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Who are RISC OS Open Ltd?

By Rob Kendrick. Published: 27th Jun 2006, 08:41:48 | Permalink | Printable

Mystery new development company set to launch soon [Updated]

A new company was quietly set up last week and it's enticingly called RISC OS Open Ltd. Details are sparse, but the firm's registered address is Unit 4, Townsend Mews, Wilburton Cambridgeshire - which is the same address as 7th Software, an ex-Acorn and ex-Pace engineer's own venture.

A Drobe investigation 7th's Steve Revill, who has worked on the RISC OS source code base for his previous employers, is said to be involved with a number of other parties in the set up of the company, formed on June 20. The business is said to be in its 'early days'.

It's understood to be separate to 7th Software, the brand under which Steve sells his RISC OS desktop applications. RISC OS Open will be involved in the platform and will have an undisclosed yet 'specific purpose' in relation to the development of RISC OS, drobe.co.uk has learnt.

The firm wants to complete its registration and creation paperwork before officially launching within the next few weeks. Before anyone gets too excited at the name of the new business, RISC OS 5 developers Castle have previously snubbed the idea of open sourcing parts of their operating system.

So, just who are RISC OS Open, and what are they going to do? Speculation on a postcard to the usual address, please.

Update at 14:18 1/7/2006
Readers should keep an eye open on riscosopen.co.uk.

Links

7th Software website

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Discussion

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I believe that RISC OS OPEN has been established for the single and specific purpose of upgrading to 32bit, the software to enable the Siemens Scanner Pen to work with the Iyonix.

May I publicly thank all those on the CJE Micro's stand at Wakefield 2006 for acceding to my request for the urgent application of the grey cells.

Thanks!

 is a RISC OS UserXinoyi on 27/6/06 9:24AM
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I believe that RISC OS OPEN has been established for the single and specific purpose of using RISC OS hardware to prop doors open! At last, a means of getting a RiscPC into every home! Bill Gates eat your heart out!

:)

 is a RISC OS UserWill! on 27/6/06 9:29AM
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Good news if new development happens with RISC OS Open

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 27/6/06 11:46AM
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If this involves further OS fragmentation I'm going to scream. But the fact of the matter is it's equally possible to be something else entirely. I'm certainly curious.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 27/6/06 12:07PM
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How about, as someone suggested on the Select 4 "tricky date" article comments, implementing Select features but under open-source licensing, for all users to use on their Iyonixes/non-Select RO4 machines?

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 27/6/06 12:08PM
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An inside source told me that they're going to buy out Apple and start re-building RISC OS on a BSD base, for Intel x86-compatible processors, whilst phasing out Mac OS X.

It's not just speculation, honest.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 27/6/06 2:43PM
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"start re-building RISC OS on a BSD base"

RISC iX lives!

 is a RISC OS UserWill! on 27/6/06 4:51PM
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In reply to Xinoyi:

My sister Harriet and I both spent (or should that be 'wasted') many hours trying to get the Siemens PocketReader device working with Iyonix, to no avail. So I can assure you that grey cells have already been applied.

As far as I can tell, the support module is perfectly compatible with 32-bit RISC OS, it is just inexplicable behaviour from the serial port on the Iyonix or the block drivers for it (written by a third party, I believe).

For more info about the Siemens PocketReader: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 27/6/06 6:34PM
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I don't think it has something to do with an open source version otherwise the Name "Open RISC OS Ltd." would be better ;-)

Maybe they combine the two USB stacks under one API? So a company that defines open RISC OS standards...

BTW: Is everybody allowed to use "RISC OS" in a company name or does one need to contact RISCOS Ltd./Castle to do so? Who owns the right on the name?

Anyway, new companies are always welcome at least if they are not called "RISC OS Closed Ltd."

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 27/6/06 7:53PM
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I guess RISC OS Ltd. could open source the parts of their RISC OS version, wich they own. This would certainly include all components wich they developed themselves, plus possibly some components wich they have altered significantly enough since the version they got from Acorn.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 27/6/06 8:24PM
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Maybe they are getting dead software and open sourcing it.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 27/6/06 8:32PM
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JGZimmerle>Yes they can open source the bits they completely wrote - but if you were a Select subsciber would you be *happy* at everyone getting for free stuff you *paid for* ????

Additionally by "significantly altered" how much is that *exactly* 10%, 20%, 60%, 95% or does *any presence* of covered code still entitle the copyright owner (Castle) to a final say if *any* of the covered code is included. I'd remind you of the "partial" release of Printer code by ROL a ways back - but not all the code was released (presumably for such copyright reasons).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 27/6/06 8:35PM
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maikl:

"Is everybody allowed to use "RISC OS" in a company name or does one need to contact RISCOS Ltd./Castle to do so? Who owns the right on the name?"

RISC OS isn't a registered trademark. Anyone can use it.

 is a RISC OS UserWill! on 27/6/06 9:17PM
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I don't know UK copyright laws well enough to comment on this, but my best guess would be, that the way in wich such a component works internally would have to be changed. Simply inserting a few comments or fixing typos would not do. I guess that things like the former kernel, wich has been changed to a microkernel plus separate components (new graphics API and all the former kernel functionality wich now resides in different modules) would now be considered to belong to RISCOS Ltd.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 27/6/06 9:27PM
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I would not mind at all, if Select components were to be open sourced. I paid my subscription money, to keep RISC OS development going. And even if I had spent it to get some features for my own use, it would still be fine if others get the same features for free after some time. Thats the way things have always worked. If someone has never spent a single penny on RISC OS and now buys VRPC-Adjust, they get all the cool features of RISC OS for only 120 pounds, whereas users like me have spent thousands of pounds on RISC OS over the years. For all that money, we had the great pleasure of working with a fine OS for many years, while the new VRPC-owner had to work with less intuitive or efficient tools.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 27/6/06 9:41PM
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thesnark: Drop me a line if you'd like to try my 32-bitted blockdriver - I used it do demo all the stuff on my A9 at Wakefield but should work on the Iyonix too, just not had a chance to try it yet.

Not officially released (bits to finish off) but should work.

 is a RISC OS Userliquid on 28/6/06 12:14AM
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JGZimmerle: the minor restructuring of the kernel in to different modules would not be sufficent. Its a derivative work and covered by existing copyright and licences, as will be anything they have seen the sources to. Only entirely new code independantly developed after the expiry of code sharing agreement at the end of Select 2 are owned by ROL. I'm sure the usual suspects will contend this, but PM is on record as stating that exact fact.

AMS: the situation for some time has been that the things Select subscribers have paid in full for, have been given away heavily in discounted copies of the Adjust ROMs and VRPC-Adjust. I wouldn't mind this as Select was intended to fund features for early adoptors, and then to make them available to the wider RISC OS user base. That was until subscribers paid 2 years worth of subscriptions for absolutely nothing, while ROL is still enjoying the income from Adjust and VRPC, and now asking for a 3rd year of subscriptions with no guarentee of anything in return.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/6/06 9:58AM
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AMS: "Yes they can open source the bits they completely wrote - but if you were a Select subsciber would you be happy at everyone getting for free stuff you paid for ???? " In the last year of my Select subscription, I spent over £100 of my limited free cash and got exactly nothing from RISC OS Ltd. I would be extremely annoyed if all of Select suddenly became available as Open Source software, free for all.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 28/6/06 10:11AM
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I like the acronym, ROOL. RISC OS users ROOL? ;-)

Best of luck to Steve Revill and co. This is very welcome news -- even if we don't know the details of what the news is quite yet!

PS MoreDesk ROOLs 2

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 28/6/06 12:13PM
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thesnark. Re liquids blockdriver. Whilst my comment was light-hearted, it did mask a real 'want'. I hope you might be sufficiently interested to take-up 'liquids' offer.

 is a RISC OS UserXinoyi on 28/6/06 12:19PM
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In reply to JWCR: "... I spent over £100 of my limited free cash and got exactly nothing from RISCOS Ltd. I would be extremely annoyed if all of Select suddenly became available as Open Source ..."

Sorry, I can't resist: If it is open sourced then you'd get something instead of 'exactly nothing' :-o

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 28/6/06 3:57PM
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hzn: Yeah,, two years late and with everyone else. Gee, what a bargain.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 28/6/06 11:53PM
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I made a point after the Riscstation laptop fiasco and my initial select subscription (where I got nothing) that I would never, ever buy another RiscOS product unless it was on the shelf and for sale.

If others would have done the same we would have spent our money on software (which I did for 2 titles with my next select sub). This software base would have become larger and addressed the main problem. Lack of up to date software.

The only "charitable" money I put towards a similar project was the UNIX proting project. I had confidence that Peter would deliver and he did (and trust me, I'm the last person that would back PN).

The main think that prevented me from staying with RiscOS was the ability to run JAVA apps like ImageJ.

Good luck to the people behind RiscOS Open (ROSO) whatever they do. Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 29/6/06 7:57AM
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In reply to Xinoyi and liquid:

Unfortunately the PocketReader and Iyonix are both in London (whereas I'm in Bristol) but I will pass your comments on to Harriet.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 29/6/06 1:08PM
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nijinsky With you on the point "I would never, ever buy another RiscOS product unless it was on the shelf and for sale".

It was pretty simple for Castle to garner much goodwill simply by putting a product on the market that could be bought straight away and did what is said on the tin. Which after all is how companies should operate in any market.

In the last year we have spent less than my lost deposits on RS portables and two year's Select subs combined on mac mini add ons. As a result we have derived far more pleasure and useful functionality out of these items than from any of the Select 'improvements' or RISC OS vapourware touted to 'loyal' enthusiasts.

JWCR Yep Select was a true waste of my money too. You live and learn....and then walk away.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 29/6/06 7:02PM
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blashnr:

Apple have a hardware business so are selling a combined product. So its not really a fair comparison - Microsoft would be a better comparison and they are having huge problems with delays on their products despite much larger budgets.

There are failures in all markets - its a shame the RISC OS market seems to be so self-absorbed on the failures and they assume such a high profile :-(

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 30/6/06 2:07PM
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"Readers should keep an eye open on riscosopen.co.uk"

They might also want to watch www.riscosopen.com - though they both lead to the same server.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/7/06 4:55PM
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Probably yet another "consulting" company. Usually with no ties with RISC OS whatsoever.

Or they start up something in timber. Doors, windows, wooden furniture, car ports etc...

It would be stupid to do anthing with computers now since in a few months Microsoft will once again fire up the big media cirus and Windows Vista will sweep away ALL attention from other technologies.

Regards,

 is a RISC OS Userepdm3be on 9/7/06 11:38AM
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epdm3be: "furniture"

Have you heard of software companies called "Documentum" or "Legato" ?

What happened to them?

Don't be so dismissive of different people's approaches to different markets.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 11/7/06 1:46AM
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