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RISC OS Open website expands

Published: 12th Dec 2006, 22:05:40 | Permalink | Printable

Bugs, licence issues, and more

NetSurf and riscosopen.co.ukRISC OS Open caused a mild stir this week as it quietly launched an updated website with various new features. The team behind the open sourcing of RISC OS 5 are testing their new online site - and sneaked out the new site on its .co.uk and .org domains, leaving riscosopen.com pointing to the older static version. The updated website also reveals the scale of the licensing issues the team face.

The new site has an online source code vault, but it contains the blueprints to a CVS client rather than the operating system source code at the moment. The site does includes a bug and fault tracking service, which may come as a relief to third party programmers who feel their bug reports to Castle and RISCOS Ltd may be disappearing down a blackhole.

Out of all the faults filed so far on riscosopen.co.uk, the most interesting show stopper is the lack of a non-commercial licence from Castle. According to the fault logs, ROS Open's Steve Revill said in November: "We're slowly getting closer to this. We've had a couple of new drafts going around the loop recent. Hopefully, we can all agree the non-commercial licence in the next couple of weeks." Castle's licence web page is currently empty.

Another show stopper before the first batch of source code is released is the need to review every component in the operating system and remove items that cannot be released under Castle's proposed dual-licensing scheme. These components will instead be moved into a separate repository and distributed independently of Castle's source code, it is hoped.

The wording of the software licence at the start of every BASIC program included with RISC OS 5, of which there are over a hundred, has to be agreed, and the source code has to be scoured for "questionable keywords" - quite possibly a reference to the amount of swearing and flippant notes left in comments in the source code. The leaking of the Windows NT4 source revealed some hilarious cursing and outbursts from Microsoft engineers, for example.

The team's new website also includes a discussion forum, which users must register an account to use, and RISC OS Open have called for donations to the project.

Steve Revill and Castle's Jack Lillingston are due to appear in public at ROUGOL in central London on Monday, January 15. A user group insider said: "There may possibly also be a chance to look at the first batches of RISC OS source code released. Jack should also be able to demonstrate RISC OS 5.12 for the Iyonix, and talk about the developments arising from it, and the upgrade process."

Links

RISC OS Open website

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Discussion

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We're in the process of getting our full, dynamic site up and running. As such, the domains are not all pointing at the new site so some things (the registration confirmation email, in particular) aren't fully working yet.

If you have problems with the email confirmation when you're creating an account on the site, edit the link in the email from www.riscosopen.org to www.riscosopen.co.uk and you should be able to follow that and complete the process.

A full press release about the new site will be made to Drobe and csaa in the next couple of days - once we're fully ready to go live.

 is a RISC OS Userriscosopen on 13/12/06 12:44AM
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And before anyone starts plundering the CVS repository, there's no RISC OS source in there yet :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/12/06 9:15AM
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I'm a little dismayed that this is out in the open so soon (it may have been unwise to switch over the little-used .co.uk domain for testing). We had opened the "full" site to beta testers by IP address only with the other domains still pointing to the static site. The new one is still "settling in" and some problems exist.

If you use the site at this stage, please be aware that the server may be brought up or down from time to time as the remaining faults get sorted out. It wasn't meant to be fully live yet but Drobe's publicity has forced our hand :-)

 is a RISC OS Useradh1003 on 13/12/06 9:39AM
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adh1003:

Can you really blame Drobe for frequently checking RISC OS sites of interest? If you feel 'forced', it's because you rolled-out a website before it was properly ready.

Or I've misread something ...

 is a RISC OS Userkrisa on 13/12/06 9:54AM
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You've misread ;-) The site had not been formally released, but we transferred the riscosopen.co.uk domain (rather than the much more commonly used .com, .org or .org.uk variants which we also own) as an interim test. This was probably a mistake, since it meant that people could quite easily stumble upon the prototype site by accident.

Since users are now signing up for accounts, they will be getting account activiation e-mail messages containing addresses that won't work because the other 3 domains still point to the static site. So, to avoid a flood of support requests or disgruntled users we've transferred the remaining domains over. It'll take a while for this to propagate.

You're quite right, the site wasn't properly ready - but it wasn't rolled out either.

Anyway, at least everyone gets to see what we're doing, even if it doesn't all work yet.

 is a RISC OS Useradh1003 on 13/12/06 9:59AM
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All domains apart from the .com domain are now pointing at the new RISC OS Open site so signing-up should be easy. The .com domain is taking longer due to problems at the original host.

Take a look at [link] for more info.

The forums and bugs database are open for business so feel free to start posting stuff - but as we're still working on the site, don't be surprised if it goes down occasionally ;)

 is a RISC OS Userriscosopen on 15/12/06 3:56PM
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