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News in brief

Published: 18th Apr 2007, 23:46:16 | Permalink | Printable

Samba, Neil Raine, RISC OS 6, and more

News in brief logoAs well as the links posted on recently introduced news ticker, here is some news you may have missed.

Samba no longer
Peter Naulls has taken down the source code to the RISC OS samba server port following a row over the project. Coder Thomas Milius, with the help of Herbert zur Nedden, uploaded a modified copy of the open source networking software to a website for people to download and test - which Peter objected to as he said his own riscos.info website was hosting the source code to a more stable albeit unreleased version of the server.

A Usenet discussion on the matter ran its course until Peter decided to remove from sight the source on riscos.info, taking away the stability updates he had made to the project. The samba server port, which Peter took under his wing a while ago, is used to share files with computers running Windows and Unix-like OSes.

The riscos.info page for Samba is here, the old Sourceforge-hosted website for the port is here, and Thomas's version is here. You can read the car crash thread right here.

Peter added he "was never away," despite earlier telling punters he was taking a break from RISC OS development.

Raising cash in memory of Neil
Frances Early, the widow of former Acorn engineer Neil Raine, raised over £4200 for good causes after running a 21.1km event in memory of her husband. Neil was best known for his work on the RISC OS Font and Window managers, Iota's DataPower, and the Meteors game bundled with RiscPCs. He died in a hang-gliding accident in Spain last year. Frances completed last month's Bath half-marathon in about two and a half hours.

Wakefield for RISC OS 6 and A9home update?
RISCOS Ltd are still issuing Select 4 testers with new builds of RISC OS 6 to test drive. This follows the recent circulation of softload ROM release candidates among the tight-lipped beta testers. It's not believed the development team are specifically aiming for a Wakefield show release, although they realise it will be an ideal time for them.

A9home users have also called for a Wakefield release of a new FlashROM update for their little blue ARM9-powered machines. Aside from being unable to easily print from the machine, the disabled CMOS is proving to be a bug bear - the unofficial A9home compatibility site describes how to enable CMOS settings.


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Re: Samba Code pull

I do not understand this, after a quick read through, Herbert zur Nedden stated he would pull down his version once a more stable release was posted to the RISCOS.info site?

Peter: If you want that site to be the standard repository for source code / useful applications/utilities, then why pull code when someone else has a version?

Until this, I was looking forward to a more stable and fully featured version...Ah Well!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 19/4/07 7:26AM
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The politics in the RISC OS world are now beyond a joke. It's a wonder anyone is still stubbornly struggling on with developing or even using RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 19/4/07 1:49PM
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I agree with you (tamias) but at the same time the continuing interest is a testament to the fact that people DO believe there is something worthy of attention even if some/many (like me) aren't currently using it. RISC OS Open has left me more optimistic about things than I have been for many years.

 is a RISC OS Userk626 on 19/4/07 3:19PM
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Don't let the actions of a few spoil it for the many. There are still plenty of level-headed developers for the platform!

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 19/4/07 3:19PM
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tamias: "The politics in the RISC OS world are now beyond a joke. It's a wonder anyone is still stubbornly struggling on with developing or even using RISC OS."

Aren't you exaggerating a bit now? There only seem to be a few well-known persons involved in the joking. I am still stubbornly continuing my use of RISC OS and will remain to do so until my Risc PC melts due to excessive use.

ksattic: Agreed!

I hope RISCOS Ltd will at least have an update for A9home users at Wakefield. I think this should be a priority, since they can't revert to a stable base version, like (Virtual) Risc PC and A7000 users can.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/4/07 3:36PM
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Blimey! I thought the idea of such open projects was that several people contributed and that seems to be what Thomas and Herbert did. And I must admit I read the Iyonix list item as meaning that Peter was 'away' for an indefinite period so rather assumed that we would hear when (or indeed if) he became active again.

Ah, I see, we have heard; welcome back Peter.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/4/07 6:50PM
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"Blimey! I thought the idea of such open projects was that several people contributed and that seems to be what Thomas and Herbert did."

I've no idea what happened in this case, and I'm not really interested in getting drawn into the politics. But, Peter's complaint seems to be that he wasn't contacted before the other version of Samba was made available.

Things would seem to have been clouded by the announcement of Peter's sabbatical, but it's generally courteous (although not a requirement) to drop the maintainer of an open-source project a line before doing something like this. You may simply get told to go ahead, or you may learn of later work that has been done to the source and be asked if you would like to help with that. Herbert seems to have said that he didn't contact Peter, because he (reasonably) thought that Peter had taken a break from RISC OS stuff for a while.

What I can say is this: I've got at least one public domain title hosted on my website, which I kind-of maintain (when I've got the time). I can't stop someone deciding I'm useless and releasing their own version, but I know I'd be furious if someone did so without letting me know: not least because I've done a hell of a lot of work on the source since the last released version. Seeing someone else decide to pull the rug out from under me, rather than asking if they can help and *co-operate*, would certainly make me very seriously question why I bother doing any work for RISC OS users for free.

I hope that puts the other perspective to this debate. As I said, I don't particularly wish to comment on the specifics, not least because I am not involved. I also have a certain sympathy for both sides' positions.

...and yes, there is an update pending to IcnClipBrd, when I'm not snowed under with Wakefield stuff. Apologies to those waiting for bug fixes.

 is a RISC OS Userstevef on 19/4/07 11:12PM
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In reply to stevef:

1. First of all Peter made it pretty clear on the IYONIX mailinglist that he wanted to remove himself from RISC OS development for some time. For that reason I didn't want to disturb him.

2. I thus did search on riscos.info for smbserver but at that time all I found was some SVN pages, that is nothing about any work of him on smbserver. This dit not leave the impression that he was maintaining it. (BTW, now you find things searching for smbserver since by now his pages have been updated.)

3. The reason for me to offer this smbserver was simply that it works better than the others on my IYONIX pc (and others) and due to LanManFS not connecting to Windows XP anymore smbserver got more interesting as file sharing tool.

4. Since I did remember that Peter stated plans to do work on smbserver quite some time ago I did mention that when I offered one version of smbserver and I did clearly state that I'd take it offline when a new one arrives.

5. Thus the most simple resolution could have been that Peter drops me a line stating that he's still there and that he's still maintaining smbserver and suggesting that we get together on this. But he decided to take another approach (not a co-operating one). What a pity.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/4/07 5:01AM
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So, Peter complains when other people don't help with the firefox software, and then complains when people DO help fix problems in the smbserver. It beggars belief.

 is a RISC OS Userjeffd on 20/4/07 8:33AM
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jeffd: No. Please read stevef's summary above (and hzn's for that matter). Hardly anything in life is ever as one-sided as people seem to want to make them.

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 20/4/07 9:18AM
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I've no idea who's most at fault here, even after reading the usenet discussion - it seems like an unfortunate misunderstanding that's been blown out of proportion (sadly, this seems to happen quite a lot). I have to say, as someone who produces the odd utility for RISC OS now and then, I would be extremely annoyed if someone distributed another version without contacting me. Is there no way this could be resolved? Could you and Peter try and resolve your differences by email, rather than insulting each other in a public forum?

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 20/4/07 10:52AM
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jeffd: I think you're wrongly representing the situation. As far as I understand it, he objected to have the sources at twee different places (i.e. development at two places) which is confusing and potentionally leading to fragmented development, and this after his announcement of taking over the development of smbserver some time ago. I don't think he was aware of hzn's intension before hzn's public announcement. Let alone he complained on the fact itself that people were making fixes. Therefore he disabled access to the smbserver source repository. You can find hzn position in this in the comment above yours.

 is a RISC OS Userjoty on 20/4/07 11:57AM
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So no Firefox or anything else now?

If Peter is in charge of a project, why don't people just exercise common sense and let him run the show whilst it's still in progress?

There must be dozens of other projects that could be ported (media players for exampe?) Why incur onto his territory - surely these people have the talent and initiative to do their own thing?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 20/4/07 12:00PM
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In reply to lym:

To clarify:

- The version I put online is not new but was there long before Peter stated that he plans to work on smbserver. I just put it back online since it is of use to some users. There was never an intent of development and I clearly stated that and that I'd take it offline as soon as Peter does release some newer smbserver.

- Peter clearly stated a short while ago that he will leave RISC OS development for some time - who am I to disturb him.

- On riscos.info I found nothing to show that he is working on smbserver or the like (searching for smbserver using the search too offered) so that I had to assume that there was nothing done by now.

- So to simply help the odd user to get a smbserver which works I put that old version of Thomas online.

- Unfortunately Peter decided to not simply drop me a line telling me that he's still at it so that we can sort thing out but immediately started to attack in public!

- After I learned that he did indeed do some work on smbserver I suggested to him to offer that version for download so that I can then take the Milius one offline he claimed lack of time. But in addition he requested the Milius version to be taken offline despite that version being more suiteable for IYONIX pc whereas the official version on sourceforge seems to be better for other systems.

- I did amend my website according to the requests he made.

- When Peter after some time did find his statements to smbserver dated from May 2006 where he announces a soon to appear release that statement can't be really taken serious if nearly one year later nothing is there - not even a progress info or the like.

- Thus if I would have done what Peter seemed to want to achieve the version more suitable for the IYONIX pc would have been unavailable again which is not a solution since I know of some users who are happy to have gotten this one. And add to this the information of Peter that he has no time to work on smbserver.

I agree with Peter that having a fixed smbserver would be nice but until that happens I rather have a working patch/hack whereas Peter refuses to accept that point of view.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/4/07 1:39PM
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These arguments might be explained by differences of understanding in the nature of 'free' software. RISC OS has a long history of 'public domain' software which was always free as in beer but not necessarily as in speech (to employ the usual metaphors). It's not really anyone's fault, they're just expecting what they're used to.

With true open source software the code is given to the community for them to use or abuse as they like. In this situation control can only be exercised by the model of 'he who writes the code, calls the shots' i.e. if somebody wants to fork development and other people want to use the fork then the only recourse of the original developer is to write better code that people want to use even more.

It truly is a shame that this mentality hasn't been more prevalent in the RISC OS world as it clearly is a very effective software development model. Had it been so we might even have had our favourite OS running on something like the XO ([link])....

 is a RISC OS Userk626 on 20/4/07 1:43PM
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In reply to joty:

There never was development in two places - I simply offered another old version from the time before Peter stated that he wants to look into smbserver for download. I even made it clear in the announcement and on my website that it is just anohter old version but one which works better on IYONIX pc as the classic version. And Peter was aware of that version after his claim to look into smbserver since Thomas sent him the sources.

As far as I understood Peter he simply doesn't like hacks and thus didn't want that version to be online - nowhere. That is the same reasoning of Peter as for Firefox where he doesn't want the guide by Paul Vigay to be online which explains the work around to get FF2r2 to run. Simply put he wants real fixes only and no temporary work arounds or the like.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/4/07 1:45PM
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In reply to AW:

"If Peter is in charge of a project, why don't people just exercise common sense and let him run the show whilst it's still in progress? "

Agreed. But if there is no hint on progress or the like to be found on his site and he shortly before stated that he'd be away from development, what then? Then you do have to assume that there is no progress at all! And as I tried to make clear I didn't want to distrurb him or his show but simply offer a work-around for the odd user in need.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/4/07 1:50PM
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Thanks for your clarifications. I'm certainly not blaming you, or anyone else, for this: misunderstandings happen. But it would be great if you and Peter could reach some sort of understanding. From an impartial point of view, a single version with Thomas's and Peter's fixed all consolidated would be most helpful. I wonder if there's any way of achieving this?

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 20/4/07 1:58PM
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In reply to lym:

Thanks. I understood Peter that his version is better than all older ones so all needed would be his to be there to try. I thus did ask Peter to offer the version he has for download even if it is not perfect since it is as he stated better than all other ones and that I'd take my smbserver pages offline immediately and thus have the issues resovled.

Peter being a person wanting the best stated that some things are still not perfect (like file name extension handling) and thus his version is not good enough to be made public. What a pity. And since he withdrew his sources it is not easy for someone else to help.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/4/07 2:42PM
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