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Unix Porting Project to ditch name

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Nov 2005, 08:02:53 | Permalink | Printable

Firefox sources now available, 3.7 support to go

Peter Naulls has said he will rename the 'Unix Porting Project' and ditch support for RISC OS 3.7 at the start of 2006.

He told UPP subscribers: "I expect to drop the 'Unix Porting Project' branding throughout the first half of next year, referring instead to the project as 'riscos.info', as it starts to encompass other projects like the PC Card sources."

Firefox logoMeanwhile CJE Micros scrambled to slash the price of stocks of Aleph1's PC cards and software over the weekend after the PCPro sources were made freely available online. Peter, who asked for cash donations to support his campaign to port Firefox to RISC OS, has also released the source code to the browser to encourage others to contribute to its development.

Additionally, support for RISC OS 3.7 will be dropped because of the operating system's inability to handle more than 77 files per directory and the 10 character filename limit - which were all addressed in the 1999 release of RISC OS 4.

Peter said: "I think it is past time for support of this nearly 9.5 year old OS version, and I would like to encourage those sticking it out with RiscPCs, an even older product of course, to get RISC OS 4/Adjust/Select or a newer machine."

He added that he would still like to see Firefox run on 3.7 and he will support upgrade refuseniks who have existing UPP subscriptions.


Peter's website Firefox sources - Cygwin GCCSDK archive. The Mozilla source CVS tag used in this snapshot is FIREFOX_1_5rc2_RELEASE, although the nsprpub directory is from CVS head.

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I have RO4, but not Adjust/Select or newer machine.

I even have to get around to upgrading my RAM from 41Mb to more than 64Mb to get Firefox running properly.

I'm still considering if it is worth spending the money on my RiscPC 600 upgraded from 3.5 to RO 4.02 five years ago, or... getting a whole new machine?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 14/11/05 9:32AM
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I have RO4, but couldn't get the disc formatted to F+ - it kept corrupting by the time I'd transferred half the backup back on. Since I'm using a mk 1 RPC mobo and 2MB VRAM, I suspect I'm getting bus timing issues, but am too chicken to do the required mod to 'fix' it. Probably should now that even if I do completely screw it up I can use it as an excuse to get a new machine :)

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 14/11/05 12:23PM
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I don't see why the name needs changing "The Unix Porting Project" does exactly what it says on the tin. "riscos.info" wont really mean much to most people, and for those that do, it s a documentation website.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/11/05 12:38PM
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Sawadee: A new machine will offer much better performance and a whole new lease of life! and there is a nice choce now! There is only so much 'patching' you can do on an RPC....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 14/11/05 12:56PM
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Aw, I liked the old name. =( -- Sprite

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 14/11/05 1:11PM
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druck: Yes, but the name "Unix Porting Project" doesn't really cater for things like the PC Card sources etc. which, according to the article, Peter is going to be including in the same site.

Personally, I think it makes more sense to have everything under one banner than have lots of banners doing smaller portions of stuff...

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 14/11/05 1:15PM
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The name is not being "ditched" nor changed. No surprise here - the quote comes from a mailing list to which drobe is not subscribed and to which there is rather more context. And therefore lead to the above pointless speculation.

The only accurate information here is about the 3.7 support and available files, as reported on [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 14/11/05 3:23PM
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In reply to Markee174: Yes, that is a key point, plus so many features missing from my 10 year old machine that I have not upgraded to.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 15/11/05 7:06AM
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Sawadee - if you use your existing machine for Sibelius/MIDI work/Music, you might be best advised to stick with your existing RiscPC, runnnig 4.02, as most of the more recent machines do not have satisfactory music/MIDI solutions (yet). I suppose a VRPC machine would allow you to run Sibelius 4 for Windows, but that rather defeats the main attraction of RISC OS for you, I believe!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 15/11/05 5:28PM
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Don't want to start (again) the war about upgrades, but arawnsley has a point. There are a number of areas underestimated in RO market, and I hope HW makers 'listen' to the people talking in forum or portals like Drobe, to correct these situations. Recently, a thread about IYONIX sound quality started, but leaded to nothing, I think.

 is a RISC OS Userbernie on 15/11/05 6:30PM
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bernie: on the contrary, Castle went to extensive lenghts to investigate the sound issue, as evidenced by the mailing list. I'm sure ROL and other RO companies have done similarly. I know that I spent a whole year looking for a certain bug which was crucial to stability in ported programs.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 15/11/05 6:57PM
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@Peter: I think bernie was talking about upgrades? So he probably meant the poor sound quality of the Iyonix' on-board sound, and that he would like to see a high-quality PCI sound card for the Iyonix, with drivers for all its main functions.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 15/11/05 7:19PM
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The Iyonix sound Issue is being looked at by John Ballance (I know, I keep nagging him about it :-) ) but Johns a very busy man, so this could take a while to fix. I also know that drivers for a high quality sound card are near the top of Simon Wilsons to-do list, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a fix soon :-)

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 15/11/05 8:03PM
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Have the Iyonix sound problems highlighted by Roger Darlington been addressed yet? They first surfaced about a year ago.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 15/11/05 11:15PM
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That's one of my points, thank you for clarify. Being a non-English native speaker makes difficult for me to express my views sometimes. But I also was talking about entire areas being underestimated. What about sound/video SW? there are a number of projects that could be done with less effort than that required for the Firefox (I'm not saying that Firefox is unnecessary, on the contrary it's a major achievement for our platform), for example a (relatively) simple program for producing slideshow from digital photos (as VCDEasy does). It's a matter of joining the work of Steffen Huber (for CD creation) with some graphic libraries (for photo resizing/correcting) and some WIMP work (for the UI). This is only an example, but prove what could be done (and no, I don't have time to do that. With my young daughter, I barely have the time to breath!).

 is a RISC OS Userbernie on 16/11/05 9:53AM
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In reply to arawnsley: Yes, !Sibelius is another reason (other than money) why I have not yet upgraded.

Much of my music teaching work is related to !Sibelius.

Someone earlier in the year pointed out that !Sibelius is most unlikely to become 32 bit compatible, due to being entirely in Assembly.

Although I am interested in getting a whole new machine one day, my personal circumstances and what I use RO mostly for, makes it difficult to decide which way is worth it for me?

I'm still not sure I want to even spend the money on getting a RAM memory upgrade on my RO4 (that has 41Mb) to cope with Firefox 64Mb or more that I believe it needs.

Is anyone running RO4 with under 64Mb RAM? What is the minimum required for the latest release Firefox version?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 16/11/05 10:00AM
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Sawadee - rather than go off-topic on public message boards, can I suggest that your best option would be to send out a few emails to the main companies like ourselves (RComp), Castle, STD and APDL and get some input. You'll often learn a lot more by emailing or contacting the companies involved - you'll see how prompt they are to reply, how relavent their emails are, and so on. I won't post email addresses here for the sake of privacy, but if you put the company names into google, i'm sure you'll email addresses for all of those listed.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 16/11/05 12:27PM
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Sawadee: "Is anyone running RO4 with under 64Mb RAM?"

By the way, how easy is it to get memory for Risc PCs and later hardware? When upgrading a 2000/1 era PC last year, the trendiest hardware vendors didn't sell the necessary modules, although a quick order to Dabs Direct resulted in a reasonably priced upgrade. Can one cheaply bang in, say, 256 or 512MB into a Risc PC these days? Is the memory conservatism of RISC OS still a relevant economic argument on that kind of hardware?

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 16/11/05 1:39PM
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guestx - RiscPC can't take more than 256mb total. Maximum is 2 * 128mb simms. I asked a few weeks ago in the local pc shop but was told no chance. CJE or someone like that may be able to help.


 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 16/11/05 2:12PM
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There must be lots of old PCs being thrown away that have SIMMs in them that could be used in a RiscPC. Just need to get hold of them before they are skipped...

Sawadee: Firefox runs in a bit under 30MB, so you should be OK providing you restart it regularly, because it has horrible memory leaks (on all platforms, this isn't a RISC OS port issue).

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 16/11/05 2:32PM
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APDL do reasonabley priced memory upgrades for RiscPCs. A Kinetic upgrade will also make a noticeable difference to the speed with which Firefox runs (though it is still very slow) and comes with at least 64MB of RAM on board.

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 16/11/05 4:06PM
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Last time I bought RiscPC memory (a long time ago) Liquid Silicon were very good:


 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 17/11/05 10:34AM
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To DS1: A RiscPC *motherboard* can not indeed take more than 256MB but when you have a Kinetic card with 256MB as well, you end up with a RiscPC of 512MB (+ 2MB VRAM).

I believe you need one of the latest RISC OS Select/Adjust version to make this all properly working.

 is a RISC OS Userjoty on 17/11/05 12:40PM
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joty - okay, fairy nuff. I should have been a bit more precise. Although I have select 3i4, I don't have a kinetic, so I keep forgetting to take that into account.

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 17/11/05 2:01PM
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"RiscPC can't take more than 256mb total" yep I have 512 in mine 256 on motherboard and 256 in Kinetic + Adjust

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 17/11/05 3:49PM
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What has Select/Adjust got to do with Kinetic ?

At the time I got my Kinetic upgrade, (incl. RO 4.03), I believe that a choice of 2 sizes of memory were available. I had the smaller size.

Is the max. Kinetic card memory normally less than 256mb, and Select/Adjust is now required to be able to handle 256mb ?

 is a RISC OS Userajb on 17/11/05 4:39PM
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ajb: No, previous RISC OS versions were prone to address exception errors when using large amounts of memory - and IIRC this was addressed in one of the Select releases.

I can't recall whether there was a physical limitation of 256Mb of RAM in the OS at one stage which was also lifted. My memory's fuzzy there and I reserve the right to be wrong :).

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 17/11/05 4:48PM
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Unfortuantely the last Select release of 3i4 which we've been stuck with for the past 19 months, and possibly forever, has a bug where it claims 12MB to hold the softloaded OS image instead of 6MB. This isn't much of an issue to those withl well over 100MB in the machine, but its bad news for people like Swandee who may just have had enough memory to manage, but now have to upgrade just when SIMMs are getting rare.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/11/05 1:26PM
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