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RISC OS explained to the uninitiated

Published: 8th Jul 2006, 19:09:06 | Permalink | Printable

You can't tell people what ROS is, only show them it

RISC OS articles motifAn article outlining RISC OS has been published on OSNews, written by Lua port author Gavin Wraith. As part of the popular operating system news portal's article writing competition, the piece is the second feature article in a series on minority platforms.

Gavin said: "The comments posted are all mildly positive so far. It would be fantastic if some sales eventuated from this."

The piece begins with a tour of the history of Acorn and the early design decisions that have lead to the OS we have today. Gavin then moved onto the desktop and how applications are structured, using screenshots of RISC OS 5 with a Mac OS X-clone skin.

He wrote: "The fish in a shrinking pool tend to bite each other, but you soon learn to avoid those that do.

"The range of uses to which the RISC OS community puts its machines is far wider and more diverse than I can hope to describe. Being non-standard has lots of drawbacks but none yet so compelling that I must use another operating system."

Cleo Saulnier, an OSNews reader, programmer and blogger said: "I like some of the ideas in RISC OS. Many of these are clear signs of going forward. If not the implementation, then at least the concepts."

Links

The Outsider's Tale: a RISC OS User's Apology

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Discussion

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A very good overview, and it shows that RISC OS is not entirely embarassing, as some have suggested. A follow-up article showing RISC OS in action a bit more would be nice (i.e. showing some real life applications, bigger screenshots etc).

You really have to use RO to understand just how good the GUI is, even if it is just shifting a few files about in the filer.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 9/7/06 6:18AM
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I liked this article and thought it was put over very well. The fact you don't have the usual "why bother/what's the point" comments on OSNews speaks volumes on the way it was received.

It would be nice if it sparked a bit of interest or made an ex-user aware that we're still here.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 9/7/06 8:43AM
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A good overview, but it completely fails to mention one of my favourite features: The font system. After all, what other computers in 1989 had scalable, antialiased and hinted outline fonts used throughout (nearly) all applications and providing true WYSIWYG between screen and paper.

In fact, few (if any) systems today have font systems that are as well integrated as on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usertorbenm on 12/7/06 8:51AM
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torbenm:

I think I probably had a similar experience reading the article. I kept thinking things like "why not mention the fonts?" or "what about image filing systems?" or "instant feedback of filer windows when a file changes?".

Eventually it became pretty clear that you have to stop somewhere. RISC OS has a surprising number of features that make it nice to use on a daily basis. I challenge anyone to write an article that manages to cover them all!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/7/06 1:19PM
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