of their public spat last year? Maybe ROL aren't allowed to do any Iyonix work or something?

I hope I am ignorant... too many forks, I may not give a fork about RISC OS (excuse the bad play on words there)

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 23/9/05 9:41AM
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RISCOS Ltd: "For example, to the public there hasn't been anything apparently new since May 2004, however A9 developers are already able to see some of the new features that will become Select 4, and hopefully the final stages of the A9 development will lead on very quickly to a Select 4 release for all users"

Indeed. To the (paying) public there hasn't been anything new they can use. In fact, it seems to be clear the subscribing public has been funding development of Adjust32 for the A9home. Did you ask them for their permission first, since to the best of my knowledge, people subscribe to your offering to receive new developments of Select? Will you compensate them through a discount on A9home machines, since they already seem to have payed for them in part? Please correct me if I'm seeing things wrong here.

"It is unfortunate that the release of Select 4 is taking longer than originally planned, but the decision to move over to the new 32 bit neutral source, was a decision that had to be taken at some point, and I am sure that there will be few users who will complain that we should have not developed a 32 bit RISC OS 4 and should have instead stayed stuck with a 26 bit OS and ignored the potential of the new 32 bit only processors."

To the best of my knowledge, the decision to move to a 32 bit RISC OS was announced since the early beginning of RISCOS Ltd. It should hardly surprise any subscribers. A few (or more) users would probably complain on why the 32 bit effort was not made in collaboration with Castle and/or Tematic.

Why do I feel that I'm being treated like a fool by this company? I do appreciate their work in general, but their moral standards leave something to be desired.

"Paul added that particular OS features that form part of the Select scheme, which has been running since 2001, may be released for free to entice users into subscribing to Select or purchasing Adjust on ROM."

Well, this is nice news, although I hope these particular features would run on RISC OS 5. Furthermore, the offer for Omega users is excellent and a worthwhile upgrade.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/9/05 10:05AM
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"particular OS features that form part of the Select scheme ... may be released for free"

This is a fantastic plan. Specifically, I hope it would allow developers to feel more justified in making use of the new features in Select, without having to worry about leaving behind all the users who haven't yet paid for the OS upgrade.

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 23/9/05 10:25AM
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Looks like Mico owners have beeb neglented or is an offer speeding to me - no I don't think so

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 23/9/05 11:03AM
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I am very saddened that many posters are AGAIN jumping to unfounded conclusions:-( I know that ROL would love to produce Select for the Iyonix now! There are reasons why thay can't do so, now or in the near future. One reason in the past was the need to 32bit thier sources, which was a large step on the way:-) The other significant problem is that with the two source trees so widly diverged it would require very very significant resources and will on both parties to fully merge them. AIUI ROL hope in time to be able to graft Select onto the Iyonix kernal but this is easier said than done, and whilst it would be lovely if the following were possible "It would not take much to keep Iyonix users onboard (some addins giving some Select functions with gradual releases)." But AIUI with all the changes to the kernal and the significant interdependances between different 'select' modules it makes the work necessary very significant. i.e. to release say just one 'select' module either every extra feature relied on in other modules would need that module also released, with the same knock on effect for other features relied on in those modules and so on or you have to write significant extra code in the one released module so that it didn't rely on other modules being updated, and then there are the kernal changes to consider... With the largest 'actively buying' user base being Iyonix owners I'm sure ROL will be aiming to provide them with select on Iyonix as soon as practicle possible, which unfortunatly doesn't seem to be imminent given current resources. n.b. I'm not just talking about money!

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 23/9/05 12:16PM
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Lots of users/people seem to think that they know ROL has used Select subscribers money to fund the development of the A9. It is quite possible that advantage6 have funded ROL for their time and effort. Lets give ROL the benefit of doubt shall we?

Also, many people seem to think that ROL should bend over backwards to develop Select for Iyonix. Users knew when they purchased their Iyonix that the OS was developed by Castle - Not ROL. So why should they expect ROL spend a lot of their effort on supporting another companies OS when they already have many thousands of users of RO 4.xx to support first?

Sure, when the time is right, it would be great for ROL to support the Iyonix hardware, but they've got to get the core fundamentals right first. This I'm sure they are working on.

ROL are in a very difficult position - supporting 4.xx users, developing 4.xx, getting new business, and merging 5.xx and 4.xx together. Someone is going to lose out in the battle for time, effort and resource unfortunately.

nx

 is a RISC OS Usernx on 23/9/05 12:57PM
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At the risk of being slightly OT, does anyone know who comprises RISC OS Ltd other than Paul Middleton? I know that programmers are employed on a temporary basis, but I do wonder, for example, how many hours per week are spent on development. Personally, it irks me that many RISC OS "companies" are not open about who they are, how big they are, or their roadmap.

From what I understand, ROL are unlikely to have the capital to undertake the large development effort needed to get Select on Iyonix. I'm also concerned by CJE's comments about the number of interdependencies between RISC OS Select modules. Perhaps it is unavoidable, but I thought one of the motivations for modularization was to promote loose decoupling of those components.

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 23/9/05 1:15PM
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Whilst I generally applaud ROL's effort to produce a 32 bit neutral source that can be complied equally well for 26 or 32 bit machines; I wonder if it might not have been possible to make a more staged approach - converting some code to 32 bit neutral and then releasing a new 26 bit Select from it whilst continuing to work on the rest of the 32 bit conversion.

No work would have had to have been duplicated, the 26 users would have seen some progress in a new version of Select and a 32 bit neutral version produced in pretty much the same time at the end of it.

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 23/9/05 1:23PM
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nx said >"Lots of users/people seem to think that they know ROL has used Select subscribers money to fund the development of the A9. It is quite possible that advantage6 have funded ROL for their time and effort. Lets give ROL the benefit of doubt shall we?"

But... it was ROL who said that they might produce Select for Iyonix and said so more than once. Some Iyonix users *did* take out or keep up subscriptions - so what did *they* get for the money they spent - where *did* their money go ?

nx said > "Also, many people seem to think that ROL should bend over backwards to develop Select for Iyonix. Users knew when they purchased their Iyonix that the OS was developed by Castle - Not ROL. So why should they expect ROL spend a lot of their effort on supporting another companies OS when they already have many thousands of users of RO 4.xx to support first? "

Yes I bought an Iyonix - I knew it did not have any immediate prospect of it at that time (or possibly *ever*) running select. I have *no* problem with that and at this stage am not pushed about it - but here's the rub *some* Iyonix users *did* keep up or take out Select subscriptions because at some point ROL hinted that that would be a Select ported to the Iyonix.

If ROL then or now had *no* intention of supporting Iyonix - fine they should have said that. If it was the case that technical reasons prevented it fine - they could say that too. Point is they *did not* - that's where the problem lies. From time to time ROL "hint" that they might support Iyonix then change their minds or put it lower on their list of priorities. That's (IMHO) is what is causing the problem - if peoples' expectations are raised then dashed that's what causes problems.

At this point the best thing I would suggest Iyonix users could do is buy software from vendors who support Iyonix and avoid those that don't. At least then the money that's spend *will* benefit that platform rather than money spend on Select Subscriptions that *don't*.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 23/9/05 1:25PM
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nx: "Lots of users/people seem to think that they know ROL has used Select subscribers money to fund the development of the A9. It is quite possible that advantage6 have funded ROL for their time and effort. Lets give ROL the benefit of doubt shall we?"

Ad6 has probably funded ROL for their specific work in bringing RO4 to the A9home. Still, that doesn't explain why ROL have accepted subscriptions (or renewals) and did not provide a Select development for their customers to use. Instead, ROL has decided to spend their time (at least partially) on the A9home and that time has also been paid for by customers. Time=money. That is my reasoning to believe customers have involuntarily funded ROL's otherwise fine effort in bringing RO4 (Select4) to the A9home. I believe it is urgent ROL start to act as a proper company, that is to inform their customers of their forthcoming products and true intentions - that doesn't mean they should share everything, only the relevant bits which enables us to make a sound and honest judgement on wether to invest or not. The point AMS raised is valid and, IMO, demands an answer. If ROL are in "a difficult position", they should know why and I expect them to deal with it, since they have placed themselves in such a position.

CJE: If ROL is unable to bring Select to current RO4 or RO5 users, they should tell us and explain why. It is nice you offer an explanation, but it is their job to explain their business actions or lack thereof.

Hertzsprung: You have a point.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/9/05 2:05PM
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Well I have adjust, and it has proved to me that ROL are doing their job...

If Adjust is anything to go on...I would be interesed in purchasing an A9, and the immense task of 32 Bitting will be slow (and needed before iyonix users get a look in)

I use RO 4 (work) and adjust (home), and I miss Adjust at work, 'cause a lot of work went into it.

ROL are giving a discount to users who have had the sort end of the stick for ages! Give the guys a break! They are working hard, and nice people to talk to!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 23/9/05 2:28PM
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Getting back to the original topic of his article...

One of the benefits of running Select on and Omega is that it is much faster than RO4.0. But if this speed up is mostly due to it running from RAM rather than ROM, will Adjust be back to the slower speed? Or does it get copied to RAM at startup?

Of course, once Select4 arrives this becomes a moot point anyway, but it would still be nice to know.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 23/9/05 3:02PM
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Each RO4 version appears to be faster/better than the last in addition to the obvious new features. How much faster it would be on an Omega is difficult to assess without testing it on an Omega. Hardware differences matter. eg RO4/32 on the A9 seems to be very fast (observing Firefox for example) but how much of that is hardware and how much software is not possible to determine.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 23/9/05 3:15PM
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Your mileage may vary - I bought into the hype about 4.02 running a lot faster than 3.7 on a RPC, but in day to day use I can't see any difference in speed whatsoever. Not that that makes it a worthless upgrade (I'd never go back to 3.7), but I think "speed" in terms of desktop use is such a subjective marker that it's pretty much worthless.

 is a RISC OS UserNieA7 on 23/9/05 3:18PM
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Whatever speed you get used to you will soon stop appreciating it - unless you return to the old system. I've been swapping backwards and forwards between 3.01, 4.02, 4.03, 5.09, 4.39, 4.40, and whatever is on the A7000s. I used to think that the A5000 was the bee's knees and so much quicker than the A3000 I was stuck with - and now my SA RiscPC is so slow! ;-)

Side by side comparison is the only true guide.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 23/9/05 3:45PM
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I must admit, I am looking forward to Select 4. Considering how good the Select 3i4 and the time it has taken to produce the new version, I am expecting a quite a few interesting additions. Having said that, I'm also looking for a cheap native hardware alternative to my RiscPC. What could that be.....?

RO5 'looks' tame in comparison

nx

 is a RISC OS Usernx on 23/9/05 4:02PM
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Iyonix users do not expect any special consideration from ROL. I just want a reason why I should keep funding Select development when it seems to become less and less likely that it will ever make an appearance on the Iyonix.

I've given ROL the benefit of the doubt 2 years running. Is it unreasonable to expect at least a response from them.

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 23/9/05 7:23PM
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markee174: No it is not unreasonable. You should send them an email asking those questions.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 24/9/05 8:46AM
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emac2 said > "If Adjust is anything to go on...I would be interesed in purchasing an A9, and the immense task of 32 Bitting will be slow (and needed before iyonix users get a look in) "

And the A9 having a 32bit only processor will need the same work won't it? From the OS conversion viewpoint both 32bit conversion for A9 or Iyonix would be equally easy - or hard depending on how optimistic/pessimistic you are.

nx> RO5 looks tame, eh? Ok it doesn't have Round buttons (like that matters) but does UDMA (A9 doesn't), USB2 (no other native RISC OS Platform does), supports multiple screens (up to three of them at different resolutions and orientations), has support for OpenGL (with hardware acceleration provided by the nVidia card) and can support larger hard disks and can write DVD's. Yes tame is fine if it does all those other things instead.....

Grek1> I'd agree with you, up to a point.

The problem is that ROL from time to time raise hopes that Select for Iyonix *might* appear - then go and produce a version for Omega and PC emulators. Then later ROL then hint that Select for Iyonix *might* appear and they produce a version for a machine that is very much a "beta" (the A9). I just wonder how often does this have to happen before people realise what's going on.

If you take out a subscription for Select at the moment chances are the only people to benefit are A9, Omega and RiscPC users (in that order). For an Iyonix user's perspective it's just like throwing money away - it also rewards those who've taken money in the past and (IMHO) gave nothing back to the Iyonix users who *did* pay subscriptions on the basis of a future release of Select for Iyonix.

So how can the "desired" behaviour be induced in ROL - by Iyonix users paying their subscription again ? No - it hasn't worked to date - perhaps the alternative of NOT paying ROL might work better. Alternatively perhaps Castle can be prevailed upon to restart their "Merlin" project- after all it does seem Castle have a tendency to promise and then deliver - this might ultimately be a more viable option than interminably waiting on ROL.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 24/9/05 3:59PM
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AMS:

Have you noticed that the features you've listed (UDMA, Nvididia, USB etc), are all hardware based? They're basically device driver developments, and some of it (particular the graphics side of things), have been done by people outside of Castle (thanks to Simon Wilson and Adrian Lees). The point that nx was getting at (and a point I agree with), is that in terms of OS features, Select has more bullet points than RISC OS 5. In terms of supported hardware features, RISC OS 5 has more than Select, because OS 5 runs on newer hardware. AdvantageSix are the people writing the drivers for the A9, and we've yet to see how fast their machine runs with DMA enabled. The A9home, according to Ad6, runs disc transfers at 16MB/s without DMA, compared to the Iyonix's 20-45MB/s with UDMA. Also, the Iyonix's processor isn't fast enough to saturate the USB2 sub-system, so you're not getting full speed out of that either.

Matt Edgar at Ad6 has even said that if you want USB2, then get an Iyonix. If you don't need USB2, then why not consider the A9home. Not everything in this market has to compete with everything else.

Oher than USB and UDMA drivers, what else have Castle done for desktop RISC OS since late 2002? I suppose there's the programming tools they released. They've done a load of new cases. See? It's really easy to pick holes in and tear apart people's work in something if you boil it down to mere feature bullet points. The Iyonix as a self contained product is great, if you can afford it, and many have found it to be fantastic. Select, as a complete product, is great too for many people's RiscPCs. Not everything is a black and white issue, and there are shades of grey to whether Select on a RiscPC, Adjust on an A9home, and RISC OS 5 on an Iyonix is more suitable for an individual.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 24/9/05 5:59PM
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In reply to diomus:

You could also add that the Iyonix hasn't seen any significant hardware update since its release. But, as you so rightly say, that not the point. Many people still use RISCOS because it works so well - its not over-engineered and full of feature bloat.

My question on ROL was meant to be a purely positive one. If ROL have a product I for one want to buy it! Or should I spend the money on an A9 and run it over VNC so I can have the best version of RISCOS and the fastest hardware on the same box ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 24/9/05 9:34PM
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diomus> So we're back to the old argument of "is having round buttons more important than a fast harddisk".

I could rise to the bait but I won't.

UDMA, nVidia, USB yes they're all hardware. But they all do require drivers - and these had to be written. They also are updated - as are other OS modules RO5.XX has gone through 10 upgrades since it was launched with various enhancements and bugfixes. Other than USB2 *all other changes* have been free of charge.

So for your typical Iyonix user changes have happened and most are free.

For your Iyonix user who was encouraged by ROL's hints of future availability of Select if they subscribed to the Select scheme what did they get ?

Well nothing.

You could say Castle did something for nothing while ROL did nothing for something.

As to the sterling work of Simon Wilson, Adrian Lees and others YES these are not Castle but it is interesting that they chose to support Iyonix. Why has Iyonix got such programmer support ? Could it be the widely available (free) Documentation (on www.iyonix.com) would have helped. Would I be right in saying Castle provided this. And is there equivalent free documentation of Select API's from ROL, Nope you do have to take out a subscription before you can access it.

Then there's the hardware differences, development on RO5 has been skewed towards hardware support simply because Iyonix has so much more capable and wide hardware options that are not available on the RiscPC or A9. If those platforms had the same range of hardware then perhaps more of ROL's time would be tied up with that.

I also regard as somewhat funny your comments such as:

"Other than USB and UDMA drivers, what else have Castle done for desktop RISC OS since late 2002?"

Which you then answer with

" I suppose there's the programming tools they released. They've done a load of new cases."

The programming tools are *vital* to developing the desktop I would have thought. As to the load of new cases most accomodate at least two optical drives (though one drops the internal FDD). How does this compare with the breadth and utility of the A9Home's case for example.

If A9Home ever gets to write DVD's (currently it can't) it'll have to use its much slower USB1.1 bus - which won't get anywhere *near* the performance of the Iyonix's USB2 (and will fall far short of the UDMA internal system which Iyonix can currently use for writing DVD's). But as you say Chris - it's easy to pick holes in peoples work.

As ROL seem prepared to take money off Iyonix users yet only appear to provide support to A9Home, Omega and RiscPC users it would appear to me in that circumstance it would not be wise IMHO for Iyonix users to maintain such subscriptions given that to date the only people to benefit has been everyone else *other than* Iyonix users. I'll say it again maybe it's time Castle's Merlin made a comeback - if that's by subscription for existing Iyonix users and as a free upgrade to new users that might make more sense than the "Select will arrive someday" nonesence that currently abounds.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 25/9/05 6:08PM
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It is a bit surprising to see that Omega owners are such an important part of ROL's business plans, bearing in mind the apparent disappearence of MD from the RISC OS market. Perhaps ROL are trying to see just how many Omegas were produced compared to the number of RISC OS licences bought by MD...;o)

I have to say that I do not regret letting my Select subs lapse after buying my Iyonix. My Iyonix will be three years old in December and there is still no clear sign that there will be any products forthcoming from ROL to replace RO5 (partially or completely).

The money I have saved been able to use far more effectively supporting products that do enhance my Iyonix experience, whether commercial RISC OS (32bit upgrades, Artworks) freeware (PCITV tv card) or shareware RISC OS (Firefox and Gimp Print).

I doubt that anyone could seriously say that an Iyonix owner who remained subscribed to Select since late 2002 on the basis that a version of Select would be produced to replace RO5 has had 'value for money' from ROL.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 25/9/05 7:05PM
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AMS:

"UDMA, nVIDIA, USB yes they're all hardware. But they all do require drivers - and these had to be written. They also are updated - as are other OS modules RO5.XX has gone through 10 upgrades since it was launched with various enhancements and bugfixes. Other than USB2 *all other changes* have been free of charge."

So what's your point? That Castle eventually developed drivers for hardware they shipped in 2002? Stunning. And what are these enhancements you speak of? Every RISC OS 5 release since 5.00 has been bug fixes or driver updates. Also, the reason Simon and Adrian did their Iyonix work is because the hardware was there.

My fundamental point is that RISC OS Select makes the most use of the platform it was released for (RiscPCs, etc), and RISC OS 5 makes use of the platform it was released for. Comparing the goals of Select with the goals of ROS 5 is comparing apples with pears. Select enhances RiscPCs, ROS 5 drives Iyonixes. Yeah it would be nice if Select came out for the Iyonix, but as others have pointed out, the technical and political hurdles for this are great. Far greater, it appears, than supporting a new architecture from scratch (the A9, for instance).

As I said, not everything is in direct competition, but having a choice is ideal. If you want USB2 and DVD writing, then go for an Iyonix. Even Ad6 say this. If you already have a PC for that sort of thing, or you don't feel like dropping a grand on a 600MHz machine, then go for an A9home. If you don't want to fork out 500 odd quid on a USB1.2, laptop hdd-only 400MHz machine, Select is cheaper for your RiscPC. And if that doesn't suit you then fine, no one is holding a gun to your head demanding that you upgrade.

I think a little perspective is needed. You're welcome to your opinion, but I totally disagree with it. As you're determined to make the OS split into a conflict, I don't think there's anything I can further add. The delay in Select 4 is unfortunate and I'd really like to see that resolved. I'm not totally sure of the issue of Select money being 'poured' into A9home development: it appears that Ad6 are working on their own device drivers and A9 specific stuff. Time will tell.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 25/09/05 8:43PM
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Ofcourse there is a matter of 'general support' and 'charity'. One may donate money to ROL, because one desires for RISC OS to grow and develop. For some people, including Iyonix users, that may be reason enough to subscribe. Personally I don't appreciate ROL hinting Select may appear for Iyonix, taking in subs, but giving no firm commitment or offering a guarantee it will (ever) appear. Furthermore, as I understand it, the Select initiative means about 3 CD releases a year. Well, there haven't been any releases whatsoever since 2nd quarter 2004, which by now is well over a year ago. People have paid for that period. I wonder if the subscribers got a message from ROL explaining what has happened with their money? In that same period ROL worked on 32 bitting RO4. AIUI most or all Select enhancements were already made to be 26/32 bit neutral. The guinea pig for the new 32 bit RO4/Adjust is the A9home. Once Adjust32 is formerly ready for public consumption, ROL will probably concentrate in readying Select4, which will hopefully be not long afterwards. I really hope Select4 will be handed out to those who already subscribed last year, but ofcourse I can't be sure about that - the 32 bitting process also needed to be financed, ofcourse.

AFAIK Castle handed their Merlin project to ROL and there hasn't really been word ever since. Nevertheless I think the Merlin project is important and I believe RO5 itself needs to be updated and enhanced. Not necessarily Select-like features, but definitely in that same direction.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/09/05 1:22PM
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For goodness sake, "Castle handed their Merlin project to ROL" does not necessarily mean they funded the Merlin project "handed" over to ROL.

If ROL received just the wishlist and no funding for the work why would that have changed anything they already had planned (or not)?

 is a RISC OS Usertweety on 26/09/05 4:22PM
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The problem with the OS split is that developers will not take advantage of the new features present in only one branch, so from the point of view of developers there is little chance of any OS feature beyond RISC OS 4 being taken advantage of unless they only care about a limited market anyway (eg the graphics stuff for the Iyonix).

As an example, take the image rendering extensions in SELECT. These could be very useful, but because I'd still have to implement plotting for at least, say, sprites and jpegs for non-SELECT users and can't actually test the SELECT specific code - so I'm not going to use it. The same goes for alpha channel sprites, the zlib library any wimp extensions and so on...

It's great that we have this stuff, but is anyone using it?

 is a RISC OS Userjamesp on 26/09/05 6:41PM
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Chris said > "As you're determined to make the OS split into a conflict,."

I am *not* attempting to make it into a conflict at all (and I don't propose saying any more about it). In fact if you looked carefully at what I actually said it amounted to "Iyonix users should not subscribe to Select as it gets them nothing but should rather support developers who support the Iyonix platform", surely on the basis of commonsense that would even be something you'd agree with? I suggested Castle should re-activate the Merlin project *only* as it was apparent that (for whatever reason) ROL either did not want or was not in a position to support Iyonix users.

Douglas> Did you see any of the wishlist that was up for Merlin when the site was up? Most amounted to people asking for this or that Select feature (and in many instances asking for Select itself).

I'd also point out a number of Iyonix purchasers *did* pay their subscriptions in the hope (hinted at by ROL) that if they did that Select for Iyonix might appear - so to say ROL received *no funding* is inaccurate.

I'll actually also state here that I wish ROL well with their work on the RiscPC, Omega update and their work on the A9Home too, can't get more unconfrontational than that I think.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 26/09/05 7:37PM
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As stated in the article, ROL are planning to make some Select features available for free to those who have not yet subscribed. Perhaps it will be possible to make these features work on an Iyonix also.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 26/09/05 7:57PM
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sa110 Free bits might be useful but how do we deal with the support issues that may arise?

Support for an Iyonix is on the basis of all updates and the lastest ROM image. There has never been any clarification as to how support may or may not be affected by using the ROL toolbox modules on an Iyonix.

There is at least one commercial application that claims to be Iyonix compatible that won't work fully on a vanilla Iyonix as it requires the ROL toolbox modules to be installed. Imagine multiplying that sort of irritation and confusion with 'free' bits of Select on your Iyonix, and a mix of toolbox modules.

At least sticking to RO4.0x as the baseline OS version gives developers a fairly stable base set of API's to be able to work with. Without contractual co-operation and agreements regarding support between Castle and ROL it just does not make (commercial) sense to use Select extensions.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 27/09/05 7:18PM
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