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NetSurf halts punter's search for love

Published: 3rd Feb 2007, 18:49:56 | Permalink | Printable

RiscPC is a turn off claims online dating hopeful

She loves nerds, apparentlyWith under a fortnight to go to Valentines Day, at least one RISC OS punter is struggling to find a partner in time. An anonymous and single user revealed before the weekend that they were unable to log into a top online dating website with NetSurf, RISC OS's free open source browser. The unknown punter posted a bug report, and suggested that he or she "would have a girlfriend already", if their computer wasn't an Acorn RiscPC.

In the bug report filed in the NetSurf bug tracking database, the user said there was a problem gaining access to match.com - an international dating site which, at one point, had over 42 million lonely hearts registered with it, and helps pair up potential couples over the Internet.

The hapless love searcher said: "On Match.com's registration page, the access code is not visible when using NetSurf. It's not visible using Oregano 2, either.

"I am trying to register, and yes, I am single, you can all stop laughing now - maybe if I didn't use a RiscPC, I would have a girlfriend already."

A NetSurf user, who wanted to remain anonymous, whispered to us: "It's a bit of bad luck that NetSurf's ruined their chances in love. Maybe they think that if they used an Iyonix or A9home, they'd have more luck."

This week, NetSurf developer John-Mark Bell urged users to create simple 'test cases' when reporting bugs to help pinpoint the cause of a particular problem. These test cases are, generally speaking, fragments of HTML and CSS that are known to trigger a fault in NetSurf; the volunteer team of coders find it easier to investigate smaller bits of web pages rather than study full pages of code, especially when only a small part of a page is causing a problem.

John-Mark said: "There are ways to reduce the amount of time that the developers need to spend on investigating these issues. Our lives would be made significantly easier if constrained testcases were created; either by the original reporter or some other interested party."

The bug is currently 'open', and not assigned to any particular programmer to fix.


NetSurf website

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Any excuse for a picture of a cute girl, Chris. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userphilipnet on 3/2/07 7:29PM
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RiscPC a turn off? Well that's just destroyed my whole life view!

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 3/2/07 8:22PM
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Try Firefox before you abandon the platform: it definitely gets to parts other RO browsers can't.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/2/07 10:26PM
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I reckon you just have to forgive your RiscPC and then forget about the girl friend! :-)



 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 4/2/07 5:46AM
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Does anyone remember the times when we didn't have computers, let alone the internet?

Jesus, how DID people make relationships back then..?

 is a RISC OS Userfantasian2 on 4/2/07 12:02PM
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I seem to remember that I've read somewhere about 'visits' or something, although I've no idea what that could possibly mean.

 is a RISC OS Userdelink on 4/2/07 12:10PM
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Apparently there's a place called 'real life' that people used to go to to find friends and the like. I don't know where it is, though - according to wikipedia ([link]) they're not on the internet. How out of date are these people?

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 4/2/07 3:01PM
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There's internet dating these days, cyber relationships (even with web cams) and a few different ports to choose from that connect to your loved one, that I'm feeling confused and too old fashion to keep up with it all.



 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 4/2/07 5:12PM
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bucksboy: The parts where it doesn't fit in with the rest of the OS and is painfully slow?

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 4/2/07 9:43PM
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Seriously though, these dating services are great for finding people with similar interests, educational background, beliefs and taste in the area you live. Once you've found them, you meet them in real life (usually after video-chatting with them a few times) and get to know them. Usually this does not lead to a relationship, but sometimes it does. And there are statistics wich show that usually relationships wich began via a dating-service, last longer and are more fulfilling.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 4/2/07 11:52PM
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Someone should tell this NetSurf user to get his priorities in order. Is a RiscPC more important than finding love? If I wanted to find love using online services and I found myself unable to do so due to failings of a computer system, I would change the system. A computer is just a tool. If it isn't suitable for the task at hand, then select a better tool.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/2/07 9:19AM
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fantasian2: why are you asking Jesus?

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/2/07 9:20AM
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arenaman: completely the wrong attitude. What you should be asking is for drobe to set up a fully RISC OS compatible dating site. They seem to have no problem finding pictures of pretty girls, so I'm sure they could find the girls themselves...

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/2/07 9:25AM
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druck: you're right, I don't know what I was thinking :D

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/2/07 10:42AM
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arenaman: not everyone can afford to buy/maintain a second computer system in parallel with RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 5/2/07 11:30AM
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thesnark: at what point did I suggest that someone should buy and/or maintain a second computer system to run in parallel with RISC OS? If one cannot do what one wants or needs to on a RISC OS computer then one should replace it with a different system. Likewise for any other computer system. Of course a cheaper solution would be to nip along to the nearest Internet cafe and find love there...

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/2/07 1:00PM
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Slightly odd logic, arenaman - if i like the wafer goodness of kitkats, but find that I really need my daily dose of dark chocolate, do I a) only eat dark chocolate, b) stick to kitkats or c) keep both on hand, and/or try out new dark-chocolate kitkats? Sorry for the odd analogy, but its 3.45pm and i need chocolate :)

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 5/2/07 3:43PM
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I guess Netsurf team must have realised that both girlfriends (wives?) and RiscOS Computers both can be a financial burden.

So, I reckon Netsurf is discreetly leaving the dating services sites access out of the picture so we can focus on buying RiscOS products. ;-) (Just kidding).



 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 5/2/07 10:28PM
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Or even RISC OS products.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/2/07 9:47AM
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Or even the *NetSurf* team. :)

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 6/2/07 12:45PM
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No wonder you don't have girlfriends. :-)

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 6/2/07 3:37PM
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arawnsley: "slightly odd logic" you say! You then go on to suggest, if I understand it correctly, that because the user likes RISC OS, he should keep it *and* get a useful system alongside it. This might work well with chocolate, but computers are a lot more expensive. Many people, myself included, simply can't afford (or justify) flushing hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds down the toilet simply because RISC OS is nice to use. I'm not anti-RISC OS, by the way, but I do feel the lack of reality offers little in the way of advancing the platform. The NetSurf team and Peter Naulls are both doing a great job of filling in the gaps in the RISC OS Internet armoury, but there's much more that commercial developers could and should be doing. Having to run two computer systems indicates that one of them is sadly lacking in functionality.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 6/2/07 7:31PM
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Arenaman: No, it indicates they both are lacking in something. And how is getting a second system flushing hundreds down the toilet? (I'm assuming this is as an alternative to just replacing a RISC OS system)

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 6/2/07 7:51PM
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I would tend to concur that needing 2 systems means one is lacking in functionality. Or perhaps it is simply lacking in the ability to generate and read file formats from other platforms? There's still nothing on the Windows platform to rival TechWriter, so functionality or lack of is all relative. I've come to the conclusion that RISC OS can now never be a major computing platform for the casual home user. But I still believe it's excellent for people with specific requirements and for which RISC OS software exists to fulfill those requirements.

I've often thought that RISC OS would be suitable for industrial control with some appropriate bespoke software and hardware. Most large installations will use a DCS using proprietary hardware such as Honeywell (if you think RISC OS hardware is expensive, try buying a keyboard from Honeywell...). However some systems such as ABB use software running on a PC platform. Not fun when you lose control of half your plant... For small to medium concerns, RISC OS would be ideal and the sales would generate some revenue to help advance the platform for desktop users and provide useful employment for developers.

Just a pipe dream!

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 6/2/07 7:56PM
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you're missing the point.

RISC OS is a *minority* or *niche* OS

That means that some things just don't work - modern flash for instance (although that may be changing soon :-) )

When using RISC OS you *have* to be realistic.

I have no problem with this.

I feel sorry for the RiscPC users because they can't use Firefox2v2 - but there will be sound technical reasons for this.

RISC OS is still alive which I am really grateful for as I am slightly biased ;-)

I love RISC OS but I am realistic to accept that the developments for it are made by a few people.

When I get home from work where I *have* to use the dreaded M$ it is a nice relief :-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis on 6/2/07 7:57PM
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In reply to epistaxsis: On the topic of Flash, on my Mac I'd love to be able to turn it *off* on certain websites, as if you have quite a few windows or tabs open, the machine crawls and the fans become annoying loud, and this is a 2GHz Core Duo MacBook with 1GB RAM. Flash has it's uses, but to get me using RISC OS on the web again, all it would really take would be NetSurf with good, solid JavaScript support, most of my favourite sites would work fine with just that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 6/2/07 8:41PM
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Javascript is becoming less important. I've noticed in recent months all my banking sites except one are now accessible from NetSurf, having recognised a large proportion of users have javascript turned off for security reasons, especially in corporate environments. FireFox2 copes with the rest.

robert79: I agree running 2 systems means one is lacking, but prefer to think of its as the alternatives to RISC OS that are still lacking, otherwise what need would there be to run RISC OS. I still run RISC OS exclusively at home, it does what I need it to do.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/2/07 9:19AM
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Robert79: As someone with many years experience writing software for industrial control applications, I would never dream of using RISC OS for Level 2 applications. It just isn't robust enough. It is unaacepable for a single rogue application to bring the whole system down, and if the system does come down to it to crash in an uncontrolled, non fail-safe way. The lack of memory protection is also an issue. So you would need to add PMT and proper memory protection, and a process priority based scheduler for starters. Mind you, some in the industry don't like using Windows either, and consider that even Unix is unsuitable without the real time extensions, whose main benefit is to prevent a low priority process from holding out a more important one. Without such features time critical real time processes cannot be safely controlled.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 7/2/07 9:21AM
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mrtd: you don't use any desktop systems for real-time control if you have any sense. RISC OS has been used for in control systems, running single tasking applications, so PMT and memory protection (which as we say over and over again RISC OS does have) aren't an issue. The interrupt latency is fairly low and predictable, and the OS is very lightweight not randomly deciding to go off and bugger around for an extended amount time, for no good reason.

The user interface to such as system is run on a separate machine which again RISC OS is good for. Ideally engineers prefer a full screen front end, controlled by nice big function keys on a sealed keyboard which can be pressed with oily hands, rather than a fiddly windows moved around by a mouse which tends to stop working after a few hours in such conditions. Such a front end can easily switch back and forth to the desktop for doing more advanced tasks such as printing, or playing !Mines :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/2/07 9:55AM
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In reply to Druck: As I say it depends what you need your computer for. I wouldn't say it's either RISC OS or the alternatives that are lacking in a general sense. It depends what you want. If you want to write a lot of technical reports with formulae etc then TechWriter on RISC OS is your tool. If you want to do a lot fo clever stuff with spreadsheets and databases then you're probably looking to Windows.

In reply to mrtd: My understanding of industrial control is that critical real time applications are handled by a distributed system. So your user terminal is just a window onto the system that is updated every second or so. The actual control is handled by dedicated Process Managers, with separate modules containing and running applications. That way if your Application Manager goes down the PM's just carry on doing what they were doing or fail in a safe manner depending upon how they have been configured (or cause 500m3/hr of liquid to overflow as happened not so long ago when a program crashed and shut down a filtration station). For example the Honeywell system I am familiar with can sometimes take several seconds to update the screen and this is not really an issue becasue the actual control is being carried out much more quickly by one of a number of dedicated pieces of hardware. (Just as well, 40bar of superheated steam would not be pretty if it wasn't properly controlled!). Likewise, occasionally the universal station will lock up and require a restart, fine as the process is still running quite happily on separate hardware. What I meant was that you could use a RISC OS box as the user interface rather than the actual controller.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 7/2/07 10:21AM
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