Drobe :: The archives
About Drobe | Contact | RSS | Twitter | Tech docs | Downloads | BBC Micro

Select subscribers offered fig leaf

By Chris Williams. Published: 6th Mar 2006, 07:46:20 | Permalink | Printable

Select 4 due in May, no guarantee of an Iyonix port

ROL logoRelease 4 of Select is expected to be launched at this year's Wakefield show, subscribers officially learnt today. RISCOS Ltd boss Paul Middleton emailed his customers in response to criticism surrounding the RISC OS 4 subscription scheme and his company's commitment to the Iyonix platform.

In it he said: "We are now nearing the final stages of Select 4 development and the subject to any final last minute hitches the first release will be made in time for the Wakefield Show in May this year."

His company recently drew criticism after it failed to produce a new release of Select since mid-2004, fuelling much online debate. Users whose subscriptions to the annual scheme lapsed after August last year will be offered a beta issue of S4 to entice them into resubscribing. The company also intends to produce two editions of Select, one for machines with 26bit processors, such as RiscPCs, and another for machines with 32bit processors, such as A9homes.

Paul said: "We have clearly stated previously that we will not be producing a 32 bit version of RISC OS 4 to run on Risc PCs and A7000s as it would offer no advantages, and would require the use of an emulator in order to use the vast majority of old software not written in Basic."

ROL claim to be working towards Select for the Castle Iyonix, although cannot offer any guarantees at this time. A lot of their resources have been ploughed into Select 4 and producing a 32bit version of RISC OS with hardware abstractions. AdvantageSix contributed the A9 specific components.

Thanking those who signed the Pledgebank campaign for an Iyonix port of Select, Paul explained: "We are not as yet ready to start taking full Select 32 for Iyonix subscriptions, but I would like to firstly state that subscriptions from current Iyonix users have not been wasted.

"All development work done by RISCOS Ltd is equally applicable to all versions of RISC OS, and in the future any bugs found in any version of RISC OS 4, will be identical across all versions, and so a bug found on a RiscPC will be the same bug cured on an Iyonix.

"Whilst we are not taking full Select 32 subscriptions, we do welcome Select renewals from existing subscribers and from new subscribers, as long as they understand that their subscriptions are going towards general development and that we do not at present offer any guarantees to produce a fully working version of Select for Iyonix at present."

On the A9home, Paul added: "The retail A9Home will ship with Adjust32, which includes all the features of everything in RISC OS Adjust (Select3i4), along with a subset of those Select 4 features required by the machine.

"A Select subscription will be recommended in order to obtain the full Select 4 feature-set, along with future Select 4 enhancements. There will be discounts for A9Home purchasers to join the Select scheme."

Links

RISCOS Ltd website

Previous: Euro show planned for June
Next: Middleton battles 'misinformation'

Discussion

Viewing threaded comments | View comments unthreaded, listed by date | Skip to the end

"Negative rumours, especially when they are unfounded, can have a tremendous effect on the market, so please treat anything you hear or read with caution unless it is fully verified."

Exactly. And Rumors are more likely to appear if official information is absent for month.

But good to see Select 4 comming for this years Wakefield Show. Going to resubscribe as soon as it is available.

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 6/3/06 9:31AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

in reply to maikl:

Why wait ??? It is better to resubscribe now, then only wait, when it arrives !!!

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 6/3/06 11:36AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

datawave: In exactly the same way as some people have been doing for rather a long time now without getting anything? If you resubscribe once it's available then at least you'll get one thing for your money.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 6/3/06 11:58AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I am not sure why Paul tries to name the simple fact that there was no new code released to Select subscribers since mid 2004 as "rumour" and "misinformation". Looks a lot like another round of cheap excuses, which we continue to see wrt IYONIX Select.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 6/3/06 12:36PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"I am not sure why Paul tries to name the simple fact that there was no new code released to Select subscribers since mid 2004 as "rumour" and "misinformation""

No. Paul was trying to counter the rumour and misinformation which appeared on csa.* that the next Select release would only run in 32-bit mode even on RPCs, and that the RO shipped with the A9 Home would be a stripped-down version of Adjust. Both of these, as I understand Paul's email, are untrue.

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 6/3/06 1:03PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Well, at least I'm very happy ROL chooses to come forward with more information now and more often it seems.

"We don't have time to contradict every rumour and piece of misinformation that comes up on the internet."

When ROL chose to be virtually silent to the outside world, people will start asking questions. In a weird twist of nature, people even start assuming things. They were mostly people with good reason to be upset and ROL does no good in simply dismissing a lot of it as misinformation, like Steffen mentioned.

"Some people have a habit of starting rumours that can upset many other peoples views of how the market is progressing."

You mean like your company did when it basically said it could start work on Iyonix Select after 100 pledges?

"Negative rumours, especially when they are unfounded, can have a tremendous effect on the market, so please treat anything you hear or read with caution unless it is fully verified."

And when is some piece of information verified? When you say so? Then stop saying contradictory things and start delivering your goods as people have grown impatient with only talk, especially those of us unable to have visited one of your presentations.

Only now, just weeks before the probable release of A9home do we (the majority) actually know what Adjust32 is about. I supposed it basically was RO4 in a 32 bit jacket, but this is ROAdjust in a 32 bit jacket with a bit of Select4 stuff for good measure! Excellent, way to go.

However, I'm still fairly dubious as to what Select for Iyonix actually means and when any real release could be made. As far as I can see, Select is originally designed and made for RO4 and its roots go deep. As such, ROL would have to rework or redo a lot of it to get a full release of Select running on RO5. It goes without saying that they absolutely need Castle's cooperation to do it and last I heard ROL said it's not getting that.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/3/06 1:28PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I think the newsletter email Paul has sent out was comprehensive and covered most, if not al,l of the issues that have been raised in recent weeks. As for "cheap excuses" - Paul has clearly explained how Select will appear on the Iyonix. If anyone is not satisfied with his explanations, I suggest people contact him to discuss the relevant points.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 6/3/06 1:33PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"Why wait ??? It is better to resubscribe now, then only wait, when it arrives !!! "

Because in principle I paid already for it. I think my last subscription run from 11/2003 to 11/2004. There was no new version in this timeframe (except 4.39 which did not include any new features) and also there was no new version since then at all. I stoped subscribing after one year of getting nothing out of it. If I start subscribing now I can not be sure that Select 4 will be released in the next couple of month (although I hope so) and I don't know how it will look like - what new features will be included (I know there was a list of things to be implemented in Select 4 but this may be too old to be still valid).

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 6/3/06 2:51PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"We have clearly stated previously that we will not be producing a 32 bit version of RISC OS 4 to run on Risc PCs and A7000s as it would offer no advantages, and would require the use of an emulator in order to use the vast majority of old software not written in Basic."

How about the advantage that wimpslots would no longer be limited to 28MB for 32-bit compatible software? Artworks in particular doesn't use dynamic areas, so if you want to interwork large bitmaps into the document you can run into problems. Even if the it fits into a 26-bit wimpslot you can then find you can't print it to a postscript printer.

Yes old software wouldn't work, but all the important stuff is 32-bit now. If it was boot-time configurable you could get the best of both worlds.

Or maybe what 26-bit Select needs is virtual memory? :-)

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 6/3/06 4:03PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

A more important reason for having a 32 bit only version would be to move on from the 26-bit legacy. Anyway, my hazy understanding of the issue is that 32 bit code was backward compatible, so why wouldn't a 32 bit safe version of RISC OS on a RiscPC still run with the processor in 26 bit mode, running 26 bit applications on it?

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 6/3/06 4:26PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

The article is now quite different than it was when I commented on it (including a headline change!), and there is no indication of that change and when it happened. Is that the new Drobe style?

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 6/3/06 5:05PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

SimonC wrote: "Anyway, my hazy understanding of the issue is that 32 bit code was backward compatible, so why wouldn't a 32 bit safe version of RISC OS on a RiscPC still run with the processor in 26 bit mode, running 26 bit applications on it?"

I think that is what ROL are proposing, but it still doesn't allow large wimpslots. They claim there are no benefits of running in 32-bit mode, but there is that one. That's my point.

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 6/3/06 5:22PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

sa110>"Paul has clearly explained how Select will appear on the Iyonix."

To quote Mr Middleton from the article > "Whilst we are not taking full Select 32 subscriptions, we do welcome Select renewals from existing subscribers and from new subscribers, as long as they understand that their subscriptions are going towards general development and that we do not at present offer any guarantees to produce a fully working version of Select for Iyonix at present."

Seems that that *doesn't quite gel* with sa110's interpretation, it sounds more like a case of "how Select *might* appear on Iyonix" rather than a case of *will* appear....

To be fair to Paul Middleton he's being upfront about it - and this should be welcomed as it is much fairer than having people's hopes raised only to be dashed later.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 6/3/06 8:02PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Well, considering the last statement of changes in this drobe news item made by hubersn perhaps I should quote the article in full before commenting :-) Well I'll quote parts.

First of all I think it is good that Paul did issue some statement trying to clarify things, though why does he address the Select subscribers only as far as I can tell and thus ignore the users he wants since he does want new subscribers?

I do like the line "Whilst we are not taking full Select 32 subscriptions, we do welcome Select renewals from existing subscribers and from new subscribers, as long as they understand that their subscriptions are going towards general development and that we do not at present offer any guarantees to produce a fully working version of Select for Iyonix at present." So basically to me this mean that I am asked to pay but might get nothing in return as an IYONIX user; as a user of some other hardware chances that I get something for my money is higher but no hint as for what benefits I get.

"The retail A9Home will ship with Adjust32, which includes all the features of everything in RISC OS Adjust (Select3i4), along with a subset of those Select 4 features required by the machine." Wow, so the A9home will ship with some 1.5 years old version of RISC OS - perhaps based on the assumption that whoever has the cash to buy one of the nice small A9home boxes might as well part with some more cash to update the operating system ... BTW is there a list of the features this will then add to the system?

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 7/3/06 8:39AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

One thing I've never understood about select (and I grant this is a little off topic) - is why not sell older versions of Select as single sale items - from all this messing around I'd never consider taking out a Select subscription at the moment, but if ROL were to offer me (say) a softload copy of Select 3 for £50, or select 2 for £30 (example pricing only, other opinions are available ;-)) I might be tempted to shell out, if many more people did this then they'd get some of that much needed cash injection we keep hearing about, hence be able to hire staff and get more uptodate versions out the door.

Just my 2p worth.

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 7/3/06 10:05AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Cogs: "How about the advantage that wimpslots would no longer be limited to 28MB for 32-bit compatible software? Artworks in particular doesn't use dynamic areas, so if you want to interwork large bitmaps into the document you can run into problems."

Unfortunately, having a 32-bit OS does not automatically mean that it offers larger WimpSlots. The current version of Adjust-32 on the A9Home, for instance, still has the usual 28MB WimpSlot limit. So, as PM stated, you would not gain anything from running Adjust-32 on a RiscPC.

"Or maybe what 26-bit Select needs is virtual memory?"

... which, for application space, would be subject to the WimpSlot limit, too. The limit is on logical address space. (I did see the smiley, but still thought this worth pointing out)

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 7/3/06 10:08AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

drjones69:

"why not sell older versions of Select as single sale items"

I've said as much before because, frankly, it's always baffled me as to why Paul doesn't do something along those lines.

However, the last time I said anything like it was just before he announced a low price for the Adjust ROMS, which is a fair enough compromise - those ROMs are now cheap enough IMO. (Though, I suppose, the softload even cheaper might be handy for those on a really tight budget...)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 7/3/06 11:18AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

To jrjones69/VinceH:

Indeed, a cheap old softload version of RISC OS might tempt the odd user. But please do not forget that quite a few potential clients still run RISC OS 3.5/6/7 and AFAIK Select won't load on those (which might be worth considering as option for more sales, though).

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 7/3/06 1:13PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Indeed - I didn't know about the cut price Adjust offer - and unless I'm mistaken (quiet possible considering how quickly I've just skimmed!) I didn't see any mention of it on here, it's mentioned on the ROL (as one should hope!) if anyone else missed it - (I'll save you a couple of clicks too - they're about 70quid).

Regards.

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 7/3/06 1:14PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Select only doesn't load on 3.7 because ROL softloader doesn't allow it. Other softloaders load Select perfectly well on top of 3.7. But of course you need an old format disk (<77 files per dir and short filenames) to boot Select off, so you lose some of the advantages of 4.02 and later.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 7/3/06 3:47PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

flibble:

Of course, you could have an old format disk to boot the machine off, and then another disk in the new format that you kept everything except the relevant chunks of the boot sequence on....

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 7/3/06 4:02PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

chrisj: Yep that's the way to go, the only real loss is the convenience of one drive.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 7/3/06 4:24PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"Yep that's the way to go, the only real loss is the convenience of one drive."

A small CF card with adapter should do it and will at least not increase noise (but still steel you one ide connector).

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 7/3/06 6:42PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

In reply to wuerthne:

"Unfortunately, having a 32-bit OS does not automatically mean that it offers larger WimpSlots. The current version of Adjust-32 on the A9Home, for instance, still has the usual 28MB WimpSlot limit. So, as PM stated, you would not gain anything from running Adjust-32 on a RiscPC."

Damn. I've gone off the A9Home a bit now.

""Or maybe what 26-bit Select needs is virtual memory?"

... which, for application space, would be subject to the WimpSlot limit, too. The limit is on logical address space. (I did see the smiley, but still thought this worth pointing out)"

Is there such a limit to logical address space though? My understanding is a bit weak here, but I was under the impression that 26-bit emulation on 32-bit ARMs allowed LDR/STR instructions to access the full 32-bit memory map (otherwise dynamic areas wouldn't work). So all that is needed, even in 26-bit mode, is a reshuffling of the memory map (à la RISC OS 5).

Yes code areas would be limited to the first 32-ish MB and yes technically PM would therefore be right that there's no need for 32-bit mode (so I guess this is a seperate issue after all), but will we ever see >28MB wimpslots in a ROL version of RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 7/3/06 9:02PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Cogs: No, unfortunately, you cannot reshuffle the memory map in 26-bit mode because the RMA needs to be in the logical address space in which you can run code and application space needs to be contiguous. This is the very reason why running Aemulor on an Iyonix reintroduces the well-known WimpSlot limitation.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 7/3/06 10:35PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Ah of course. I really should have seen that.

So what imposes the 28MB wimpslot limit on the A9home is the fact that Adjust-32 is designed to be backwardly compatible with 26-bit mode on the RiscPC. A shame really.

SimonC: Looks like you were right about the 26-bit legacy. :-(

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 8/3/06 2:08AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Hey, to be serious:

The 28MB wimpslot should not be a problem at all since that is a *lot* of application code space available. And due to the odd app still being 26 bit only chances are high that Aemulor is needed and thus the wimpslot has to be kept down due to compatibility issues.

I suggest that apps needing more memory tend to need it for data and for that dynamic areas to offer a good option. Pity that some of these have issues with high memory addresses and thus have to be in low memory thus limiting the possible size of them a bit.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 9/3/06 9:57AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

28MB really isn't that much. A single shot from a 5 megapixel camera is going to be about 15MB uncompressed and 5 megapixel isn't that great any more. If you're doing an A3 spread of photographs scanned at 300dpi you've got no chance. Even if you load them into Artworks as JPEG objects you will still have problems printing them out. Dynamic areas are all well and good if the software will use them, but what if it doesn't?

And I don't like dynamic areas for this kind of thing anyway. They are a kludge to get around the 28MB limit and there's no need to keep that limit on a 32-bit OS. On RISC OS 5 they're limited more than application space IIRC.

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 9/3/06 6:06PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Please login before posting a comment. Use the form on the right to do so or create a free account.

Search the archives

Today's featured article

  • Using SDL natively
    Neil White makes his move
     2 comments, latest by nex on 17/10/04 10:52AM. Published: 6 Oct 2004

  • Random article

  • An idiot's guide to making PDFs
    RiScript and Ghostscript put through their paces
     17 comments, latest by webmonster on 26/6/06 10:17AM. Published: 25 Jun 2006

  • Useful links

    News and media:
    IconbarMyRISCOSArcSiteRISCOScodeANSC.S.A.AnnounceArchiveQercusRiscWorldDrag'n'DropGAG-News

    Top developers:
    RISCOS LtdRISC OS OpenMW SoftwareR-CompAdvantage SixVirtualAcorn

    Dealers:
    CJE MicrosAPDLCastlea4X-AmpleLiquid SiliconWebmonster

    Usergroups:
    WROCCRONENKACCIRUGSASAUGROUGOLRONWUGMUGWAUGGAGRISCOS.be

    Useful:
    RISCOS.org.ukRISCOS.orgRISCOS.infoFilebaseChris Why's Acorn/RISC OS collectionNetSurf

    Non-RISC OS:
    The RegisterThe InquirerApple InsiderBBC NewsSky NewsGoogle Newsxkcddiodesign


    © 1999-2009 The Drobe Team. Some rights reserved, click here for more information
    Powered by MiniDrobeCMS, based on J4U | Statistics
    "Every once in a while I get the impression that sometimes the things published on Drobe are not 100% accurate"
    Page generated in 0.2574 seconds.