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Firefox 2 will be Iyonix-only

Published: 15th Nov 2006, 21:49:54 | Permalink | Printable

May lack https but will cost community 5000 quid

Peter Naulls at a RISC OS showThe next release of the RISC OS Firefox port will be Iyonix-only, developer Peter Naulls revealed today.
Although the updated port, dubbed Firefox 2, is said to be working, Peter, pictured, will first need a further five grand in cash donations from users - even though the revised port may ship without https support, which is crucial for online banking and shopping.

He wants £1000 to release the new version of the multi-platform web browser, and £4000 to polish it into a proper RISC OS application with Unicode font and plugin support, and various speed ups. An A9home-compatible version could be on the cards if there is "financial interest". Peter also hinted that a port of open source Flash player Gnash is possible if it could use the OpenGL functionality in the Castle Iyonix's graphics card.

On his website, Peter said Firefox 2 "is similar to the beta 5 release of Firefox 1.5, but it is a bit faster and more stable, and has some RISC OS-specific functionality. It may lack secure connection (https) support."

A punter who donated cash to the project said: "The key won't be getting the port finished, it's getting the software fully integrated into the RISC OS desktop. I use NetSurf because it 'plays nicely', and we need Firefox to do the same."

No concrete release date was given, although Peter said Firefox 2 "will be ready for release very shortly."


Firefox port website

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Next: ROS used in secure gadget network research


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This *is* good news. I'm particularly pleased that it is already working; I admire Peter for keeping his head down and getting on with the job, then popping up when he's sure he can deliver.

This really is a key issue for the platform, it could be make or break for many users. I hope we end up with this and O3, giving us a choice in what is likely to be an imperfect world.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/11/06 10:25PM
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Excellent news. As an A9 owner, I'd welcome additional information on the likelihood of a port to my machine. I'd happily contribute financially to such a project, should it happen.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 15/11/06 10:47PM
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On my A9 I use most of the times !Netsurf. Only for online banking and shopping I switch to FF -beta 4 I will donate for an A9home version but then I must be sure it has https support.

 is a RISC OS UserEasyKees on 16/11/06 12:37AM
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Put up your money to see what can be done. Peter has a reputaion second to none when it comes to delivering the goods. He wouldn't have made the offer if he felt he couldn't deliver. My money is in! Where are the other 19 people to get the ball rolling?

 is a RISC OS Userrmac on 16/11/06 2:11AM
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Excellent! If all goes to plan I might be ordering a pile of software in a few months, so a FF donation will certainly be on the list.

I agree with EasyKees though, I use https a lot so would want it to happen reasonably soon.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 16/11/06 3:08AM
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I think Peter has done a grand job with FireFox, but as an A9home owner, I'm going to site on the fence for a little while and see what O3 is like when it appears (hopefully soon).

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 16/11/06 7:04AM
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People complain there is no software and then sit on the fence when something appears....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 16/11/06 7:43AM
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I only buy things when they are "here and now".

Like Kevin Costner. "if they build it they will come".

I'm not saying Peter wont deliver, however the platform has a history of promisses that have not appeared so I have modulated my enthusiasm with pre-purchases.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 16/11/06 7:44AM
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But you also have to convince them to bother building it. Peter could just take his skills to the Linux or Windows marketplace. You could argue he's trying to meet you halfway...

How are you going to bridge the gap?

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 16/11/06 8:01AM
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Maybe we could interest him in doing a Java port? I would be happy to pay towards that.

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 16/11/06 8:05AM
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Its also worth pointing out that PN made a point of stopping taking money earlier this year because he felt he would not be able to deliver. Do you want this guy on board or not?

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 16/11/06 8:21AM
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I wont do it. I did it in the past with Select, and others but no more.

I write software for Windows/MacOSX/Linux (a desktop database IDE) and PDA's (including freeware and faviours (a surf database to New Zealand and a car dealership Palm app to california). I charge when I have something to sell that I feel is worth it. I tend to find that if it is commercially viable it will be done and will sell. There are always a broad spectrum of opinions, some at one end and others at the other. It just depends where the majority are. If there are enough people willing to stump up the cash then fine. Just not me.

If it was shares in a commercial company then that is a different matter.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 16/11/06 8:23AM
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I use virtual acorn anyway and it is Iyonix only, so I should have not bothered posting my personal opinion.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 16/11/06 8:38AM
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Nice one Peter. Although I won't be using Iyonix, I've donated money anyway - Firefox 2 is the dog's nadgers, it deserves to be on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 16/11/06 9:34AM
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nijinsky: But Select isn't a very fair comparison. Peter Naulls has a reputation for delivering what he says he is going to, so why tar him with the Select brush? If you don't believe in paying to support things like this anyway then fine, but it's unfair in this case to refrain from doing so because you don't think anything will come of it.

Personally I'm having to think about whether or not I'll support this because I'm not sure how useful it will be. Some speedups would have to be a hell of a lot of speedups for using Firefox on RISC OS not to be an unpleasant last resort when other browsers fail.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 16/11/06 10:21AM
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Does this Firefox 2 port include Javascript functionality (as version 1.5 on Windows does)? If so, and if the port will work on A9home as well, then I would be willing to donate.

 is a RISC OS UserCKH2 on 16/11/06 11:20AM
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"Does this Firefox 2 port include Javascript functionality"

Please don't ask questions like that, you'll upset Peter. ;-)

But seriously, I'm certain it will provide Javascript functionality, as the the previous versions have and its an integral part of the browser. This is not to be confused with Java, however.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 16/11/06 11:38AM
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Am happy to donate and have done so, how else are we going to get a decent browser?

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 16/11/06 11:57AM
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Great news indeed, Peter has made many valuable contributions to the platform in the past and I am glad to see the prospect of this continuing.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 16/11/06 1:15PM
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I suspect the A9 does not have enough memory to run FireFox 2, so those hoping for an A9 version are probably going to be disappointed. The archiles heal of the A9 was always the lack of memory for ported Open source and the USB not being USB 2

 is a RISC OS UserJwoody on 16/11/06 1:23PM
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It has 128MB. Currently 64MB is sufficient to run the current version of Firefox on a RiscPC (for a while at least) Cheers!

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 16/11/06 1:36PM
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The last time Peter asked for money I offered him free advertising in Qercus. The manner of his refusal ensured that offer won't be repeated. Instead I'm offering free advertising for those who provide free software or free services for RISC OS users - with priority to those whose software runs on all current RISC OS machines.

I'll add my congratulations to Peter for his continued work - but I'll be personally more pleased if Andrew H. & Co can make a significant jump with Browse.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 16/11/06 2:59PM
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John, everbody knows your always looking for a fight with Peter. Please stop doing so. It gets old.

 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 16/11/06 3:16PM
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"I'll be personally more pleased if Andrew H. & Co can make a significant jump with Browse."

Have you not heard of Netsurf? What a waste of effort developing Browse would be.

As for the

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 16/11/06 4:06PM
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Why? Browse supports JavaScript, Netsuft does not.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/11/06 6:28PM
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I supported Peter with his first Firefox port and in the absence of O3 I think it makes sense to go with FF2. On my Iyonix I can say that the addition of RISCOS5.12 and a FX5200 card has speeded up FF1.5 and it is usable. In fact it's seems quicker than O2 on a lot of pages. FF1.5 does work on my Select enabled Kinitic RISCPC but not so well. If speed is an issue then for general use Netsurf can't be beaten and so a combination of the two is feasible. If Peter doesn't get enough support then it would be a shame as people state they go to other platforms due to lack of functionality and here is an opportunity to bridge that gap. Like FF1.5 there will no doubt be people who will not pay and then expect it to be available for free but thats life.

Anyway off soon to send a donation to Peter for his continued support of our market.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 16/11/06 6:31PM
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Unbelievable. Here we have two actively developed browsers, NetSurf and FireFox, both of which are proceeding apace, both of which use standard libraries updated and bug-fixed by hundreds of volunteers, both of which are superb products for different uses. And what's the response from the faithful?

'We want !Browse'. Geez, no wonder developers get fed-up.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 16/11/06 6:48PM
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Browse does not support Javascript ... well kind of true, the most recent versions I've used had the Javascript library compiled in, but lacked DOM support, DOM is what Javascript uses to control webpages content and the behaviour of the browser, without it it's useless for doing what people consider 'Javascript webapges'. Both Netsurf and Browse need DOM implimentations, they are a huge amount of work as they involve you rewritting large sections of code to handle Javascript adding and removing parts of a web page on the fly (as one of the many examples).

Firefox has a very complete Javascript *and* DOM implementation.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 16/11/06 7:38PM
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IIRC !Browse also uses standard open-source libraries. And when the sources to !Browse become available, I don't see why we should not make use of it. After all it is/was the one with the best RISC OS integration of all the browsers running on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/11/06 7:41PM
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JGZimmerle: Such as? OpenSSL, JPEGLib, libgif, Javascript, libpng? Those are in use in both Firefox and Netsurf and even commercial Oregano.

It does admitedly have the best integration with RISC OS, and a HTML4 compliant rendering engine. But it needs lots of work from a CSS and DOM point of view. It is easier to make the other browsers more RISC OSy than it is to write a compliant CSS and DOM engine.

Also, we've not seen the code to Browse yet, nor the license, it might not be as open as you hope.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 16/11/06 8:01PM
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What's wrong with freedom of choice? If someone wants to develop !Browse why try to diswade them. It looks like Firefox2 will never be available for a RiscPC and Javascript is not on the cards for Netsurf.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 17/11/06 08:23AM
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Quite Jeff Quite.

This is yet another example of the suicidal behaviour of the very small RISC OS market. In order for RISC OS to survivie what few of use left there are MUST work together. This means : a fully functioning browser that works on all machines (not just the one selective branch). It means having one OS that works on all the latest hardware.

Firefox for one branch of RISC OS is as mad and bad as having two branches of the OS in the first place!

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 17/11/06 08:51AM
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Depends why it's only going to be available for one branch. If it's simply a question of the others not being up to the job then that's fair enough (expecting modern software to run on a RiscPC is a bit optimistic, although I obviously don't know what the A9 situation is).

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 17/11/06 08:54AM
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In fact the more I think about it, it's time to leave RISC OS. It's going nowhere, too much infighting. No coordination. No strategy. There's a group of very vocal highly opiniated personalities that are fragmenting an already too small a market. I gave up reading comments on the previous article (ROL calls for Select coders) the stench of hypocrisy, when compared to article comments about Castle open sourcing, was appalling.

Apple here I come.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 17/11/06 09:06AM
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What on earth do you expect?

RISC OS desktop users are enthusiasts and therefore are likely to be opinionated.

Please also note that it is the same few people who comment on drobe, 100 users (& ex users :-( ) maximum, out of a few thousand others out there.

RISC OS isn't fragmented really - there's a long tradition of coders going their own way here (zap vs StrongED... ;-) )

Having Firefox is a real filip for the platform - when I show others screenshots & explain the iconbar I get "you've got a firefox port? - wow!"

Oh and if you go apple - can you email the people who are writing the software and get a personal helpful reply?

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 17/11/06 09:55AM
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Besides, so what if it is a bit fragmented? It might affect its future, but it seems a daft reason to leave now. If it's still usable for you why change? If it isn't then change anyway, irrespective of the bickering. If you need to buy a new machine anyway, I could understand it influencing your decision about buying a new machine, but I'm not sure how it could affect your current computer use.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 17/11/06 10:39AM
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mripley: I would think that part of the reason Peter is concentrating on the Iyonix is that he owns one, and has for years, so he knows how RISC OS 5 works. As he's stated: "An A9-specific version is being considered subject to financial interest", so he can hardly be accused of deliberately trying to fragment the market.

Peter has put a lot of his free time and resources into RISC OS, for little personal gain. He also deals with being verbally attacked by others whenever he makes any form of comment, and from my own experience, is glad to have assistance when it is offered.

Oh, and I believe this is the second time you've mentioned on drobe that you're leaving. I recommend action rather than words in future.

jlavalin: The RiscPC is 12 years old. The fact that some people are still using them doesn't magically make them capable of running processor intensive software at today's expected speeds.

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 17/11/06 11:26AM
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In reply to Mr Ripley:

Whatever decission you make with regards RISC OS should *definatly* not be made because of a vocal minority!

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 17/11/06 11:27AM
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Although I'm sure it is flame-worthy, I'll just say this in defence of jlavalin's RiscPC comment... RiscPC/RISC OS 4/Adjust remains (in the guise of VRPC on core2duo) by far and away the fastest RISC OS system available (approx twice speed of anything else available). It may be 12 year old tech, but it is the only current system capable of getting sensible performance out of FireFox beta 5 (as far as I know). It is also curious that on Peter's donations website, the companies listed (VA, CJE, Advantage 6, APDL etc) are primarily RO4/Adjust companies, as opposed to Iyonix companies!

I guess Peter doesn't want to hear all the "its too slow on my OS3.7/OS4 RiscPC" comments (and we can all understand that!), and I guess VRPC systems can run Windows Firefox, but I know I'd prefer to see things running in RISC OS, because that's the OS I run for 12 hours a day!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 17/11/06 12:05AM
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I don't expect a Javascripted browser on a Risc PC to be fast but I would like a Risc os friendly one to be available. An updated !Browse may be of use here. At least it may encourage as many Risc os users to stay on board as possible

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 17/11/06 12:08AM
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why not only develop software that runs only on the latest hardware, why should developers spend thier time worring about whingers too tight to buy new hardware but still complain that there is not much support and new software, get of your fat butt buy a new machine and contribute to your so called beloved platform!

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 17/11/06 12:25AM
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In reply to Andrew Rawnsley: I'm not sure how relevant your comment is. Whilst RISC OS Adjust on Virtual RiscPC may be the fastest way to run RISC OS, users of such a system are hardly starved of choice of a decent browser. I can't see the massive draw of wanting to run Firefox on such a system when with a quick press of alt-enter you can run the Windows version at 10 times the speed with full flash, shockwave, java, media, etc... Whilst it might be nice to have, it's not as essential as having it running on a native system.

As far as native hardware goes, the Iyonix is still the current fastest machine available and from the announcement on the Firefox page on riscos.info it would appear that decent performance can be expected on the Iyonix if sufficient funding is found. I too would like to know why the A9home version has to be considered separately to the Iyonix version (and the RiscPC for that matter), but these are questions that only Peter can answer.

I'm sure Peter will keep the Firefox page on Riscos.info updated. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 17/11/06 12:37AM
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Malcolm Ripley wrote>"Firefox for one branch of RISC OS is as mad and bad as having two branches of the OS in the first place!"

Peter Naulls *did not* rule out a version for A9 given that there was sufficient monetary interest. Obviously if he *had* an Iyonix but *not* an A9 then the Iyonix is an obvious place to start. As I read the article nothing is ruled out. There may be good *technical* reasons for starting the port on Iyonix too in as much as the video card supports OpenGL so could use the open Flash application referred to in the article.

If you choose to read this as "supporting" one strand of RO/Hardware over another for some sort of petty reasons I believe you're mistaken. Peter seems to generally base what he does on technical considerations.

Malcolm also wrote>"I gave up reading comments on the previous article (ROL calls for Select coders) the stench of hypocrisy, when compared to article comments about Castle open sourcing, was appalling. "

And what has that got to do with FireFox? Or supporting RISC OS?

What ROL are offering and what ROOL are offering ultimately are *different*. That's just a plain matter of fact. ROOL appear to be offering access to the bulk of the OS while ROL are offering a more limited access to "non-core" OS features. If I were to state that where's the offense - it's just stating facts. If someone complains about the "lateness" of Select 4 - yes it may be a bit off-topic (but hey this is drobe ;-) but again it's factually accurate.

How you interpret all of this as meaning it's time to leave RISC OS I just don't know. Usually when people react *emotionally* to things it leads to bad decissions being made. Let yourself cool down man and reconsider. This platform needs every hand it can get - don't quit in haste and then repent at leasure eh ?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 17/11/06 1:46PM
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"In order for RISC OS to survivie what few of use left there are MUST work together".

Ironic from someone who goes out of their way to spell "RISC OS" incorrectly. If you want cooperation, you'll need to be part of that yourself, not just complain about how others behave.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 17/11/06 3:11PM
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"Oh and if you go apple - can you email the people who are writing the software and get a personal helpful reply?"

Well yes if you include MY software. And Pavel that writed Pixel32 and Altuit button gadget and Ken wray's and the one and only Graphic converter. etc etc etc.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 17/11/06 3:35PM
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"Oh and if you go apple - can you email the people who are writing the software and get a personal helpful reply?"

And I could name a few more to add to Bob's list too.

Often the reply from many Risc OS developers is that a feature you want is not doable because its not important enough for the majoriy of users (for instance). Whilst I understand very well the reasoning, it's still frustrating. As to browsing, a push of the button and I use my Mac.

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 17/11/06 7:46PM
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nijinsky: Eddie:


 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 18/11/06 01:57AM
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Whats your handle now............oh yes .......nex.....reads like a comment from a totally self centered arsehole. If I wasn't in so much pain I would have answered you sooner.........better late than never :-)

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 18/11/06 02:46AM
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nex: There's a very good reason why developers shouldn't just work on the latest hardware. If you're preoducing Freeware or PD or something similar then you can afford to restrict your work to a small section. However, if you're developing commercial software then it's silly to limit your potential sales by so doing unless you have a very good reason.

In this case, since Peter is asking for subscriptions I'd put Firefox into the commercial category. Not because it fits into the normal definition but simply because he's asking for money and any restrictions on end users limits his potential donors. Possibly the reason for his limiting it to the Iyonix may be because he has doubts about the new version being fast enough to be useable on a RiscPC and wants to avoid dissapointing people. If this is the case, then it might be better if he says so rather than declare it "Iyonix only" because, as has already been pointed out, the Iyonix is not the fastest machine, so by so doing he's ruling out a very large potential customer base.

However, if it's because, as has also been suggested, it's because he intends to use hardware specific code then that's very different.

The third possibility is because he's developing on an Iyonix and doesn't want to take money up front for other machines even though it might work OK.

I think it might be a good thing if Peter would explain his reasons as that would enable prospective donors to make a rational decision. It might also diminish some of the speculation (though not stop it - that would take a small atomic device) and hence save him the trouble of dealing with it.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 18/11/06 07:59AM
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I think it's far more likely that the wimpslot limit on RISC OS 4 is insufficient for Firefox 2; executing code in dynamic areas isn't safe on 26bit RISC OS 4, whereas it can be done on 32bit RISC OS 4 with extra work, which could be why Peter hasn't ruled out an A9home port.

I'll email him and ask.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/11/06 08:50AM
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David Holden wrote>"However, if you're developing commercial software then it's silly to limit your potential sales by so doing unless you have a very good reason. "

I suppose that applies to the ROL Foundation DVD that couldn't be accessed on Iyonix too then? Or is it only silly when the software can run on Iyonix but not on anything else?

David Holden wrote>"Possibly the reason for his limiting it to the Iyonix may be because he has doubts about the new version being fast enough to be useable on a RiscPC and wants to avoid dissapointing people. If this is the case, then it might be better if he says so rather than declare it Iyonix only"

If it's anything like the original version of Firefox it would be asking a lot of a RISC PC to handle it (both memory and speedwise), but why rub peoples noses in it by stating it would be too slow for an RPC? I'd also point out that Peter's site specifically says an A9 versions is being *considered* - in effect that the current version is Iyonix only - so perhaps there may be an A9 if sufficient financial support is given to that end.

David Holden wrote>"as has already been pointed out, the Iyonix is not the fastest machine"

I'll not rise to the bait on that one. But if you're alluding to Microsoft Windows based hardware running RISC OS under emulation I fail to see the point of attempting to port for them - in as much as they can well run *natively* x86 based Firefox - which would be faster (by miles) than an emulation run under Virtual Acorn additionally Firefox under Windows can already run plugins the RISC OS port may not be able to - therefore overall the effort of porting Firefox for use under VA would be pointless (IMHO).

The only sensible options for Firefox on RISC OS is either the Iyonix or A9, the RPC (even StrongARM ones) would probably be too slow and not have enough memory. Given that Peter has an Iyonix it represents a good starting point. And if that isn't a good enough reason *he's* the one doing the work - surely he must have some say in the matter?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/06 5:29PM
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and then there's Chris William's well spotted point about WimpSlot, nicely done ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/06 5:34PM
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AMS: The Foundation DVD works fine on the IYONIX as long as you have a compatible DVD drive (and you can make it to work even with an incompatible DVD drive if you have CDVDBurn). Even after being told, RO Ltd. continued their misleading advertising for reasons only known to PM. I made the facts very clear when Chris asked me at Wakefield 2005, but I don't think the truth about this issue was never published on Drobe.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 18/11/06 5:51PM
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Thanks for that Steffen, I was only going by what I had read. Thanks again for the clarification.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/06 5:59PM
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I remember having a technical chat, but I didn't make a note of what you said. I find the whole issue of ISO9660 and UDF a little confusing. Could you email me explaining everything and I'll find a space for it on the site.

The Iyonix can read DVDs formated to ISO9660, as reported here:


 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/11/06 6:30PM
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AMS: Just how many times do you need this issue clarifying??? The Foundation DVD is a standard DVD ROM. The only reason it didn't work on the Iyonix is because RO5 had ancient CD drivers that couldn't read any DVD! No conspiracy and nothing ROL could do about it except wait for Castle to upgrade the drivers, which they did in one of the 5.0x updates.

Now can we get back on topic - Firefox2, yay! But most users won't be able to run it, boo! Yet :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 19/11/06 03:42AM
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diomus: You could very well be right about the Wimpslot, though I doubt it as I assume PN knows how to use dtnamic areas. However your comment has illustrated my primary point beautifully, which was that if PN just made a bald "Iyonix only" statement without explanation it would give rise to the usual interminavble speculation about why.

AMS: Once again you astound us all with your ability to write the longest possible posts saying absolutely nothing which adds to the points being discussed. May I suggest a new carrer in local government or politics where your talents might be better appreciated. :)

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 19/11/06 08:19AM
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Sure, but even though Peter knows how to use DAs, he unfortunately can't stop a 26bit-mode processor and operating system putting flags in the most significant bits of the program counter. You can't demand a particular address from the OS as a userspace program.

If you have code executing in high memory areas, where the virtual address requires bits 26-31, this will clash with the status flags. Execution will jump wildly to the wrong addresses, and the browser will crash - frustrating the user.

We've seen this before when the Select Filer's DA is high up in memory and its virtual address would clash with the flags bits in R1 of OS_HeapSort. Users with lots of DAs and 128MB+ of RAM would see this. Because the A9home's 32bit-mode cpu and OS can safely execute code high up in memory, I presume this is why Peter hasn't ruled out an A9home port.

I've emailed Peter, but he refused to confirm what I've said or explain why the Firefox will be Iyonix-only (unless an A9home por comes later on). This is because he feels the article headline and sub-headline are inaccurate, and won't talk unless I correct it.

He said: "Both these statements made in the head and subhead are inaccurate, as evidenced by wording on the actual page. When drobe puts more stock in accuracy, above wording simply designed to get a reaction (including, but not limited to the quotes you have from me which appear on the frontpage), I'll be happy to answer your questions further."


 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 19/11/06 11:19AM
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Bryan: I was able to read DVDs on the IYONIX with very early versions of the OS, possibly even 5.00. At the time of the release of the Foundation DVD, the IYONIX could certainly read DVDs. The same is true for RISC OS 3.7 and RISC OS 4.0x by the way, something which was also deemed impossible in the RO Ltd. Foundation DVD press release.

I made it clear to RO Ltd. as soon as their announcement was made that it was untrue - after all, statements like this would do potential harm to my business. Indeed, I spent considerable time explaining the truth to confused users. Thank you RO Ltd. for making the life of a software developer even more difficult.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 19/11/06 2:09PM
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David: ah, but it's ok for you to make contentious statements like "the Iyonix is not the fatest RISC OS machine"? And it's also ok for Chris to make untrue acticle headlines (which are often the only part read elsewhere by non-RISC OS users)? Apparently it's also ok for Chris to quote emails without permission, although I made no comments about the headlines being corrected. And most likely what ever I do say about the topic will be analyzed to death due to interest in the topic, so I rather doubt I would remove any "interminable speculation". If you want to accuse anybody of that, perhaps you ought to be looking at ROL.

Of cours, Chris' comments about the wimpslot are entirely speculation on his part.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/11/06 2:44PM
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mrchocky: Hang on, don't have a go at me. I wasn't aware that there was any contoversy in this article until *after* I'd made my posting. I had made the assumption (though I should have known better in view of previous experience) that the article was factual. I therefore merely suggested that it might be advatageous *to you* to make your reasons public.

As for any my statement that the Iyonix is not the fastest RISC OS machine, that is not "contentious", it's factual. I've no doubt that it might be possible to find some instances where an Iyonix would be faster than VirtualRPC running on a decent Core 2 Duo machine but they would be rather unusual. If you doubt this then if you'd care to send me any (non contrived) code I'd be happy to test it on both machines.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 19/11/06 3:15PM
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David Holden wrote>"Once again you astound us all with your ability to write the longest possible posts saying absolutely nothing which adds to the points being discussed. May I suggest a new carrer in local government or politics where your talents might be better appreciated."

Hey that's low... really low... a person thinner skinned than myself could get offended by that ;-)

However I'll write to the point then shall I?

(1). Firefox on RPC would be too slow and take up too much memory (2). Firefox on a Microsoft Windows ARM emulator such as Virtual Acorn would be pointless as the native one (x86 Firefox) would be quicker and could take better advantage of the underlying PC platform. (3). Peter hasn't explicitly ruled out an A9Home based version *given enough financial support/interest* (4). I think Peter has made his decision based on technical considerations - and given that he's the one that has to implement this I am happy to leave it in his capable hands.

So I think David we can both agree then that Peter has acted reasonably and that an initial port for Iyonix is quite reasonable - however if you wish to dispense with logic and refuse to accept that then feel free to ;-).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 19/11/06 4:06PM
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Just for info, Richard Hallas went to some lengths to explain the reasons why the press release claimed the Foundation DVD wouldn't work on the Iyonix:


It seems to me like a good clarification, and does highlight the fact that ROL were not trying to be wilfully malicious ;)

Don't get me wrong, I sympathise if it made your life more difficult, but I don't think it was an intentional attempt by ROL to mislead people.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 19/11/06 4:27PM
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In reply to hubersn: Did you seriously expect ROL to stick to facts in their advertisement? Just think of the screen they even showed at South East show advertising RISC OS Select with a graphic along the lines "sex sells" which has the bottom line stating "Select features will be available for Iyonix in Q2 2006".... but perhaps they're just too busy to finish off Select 4 to fix that one :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 19/11/06 5:09PM
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David: indeed, and thanks for making clear something I know is already obvious to yourself. Making unqualified statements in the face of potentially controversial topics is open to all kinds of misinterpreation. In this particular case, it's whether or not an emulated RiscPC even qualifies as a "RISC OS machine" (I'm not debating it either way, just pointing it out), and that running such applications under VRPC is of questionable value, which makes the comparison a bit silly. You made another example on csa.* in regards to subscription costs, and deliberatively contrived reasoning.

Anyway, as hubersn points out, the endless task of correcting those who go out of their way to spread inaccuracies becomes very tiring, and saps the will to live. By all means point out that my unwillingness to comment is going to cause speculation, but again, I think you need to look to ROL to take the cake in that respect, and indeed in going out their way to cause confusion (such as their attempt to rewrite RISC OS history).

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/11/06 5:42PM
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mrchocky: Like yourself, I'm not wishing to get into a VRPC debate either. I merely raised the point because *if* your reason for wishing to limit the new version of Firefox to the Iyonix was primarily because speed would not be the issue with VRPC run on decent hardware.

Whether or not it's sensible to run a browser from within an emulator when that same browser run on the host OS might well be faster/better is another qustion altogether. The fact is, quite a few people do like to do this, and if was feasible to enable this to happen without too much additional work on your part then it would widen the available 'catchment area' for donations.

As to the feasibility of this that is, of course, a matter for you, and in the light of what you have already said I fully understand why you do not want that particulary debate to take place here.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 19/11/06 7:17PM
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David Holden wrote>"Whether or not it's sensible to run a browser from within an emulator when that same browser run on the host OS might well be faster/better is another qustion altogether."

What do you mean "might well be faster/better"? It either is or isn't faster. I can't see how, logically, you can arrive at the conclusion that given the same application compiled (into ARM code) that such ARM code can run on an emulator on an x86 *faster* than native x86 code version of the same application.

As to whether it's better or not if the two applications are the same application (Firefox in this instance) it would make diddly squat difference as to if you use ARM under Emulation or x86 one.

A bit of a pointless exercize IMHO.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 20/11/06 1:32PM
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AMS: "What do you mean "might well be faster/better"? It either is or isn't faster."

And where do I say anything to imply otherwise? You really can't resist posting incessant gibberish, can you. My meaning was perfectly clear. I made *no* value judgements, and the sentence you quote is, in fact, a statement that no value judgements are being made as to whether one item is faster or better than any other and was intended to do exactly that. As such it is absolutely clear and 100% accurate and perfectly serves its purpose as a precursor to the next sentence.

You then go on to say "I can't see how, logically, you can arrive at the conclusion that given the same application compiled (into ARM code) that such ARM code can run on an emulator on an x86 faster than native x86 code version of the same application. " You are, of course, right. I couldn't, and indeed I don't. Where did you conjour this from?

Perhaps if you took the trouble to read what people actually wrote you might waste less time writing so much ribbish and save others the trouble of reading it (if, indeed, they bother).

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 20/11/06 3:53PM
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I'm just going to be bold here - debating how well Firefox 2 will run on the VRPC emulator is nonsensical. For all I care, it won't even run on these imitator systems, since wether they be running on top of Linux, Windows or OS X, all of the above already have decent webbrowsers and I assume people running RO on those emulators do so because they require one or more RO-specific applications, particularly not because they wish to experience the RO browser issue.

Since RISC OS does not run natively on x86, PPC, an abacus or whatever, I do not consider them a RO machine. Just my opinion. By that logic, this RiscPC is a MegaDrive, a Gameboy, a C64, an Atari 2600 and so on, because it can emulate them. No, not in my book. The fastest RO machine is the Iyonix. Sorry. I believe priority must be given to those still working on a native RISC OS machine, since they actually need it and can't simply 'jump' out of the RO desktop for any special browsing requirements.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/11/06 3:57PM
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There would be some point in it being able to run on an emulator in that it would avoid switching back and forth between the emulator and the underlying OS, but the extra convenience of that is probably not worth putting a great deal of effort into making it work. Well, in my view. Perhaps I'm the only one who bothers firing up Oregano if I'm using VRPC and want to look at a site I know in advance will work with it.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 20/11/06 4:09PM
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In reply to hEgelia: You are quite right, people want RISC OS on their machine for some feature/app/user experience that they cannot get without RISC OS. As regards to browsers etc I agree. If you have a PC running VirtualAcorn then you can easily use a Windows browser. However, and much to my initial surprise, a high percentage of users actually want to perform some (or all) of their browsing from within RISC OS. That's why VirtualAcorn sponsored the original port of Firefox, because users wanted Firefox on VirtualAcorn.

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 20/11/06 4:37PM
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SimonC: Personally I wouldn't normally use a browser from within an emulator unless, of course, I was using it to read local files eg. program documentation. However, what I do is unimportant since I know that a number of people, for whatever reason, actually do choose to do this.

The point I was making (and most people have been so busy trying to hang their own agendas onto it that they're overlooked it) is that if people *want* to do it and are prepared to pay for the priviledge then, if it can be done with little extra effort, why not?

Once again I emphasise that the important point is the caveat in the final line of the last paragraph, and that's up to Peter.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 20/11/06 4:42PM
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On this news, I have resumed donations to Unix Porting Project at a similar level to the previous year.

 is a RISC OS UserBernardUK on 20/11/06 4:49PM
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The FireFox port is open source, if people want to use it on Risc PC's or VRPC then any developer who's interested is free to make the necessary changes. But Peter's main priority is and should be the people who's machines are capable of getting the best use out of it, which are the newer and faster Iyonix and A9.

The entire VRPC argument is a spurious distraction by people who should know better. If you want to view local HTML or even most websites on the RISC OS side, there is NetSurf which runs at a decent speed even on the slower ARM processor emulation. With FireFox and plugs-ins such as Flash, Video codecs and Java running at full speed on the native side, there is no sensible case to make.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/06 09:14AM
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Getting Firefox running on RiscPCs might increase sales of the Iyonix and A9. People will be able to see how well Firefox copes with all their favourite websites, hence making RISC OS more viable for them to continue using, but find it too slow on a RPC and so they'll need to upgrade!

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 21/11/06 1:03PM
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In reply to Bryan Hogan:

A good workhorse the RPC has been. It is both out of production and very slow to run ported applications such as Firefox. Developers IMO need to concentrate on producing applications to run on the current hardware, whatever it may be.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 21/11/06 1:24PM
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*IF* it is the wimpslot size that is the limiting factor, then wouldn't a better approach to be for Select 32 to be modified so it has the same limit as RO5?

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 21/11/06 6:01PM
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