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Unix Porting Project issues refunds

By Chris Williams. Published: 20th Mar 2006, 22:03:33 | Permalink | Printable

Subscribers wondering where beta release six is

A photo of Peter NaullsThe Unix Porting Project has refunded cash to subscribers after few third party developers stepped in to aid the RISC OS Firefox port.

Peter Naulls told his subscribers over the weekend: "Sadly, since no one else has taken any interest in developing Firefox besides me, there isn't too much I can do about that until I get through a bunch of more important stuff."

He added: "That is why I am no longer taking subscriptions, and have refunded and cancelled most of those made this year through PayPal."

Users who had donated cash to the project were eager to learn of the status of the open source web browser port, of which a sixth beta release was hoped to appear in November 2005. Peter began taking money from people to fund the project in March last year, and the first beta version was made available months later in June.

The lack of interest in helping Peter complete his Firefox port could be down to a number of reasons: one being that because Peter asked for donations, it was felt to be his own product and project. Alternatively, it could be that the availability of the port's source code is relatively unknown, or the source code was large and unwieldy enough to scare off potential programmers. Last week Peter praised "the nature of open source" for enabling him to produce a Linux port of Tom Walker's RiscPC emulator, although declined to make the source code of that particular project immediately available.

Peter moved from Cambridge to California at the end of summer last year with his family.

Links

Firefox port website

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Discussion

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Peter has done the right thing by refunding donations. Peter is clearly a man of integrity and that should be applauded.

What he has achieved is simply amazing and much of it has been for love rather than money. It has always amazed me that Peter has choose to spend his time working on the various projects he has been involved in when the financial benefits are most probably far great doing something else.

I am sure he is working on some very interesting and hopefully profitable projects in California. I would love to hear all about it sometime.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 21/3/06 7:20AM
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It's unfortunate that it's come to this, but it's hardly unreasonable for Peter to say this. I suppose the problem is that there is hardly anyone left using RISC OS with the technical expertise to help out with Firefox, and of those who are most of them are working pretty hard on their own stuff.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 21/3/06 10:57AM
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What's gone wrong with the ordering on the front page? This story is way down the list with stuff from two weeks ago. I almost missed it, and the small number of comments suggests lots of other people have. This is the second time I've seen this happen.

It is a shame that Peter doesn't have the time (or motivation?) to complete the port of Firefox. Beta 5 was looking really good.

The problem is that there are not many programmers with the time and skills to take on a project of this size and complexity. And most of them are probably working on NetSurf!

Let's hope someone, if not Peter, finds a gap in their schedule soon.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 22/3/06 6:27PM
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It's a great shame that Peter has been unable to continue with this. I would have hoped that the £10,000, or so, provided by the RISC OS community to fund the porting of Firefox might have been enough. However it quite obviously wasn't sufficient funding to produce a full RISC OS version.

I agree with helpful about the ordering on the front page, or is Drobe trying to bury bad news?

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 23/3/06 11:57PM
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I do hope Peter returns to this port because he has achieved great things with it. He has done everything he said he would (and more) but its current Beta status explains some troublesome bugs that limit its usefulness.

Nevertheless, it has saved me from borrowing my other half's Mac on a number of occasions.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/3/06 10:59AM
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When it was extant I was quite happy to support the porting project and am sorry to see it go. I'd happily extend my sincerest thanks to Peter for his valiant effort in not only the Porting project per se but also Firefox.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 25/3/06 1:29PM
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