RISC OS features in plain englishBy Chris Williams. Published: 14th Jan 2006, 07:08:47 | Permalink | Printable
A brave stab at bringing all the feature lists together into one easy to understand summaryOver the years, RISC OS 4 and 5 have continued to move forward, however separate their paths. Despite reams of column inches covering on-going developments, it would appear that there is no up to date list of all the RISC OS features for either stream; instead details of new releases are strewn across various months old web pages and articles, some of which written in fairly technical and programmer oriented language. Here, we present our best attempt at summing up all the main features for both RISC OS 4.39 and RISC OS 5.09 under one friendly roof, so to speak, for current users, those new to the platform and those curiously peeking in.
Don't be fooled by the version numbers, which are due to the development split between Castle and RISCOS Ltd. RISC OS 4 and 5 are developed separately but were originally born from the same source code tree, and so there will be features that are in both and features exclusive to one particular version stream.
RISC OS 5 list
As the operating system for the Castle Iyonix, it aims to make full use of the new IOP321 XScale powered hardware, including UDMA, USB and Nvidia graphics card support.
RISC OS 4.39 list
Designed to run on decade old Acorn-era hardware, such as the StrongARM RiscPC, ROL realised they had limited hardware to play with. They instead heavily persued improving the desktop experience and ramping up stability, while third party companies produced USB and AGP based upgrades.
RISC OS 4.40 explained
ROL also recently published a brief guide to features expected to be ready in time for Select release 4, which will contain at least version 4.40 of RISC OS. The leaflet was very technical in nature, so we've broken it down into manageable descriptions. ROS 4.40 is understood to be 32bit compatible and features hardware abstraction, ready for the new Samsung ARM9 powered AdvantageSix A9home computer.
If you believe we've missed out an important feature in any of the above, or not explained a point well enough, let us know and we'll do our best to correct the problem. Given the swamp of web pages we've swam through to get this far, it's likely that we may have accidentally overlooked something. Thanks go to John-Mark Bell and everyone else who helped out in compiling this feature.
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