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Castle directors patch up 'disagreement'

Published: 24th Nov 2006, 12:40:42 | Permalink | Printable

Row over future resolved with open source plans

Open source RISC OS 5Castle director Peter Wild is back 'on side' with the company after patching up a fall out with Castle boss Jack Lillingston. He said the situation had been "amicably resolved" since the arrival of RISC OS Open to open source RISC OS 5.

Earlier this year, Peter said the operating system must be released as an open source project to survive while putting his own firm's stakeholding in Castle up for sale. His electronic design business, Pattotek, loaned nearly £30,000 to Castle between 2003 and 2004, when Peter became a director.

He said: "I can say a number of points of disagreement between myself and Jack Lillingston have been amicably resolved since Pattotek announced it wished to sell its shares in Castle. Central to this is Castle's plan to open up the sources to RISC OS through RISC OS Open Ltd, whilst hardware products are continued through Iyonix Ltd, effectively leaving Castle as an IPR licensing business."

Although Pattotek's shares are still up for sale "for the right price", Peter said he was not actively pursuing a sale while other issues are resolved, and that RISC OS is not a central part of Pattotek's business plans. He also hoped that RISCOS Ltd would back the RISC OS Open project.

He added: "As you know, I have believed for some time that the only possible future for RISC OS is by opening up the sources for the whole community to participate in its growth and development and I'm delighted agreement has been reached, and a mechanism put in place to achieve this.

"Whilst we have to be realistic about the prospects for the resurgence of RISC OS, ROOL's plans at least give it a chance and I'm hopeful a number of new business opportunities for everyone will emerge because of this.

"If successful, the embedded market will certainly grow, with resultant benefits for the desktop market, especially if RISCOS Ltd were to see the real opportunities here and get behind what ROOL are doing."

Opponents of an open source RISC OS argue that time and money are needed to effectively develop the operating system, and previous efforts to open up parts of the OS, such as !Printers, failed to take off.


RISC OS Open website

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If I can just say something about that last paragraph: As I understand it, open sourcing of Printers did not 'fail to take off' at all. David Marston took some time to get to grips with the Printers source code that was released and was just begining to make some worthwhile progress with it. Unfortunately as we all know, before he could really get much further, he died.

Shortly after that, the sources to Printers were withdrawn, thus making it rather difficult for anyone else to take over. So I don't think it's right to say that previous open sourcing attempts have failed to take off. All in my humble opinion of course, but that's situation as I understand it.

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 24/11/06 1:07PM
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Since ROOL seem to, as far as I am aware, done nothing with regard to releasing either code, licence details or financial details, the Peter is right. Someone does need to get behind them, then kick them up the arse.

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 26/11/06 12:40PM
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In reply to VirtualAcorn I share your frustration about the lack of news/source/announcemets from ROOL, but all-in-all I still have a lot of faith that they will do what they say. Frankly, the creation of ROOL is what this platform has needed for years, an open-ish source RISC OS should allow ports of RO5 to RiscPC and A9, making it possible to run the same version of RISC OS on all important hardware. That will get rid of the OS split, make ROL irrelevant (sounds harsh I know, but what have they done for a couple of years, really?). It should speed up desktop development enormously, as Castle seems to focus on embedded markets (which is very important, not taking anything away from them), and ROL seem to have between 0 and 1 developers at any one time, and some of the work they do is pretty questionable.

I sold my A9Home a few months after buying as was not any workable version of RISC OS for it, and did not seem to be on the horizon. I swore that it would be my last ever RISC OS computer, as I thought that all the people in charge of the platform like Castle and ROL did not have the slightest idea what they were doing. Shortly after I sold, the existence of ROOL came to light, and after reading their plans, I've got a bit of faith back!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/11/06 4:06PM
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thegman: Aaron (Virtual Acorn) is a shareholder of, customer of (for Virtual Acorn), former (current?) Director of and occasional programmer for ROL, don't expect him to agree with your idea of making ROL irrelevant ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 27/11/06 2:24PM
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In reply to flibble: All pretty much true, and I am a current and former (eh?) director of ROL. I am also the person who runs a company that purchases large numbers of RISC OS licences (last time I looked a damn site more licences than anyone else in the desktop market). So as a potential commercial customer I am keenly awaiting details on licences and prices and of course availability of sources. At the moment none of this seems to be forthcoming and I am starting to wonder of it will ever happen.

P.S. I find the fact that my earlier on topic post has been modded down rather sad, but very funny :-)

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 27/11/06 7:57PM
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Might have had something to do with the tone (to quote you verbatim "Someone does need to get behind them, then kick them up the arse.")

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 27/11/06 8:13PM
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In reply to VirtualAcorn:

On my browser the moderation menu says "Derogatory/Off topic". What you said appeared to me to be derogatory, but I admit that it could just have been a colourful use of language.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 27/11/06 10:33PM
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thesnark: Perhaps a bit of "derogatory" is what's required since a whole Drobe article now seems to have appeared based around it and Stevel Revill's responce. This at least goes some way to explaining why things seem to be moving so slowly after so much was promised.

Hopefully now that someone has expressed what many others were probably feeling but were afraid to say things might start to move.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 28/11/06 8:36AM
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That's interesting. The moderation menu on my browser says "Bad/Off topic" - I suppose "Bad" could be interpreted as "Derogatory" though.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/11/06 9:07AM
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VinceH: From what I have seen of the way most people use the menu it would be better if "Bad/Off topic" was renamed as "I don't like what you've said" since that is the way people seem to use it. It doesn't matter how accurate or on topic something is if it is at odds with some people's opinions they moderate it down.

I notice that my previous posting seems to have been moderated down, presumably because what I said, as with what Aaron said, was perhaps a bit too accurate for many people's liking :(

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 28/11/06 11:25AM
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ROOL stated before that they needed to finalize the licence details first before anything else could happen. So Aaron's rather unfriendly words have changes precisely nothing at all, since they now have provoked an answer which tells us what we already know: that the licence details need to be finalized first.

I find it very amusing that, two months after the initial announcement, people already complain about slowness. After all, no promise was made for the date of the first part of the source release. And everything which takes less than a year from announcement to release is rather fast in RISC OS world. See Vantage, Omega, Select...

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 28/11/06 11:27AM
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hubersn: Everyone involved knows that the whole of the project for ROOL is based on whether it is possible for the licences to be cleared. I'm surprised that anyone thought that they could be - and congratulated the parties for getting through that minefield. If they haven't yet managed to get through that problem then the whole project may be still-born - unless it really is only very minor aspects that still need to be cleared.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 28/11/06 2:05PM
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