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Oregano 3 scrapped

Published: 23rd Apr 2007, 23:39:16 | Permalink | Printable

Dropped like a hot potato

Richard Brown at a showOregano 3 was today canned, ending all hope of a release of the promising web browser for RISC OS. Earlier today, GeneSys, the company expected to distribute Oregano 3, announced it had instead cancelled the product. Company boss Richard Brown, pictured, added the beta-builds often seen demonstrated at shows are not suitable for a public release.

It's believed Richard was unwilling to commit to paying a five-figure sum for a RISC OS version of Oregan's web browser as it was unclear when issues with the ROS port could be addressed - this includes the speed of redrawing a desktop browser window if it is resized. Oregan, who developed Oregano 1 and 2 and supplied the web browser to the Sony Playstation 2 as well as other gadgets, have been concentrating on larger clients to pay their bills. However, RISC OS builds were being circulated to GeneSys's testers right up until the Oregano 3 project was binned, and it's thought the application was mostly complete.

The news broke after drobe.co.uk learnt that a press release announcing the termination of the project had been secretly drafted, and GeneSys were contacted for comment late last week. The finalised draft of the annoucement confirming the end of Oregano was emailed to various RISC OS magazine editors in the early hours of Monday.

In the statement, Richard said: "GeneSys Developments Ltd announced today the cancellation of the web browser project known as Oregano v3. This decision has been taken after much discussion within the company and with our business partners. The main business focus for GeneSys will now be on other projects.

"It should be noted that the launch of Oregano 2, over 4 years ago, was made possible by the financial involvement of GeneSys. At that stage there was a real anticipation that it would be possible to deliver subsequent improved versions of Oregano - version 3, etc.

"The present [Oregano 3] beta has much improved capabilities over Oregano 2 but the version is not considered suitable for deployment to the public."


Castle still selling Oregano 2 on iyonix.com GeneSys website

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Time for people to start using NetSurf, then? :)

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 23/4/07 11:56PM
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Pity but no real surprise ...

ROOL give us the Phoenix browser, please.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 24/4/07 6:21AM
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I never really found much use for Oregano 2 to be honest. It always crashed out, or could not handle the websites I browsed. NetSurf seems to be the way forward.

 is a RISC OS UserCrazyRisc on 24/4/07 6:53AM
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It's a great shame as it was a much more RISC OS complient browser than Firefox, offering close its degree of web compatibility of, very good rendering quality with near full support of CSS2, and with without the treacle like responsiveness.

However it was let down by its hopeless fetcher, what should be the easiest part of the browser to write. Whilst it initially showed some improvement in early betas, but had a latent defect that caused it to stop working after 20 or so pages. It was then replaced with a slower and less reliable version of the O2 fetcher which was show stopper. Time and time again release opportunities were missed while this remained unfixed, and eventually betas came less and less frequently from Oregan with no sign of progress.

I've still got it on my icon bar to handle the occasional javascript site that NetSurf can't cope with, as its easy to drag the URL from NetSurf to its iconbar icon, a RISC OS feature Firefox severely lacks, making it suitable only for dedicated sessions on particular stubborn sites.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 9:37AM
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I believe this is as bad a day for the RISC OS market as the day Acorn announced they were pulling out of the desktop computer market. Where does our market go now without a quality browser and without the prospect of there being one in the future?

Netsurf has been my browser of choice for some time, but there are times I have to use the Mac for sites that just will not work with Netsurf. I hope to see javascript support in Netsurf in the future - it's already the best browser for RISC OS; js support would make it the quality browser we so sadly lack at present.

I said on a different thread yesterday that Techwriter and Artworks 2 are the only reasons I still use RISC OS. I'm sorry to say those words are truer today than they were yesterday.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 24/4/07 10:17AM
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cables: a massive over reaction.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 10:30AM
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In reply to druck:

I hope you're right.

I saw O3 demonstrated at Wakefield last year and thought it was just what we needed to stop people from leaving the RO market for other OSs. What's to keep people using RO now? How are we going to persuade people to stick with a market without a quality browser?

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 24/4/07 10:40AM
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Is it possible we could find out what still needs done and how much it was going to cost?

I suppose it may be somthing RISC OS users could get together and raise the money to pay for the work??? There always seemed to be money for the various unix porting projects so can't see it would be the hardest thing in the world to raise money for...

What does everyone else think?


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 11:41AM
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mrmac: I seem to recall that a 6-figure sum was being suggested. Remember, it's likely that there's a flat fee for Oregan to do the work, and then most likely a commission. Obviously I'm bias, but if the RISC OS community could raise that sort of cash, I'd suggest it would be better donated to the NetSurf project - with that kind of money we might even be able to have some people work on it full-time.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 24/4/07 11:45AM
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I still use my 12 year old RiscPC600 with my "limited edition" Oregano2.

I downloaded Firefox but needed more RAM to make it run on my old machine.

Never got around to buying a new RISC OS type computer as the 32 bit machines won't run my !Sibelius7 music software being the main purpose of my owning a RISC OS computer since the beginning.

So I procrastinate over the fact of updating my RISC OS one day, but I survive through the painful school's Windows laptop I use most days. At least with the school's Windows PC laptop I use it has Firefox and allows me to use the PC software provided by Vodafone in New Zealand to use their neat little Vodem internet modem device [link]

I also often use Skype, which is not available on RISC OS. Apart from a decent browser needed for RISC OS, there are lots of other add ons available only for PC that disappointing to my RISC OS visions of the future. :-(

Unfortunately, I am finding that I use the PC to keep me going in areas where my RISC OS misses out.

I use RISC OS mostly at work, it still is such a pleasant, simple and reliable machine that does most things I need in my school teaching job.



 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 24/4/07 11:46AM
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Indeed sad news, but frankly not really surprising, like hzn points out.

How many commercial browsers do people use nowadays, or even know of? The era of commercial web browsers has ended for other platforms years ago and it seems to me the lack of a market was the final nail in the coffin for Oregano 3, meaning the five-figure sum involved would have little chance of ever getting recouped.

Recent years have only confirmed my belief that the future of RO browsing lies with NetSurf, simply looking at how far it has come and through what means. Indeed we have Firefox, but somehow I feel it may not enjoy the same level of attention and success as NetSurf, which is shaping up to become a standard app like Draw is. It belongs in every RO users' Apps directory :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/4/07 11:50AM
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The community can't keep on trying to support half a dozen browsers. We have two credible projects right now: NetSurf and Firefox. Let's get behind them, either by donating, testing, or contributing code. I admit that the development prognosis of the latter looks bleak right now, but that's no excuse not to support NetSurf, which is the best managed software project on the platform. If you really want to organise a fund-raising drive (and aren't just hoping someone else will do it), why not talk to the NetSurf people and see if they're interested in something? Perhaps a flash plug-in, or the start of work on Javascript?

Oregano has been a pipedream, IMO, for months now, if it ever was viable. Let's move on.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 24/4/07 11:53AM
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Agreed... I would be happy to donate somthing towards Netsurf (even if not a huge sum I would give something every few months as and when I could afford it).

I would even be happy to give up some time to help with the fundraising if it needs someone to do it.

Is there a route to donate at the moment or does this need setup.


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 11:57AM
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As far as I can see, there's no 'donate' button on the NetSurf site, which indicates that there's no mechanism for making use of funds atm (although I'd be happy to be corrected by those who know). If you're serious about this, I would strongly recommend raising the issue on the NetSurf mailing list and canvassing the views of the developers, who may have ideas about how to proceed. Like many users, I would be prepared to donate to a well thought-out scheme which had the agreement of all parties.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 24/4/07 12:09PM
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Ok I will drop a mail into the Netsurf mailing list and see if donations to help with the development would be welcomed. If yes I will see if they have ideas as to how they might like it structured and offer my time to help if they wish it.



 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 12:12PM
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In replay to Sawadee

You can do !Sibelius on a 32bit machine by having AemulorPro.

In reply to others here re-browsers then Peter Naulls was asking £4K to develop Firefox2 and that wasn't achieved and rather than just start up another "lets donate" for a RISC OS browser then some thought needs to go in to this. Netsurf will take time to get Javascript etc whilst Firefox can already so this fund should be universal to ensure that Firefox gets added features and funding Netsurf development otherwise you will be waiting another 2 years potentially for say Netsurf with Javascript and by that time the market will be even more difficult. Blind knee jerk reactions and throwing money around with out a fully scoped plan is not the way to do this.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 24/4/07 12:35PM
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bluenose:Netsurf will take time to get Javascript etc Indeed. I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade but I think it's worth re-iterating that, even if the NetSurf team do decide to go down the JavaScript route - it will take *years*!


 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 24/4/07 12:43PM
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I am just going to ask if the netsurf people think it's a good idea and offer help if they want it...

I like netsurf and think it is a fantastic example of how software should be developed, they have impressed me in the professional way they have worked and are constantly driving forward in an impressive manner...

I think firefox is bloated and slow (even for an ionix) and IMHO isn't a solution to the RISC OS browser issue (it's a headline grabbing stop gap for ionix users).

Also I only have an RPC and with all of that in mind why would I want to offer firefox my personal time and/or help?

Nobody is suggesting knee jerk reactions and this is why I am going to approach the developers and ask if they think it is a good idea, Offer any help i can to them and only if it is a "Yes" to the above invite suggestions as to how any fundraising should be structured so it isn't just a mess with money being thrown at nothing in particular.


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 12:48PM
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Meant to say....

If everyone else thinks a universal independent fund for RISC OS browsers is the best idea then I would be happy to offer nay help I can to that as well.


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 12:51PM
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In reply mrmac

Totally agree with you in that the Netsurf team have done a fantastic job and I'm sure they would give a honest appraisal of what was best. Firefox2 is OK on a Iyonix and also newer hardware like the A9 as opposed to StrongArm RISCPC's so you have a point but I'm sure that Firefox can be put in a state where it is usable in a more RISC OS way sooner than added functionality can be put in to Netsuf and thats why I suggested a two prong attack.

I have also suggest before that some sort of universal "software" development fund was required to move the platform forward.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 24/4/07 1:18PM
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In reply to mrmac:

I agree with your suggestion about approaching the Netsurf people about setting up a donation scheme. If it gets off the ground I will happily contribute.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 24/4/07 1:19PM
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From reading the two articles linked from this page where O3 was first announced and then when it was shown off at the user group, the situation seems so much more upbeat than we are currently in. Apart from the fact that how it seems that both O3 and Firefox are not to be, we are relient on Netsurf for our browser needs. Also, symbolically its another software company ceasing RiscOS software production.

On another note, what would be the objection of GeneSys to realising their current version to the public (apart from that it might detract from O2 sales) - it seems such a waste for all that work and effort to be completely wasted


 is a RISC OS Userpolas on 24/4/07 1:45PM
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I suspect a small amount of money really wouldn't have much bearing on such projects (although it might be welcomed by developers) as its time that is really needed rather than money. There are only so many hours in the day to earn a crust and work on voluntary projects. A substantial amount of money would need to be found to allow even one person to work full time on a project, and I think we can agree that isn't going to happen.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 1:51PM
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So do we just give up??? Give in??? and hope a browser with modern standards appears with no funding at all which seems even less likely than one with even a little funding???

If anyone has some good suggestions now is the time to make them.


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 2:43PM
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I have sympathy with the views expressed by both druck and mrmac. I want this platform to survive, but it won't without a good browser. If small donations persuade just one programmer to carry on working on Netsurf rather than walking away from RISC OS it's worth a try.

If we're going to go down, let's go down fighting.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 24/4/07 2:56PM
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mrmac: "So do we just give up??? Give in???"

I have ... since the start of this year I've found my interest in RO wane completely. I'd rather be excited by new software and hardware -- but there's nothing. The signal/noise ratio on csa.* has not improved and ... well, what's to keep somebody interested in the RO scene (much as I'd like to be)?

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 24/4/07 3:06PM
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I think there is plenty to keep people interested and we are in a much better position than many other platforms (such as Amiga, even if they have got new hardware) but I agree with jms that recently the platform has seen some negative activity

 is a RISC OS Userpolas on 24/4/07 3:15PM
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cables:"If we're going to go down, let's go down fighting."

I really think you're over-reacting.

I doubt anyone will leave or join the RISC OS platform, just because Oregano 3 won't appear sometime in the future. After all, anyone who really *required* a fully-fledged, all bells and whistles browser must have left sometime in, um, about 1995!

In fact, I suspect we can access a greater proportion of websites from RISC OS now than at any time since the early 90s.


 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 24/4/07 3:30PM
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Druck is hardly saying any such thing - he's merely pointing out the reality of the true cost of serious software development.

However, there are other costs that the Netsurf developers are incurring - such as that of web hosting - so it's still worth asking on the list if they are looking for donations (or suggesting that they set something up for the purpose on the site) in order for users to contribute towards covering those costs.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/4/07 3:49PM
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Well yeah I kinda knew he wasn't saying abandon ship... But I did get the feeling he was dismissing the idea saying it wouldn't really help so not worth doing.

Regardless of anything else I am defo going to ask on the netsurf mailing list, at least it's better to take the first step and ask the question regardless of if we may come up with a better plan down the line.

 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 24/4/07 4:04PM
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In reply to jms:

I share your frustration about the lack of new hardware, but not software. I have already praised Techwriter and Artworks 2 in this thread. Both have released new versions with useful new features in the last year. Admittedly, this is upgrades to existing software rather than new software, but at least it's keeping people (like me) interested in using RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 24/04/07 4:08PM
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Question indeed remains if there is a chance that what is there now can be put to use for RISC OS and with what price tag and conditions...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 24/04/07 4:36PM
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I'm just pointing out the donating money to projects wont necessarily speed up development until less its enough to justify full time working, which is unlikely. Once a project starts taking money it has to be made clear what those donations are going to spent on (such as web hosting), and doesn't put any onligations on the feature list or delivery scheduals. This is prevents disapointment and bad feelings arising by both users and developers, which is the last thing we need.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/04/07 8:11PM
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Well, I'd like a NetSurf T-Shirt or coffee mug... and help subsidise bandwidth costs. It seems to be a regular occurrence among open source projects nowadays. How about a NetSurf mouse mat?

hzn: Assuming you mean Oregano 3, I honestly think there is little chance we'll ever get a release now. Besides the state in which it'll likely remain, there are legal / license issues involved, not to mention support for this 'beta-like' product. I guess that's not an answer you've been hoping to hear, but I feel we're better off looking for ways to support the NetSurf project and the one you mentioned earlier, but no-one has followed up on - Phoenix! Both are open source projects and could further benefit from open source developments already made on other platforms.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/04/07 8:26PM
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To put my own 2 peneth in: -

I agree with what has been said on here about some sort of software fund. I'm guessing what we need is a not for profit company setting up to perhaps handle the programming of software that would be otherwise be un economical for a commerical company to handle. Then however we come across the problem of funding. Programmers don't come cheap. I guess we'd be looking between £30000 and £40000 for a full time programmer. It's something I have had more and more thoughts about of late. Such an organisation may then be eligible for grants from the DTI or Europe (purely speculation).

I think perhaps in order to explore this kind of possibility, those of us who are interested should get together and try and see what can be done.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 24/04/07 8:58PM
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I'm really disappointed as I thought we would get a competent browser with a number of important plug-ins included (eg Flash). Though druck is right about money and non-commercial developments, donations might just work for O3. But the minimum five figure sum is UKP10k, which is 200 people at UKP50 each; could that really be raised?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/04/07 9:04PM
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Well I contributed some (though not much) cash to the Firefox project, as I consider a good web browser to be a fundamental part of any OS, just like everyone else here. I'd certainly contribute to Netsurf financially if the developers were interested. Though some have said, probably quite rightly, that it's not money but time that's needed, I do think that some cash towards web hosting and admin costs could be very useful. Equally, it's probably a bit of a morale booster for those working on the project to see people are really prepared to get behind them and give them support. Not everyone has time to submit bug reports or contribute in other ways, so cash is just another way of saying we approve, and we hope the good work continues.

 is a RISC OS Userwillb on 24/04/07 9:51PM
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In Reply to Paul Stewart

Dr Graham Shaw has been looking in to some thing along these lines as a charitable fund/trust that gave "bountys" for development. I think there could be a part to play with some action from the user group community to do the admin and running of the fund and acting as an support structure for the developers by doing as you suggest in helping also to fund hosting etc. The proposal is something like "Select" for software with the trust acting as the focal and umberella point for the work.

MUG will be at Wakefield this year and perhaps that may also be an opportunity to discuss things with other people in the RISC OS community.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 24/04/07 10:15PM
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In reply to bluenose: I was in two minds as whether or not to go to Wakefield this year. However perhaps if there is a chance for those of who are interested in this kind of not for profit organisation to get together and discuss it, then a visit to Wakefield will most certainly be confirmed.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 24/04/07 10:55PM
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sa110: "perhaps if there is a chance for those of who are interested in this kind of not for profit organisation to get together"

Anyone who repeatedly posts sarcastic and negative comments about other not-for-profit organisations trying to take RISC OS forwards, is unlikely to be taken very seriously in any such get together... in my opinion.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 24/04/07 11:35PM
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In reply to dgs:- If you are commenting on my earlier comment about the ROOL mouse mats, then I stand by it. For the price you pay for mouse mats these days, in my personal opinion, it is highly unlikely any organisation will make a substantial profit from such a venture.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 08:05AM
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From selling the mouse mats, probably not.

However, ISTM that the objective was to encourage donations - in this case from commercial operations. It achieved that aim, given that Steve published a list of those who had donated, and more have done so since.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 25/04/07 08:26AM
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dgs: settle down! ;-)

The wakefield get together sounds like a good idea - there will be a few of us from ROUGOL attending this year too.

All that we need to do now is settle on a time and place.

I vote the bar btw :-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis on 25/04/07 09:37AM
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in reply to dgs

One can have an opinion, post sarcastically and still sibsequently be taken seriously.

You may not take them seriously but others may afford that luxury.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 25/04/07 11:44AM
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Count me in for this meeting in the bar. Only one pint for me as I'll be driving home, but I hope we can manage an interesting and useful discussion.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 25/04/07 11:51AM
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In reply to vinceh:

Yes I agree, as a method of starting the ball rolling with cash donations from commerical operations, it does appear to have been sucessful. I think perhaps I missed that point in the article!

Regards Paul

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 11:52AM
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Don't think I will make wakefield but am defo happy to offer my time and assistance in any way I can if this is going to go ahead...

I will try and see if I can make it to wakefield but think I have roadtax and MOT due that month and I know I'll need a few bits done so money is going to be really short...


 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 25/04/07 12:01AM
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I know the feeling mrma. Just thought I was having some money for me to spend, then it all goes on the dog with vets fees. Kept a small amount aside for trip to Wakefield and possibly a couple of upgrades. Anything else that takes my fancy will be on the flexible friend.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 12:04AM
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Has anyone considered asking the NetSurf developers what they need, before you run off and create a non-profit company/foundation/whatever. The NS team have never asked for donations, except to cover show costs etc, and they arn't asking now. They don't seem to be in it to turn a profit. They're are full time employed and it seems unlikely any of them would quit work to work on NS even if you could raise a suitable amount. NetSurf has been created by people willing to give up their free time to work on a program that is intellectually challenging to them, throwing money at the situation might not have the effect you hope.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 25/04/07 12:34AM
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In reply to flibble:

It might be my memory playing tricks on me but I thought there use to be a RISC OS Investors club?

If I'm not imagining it and it still exists then it might be an idea to try and link in with them rather than create something new from scratch?

This of course could be taken one step further with the introduction of a RISC OS Developers Club / Forum,Group call it what you will which aims to share resources, knowledge, etc etc.

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 25/04/07 12:53AM
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in reply to Peter

Agree that the Netsurf team need to be consulted but we aren't just talking about browsers here or purely money it could be anything. The idea is to get some support structure in place for developers to assist in many ways and to perhaps focus development on somethings that are realistic and achivable. Yes, cash could be one thing, a "bounty" incentive could be another whilst for some it might be providing support by doing things like producing documents or providing hosting services etc.

In reply to others perhaps some announcement on CSAA about a meeting at Wakefield should be made with a defined time. Some sort of list of interest people could then be produced and some detail of what they could or would be willing to do. Certainly there are least 5 members of MUG attending so if some other user groups have a similar number we could get something started.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 25/04/07 12:54AM
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In reply to bluenose:

I have no objections to posting an announcement in CSAA. I was thinking perhaps 2pm in the bar or beer garden. What do you think?

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 1:19PM
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I take it the decision as to bar or beer garden depends on the weather. Either way, 2 pm sounds good to me.

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 25/04/07 1:24PM
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If you could make the CSAA anouncement that would be good.

14:00 sounds good :-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis on 25/04/07 1:27PM
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fibble has summed it up well, if developers were interested in money they'd be writing commercial software for the Windows market. The only possible motivation to work on the massively complex and never ending task of a freeware web browser is for the challenge. Taking money could change the entire atmosphere of the project from a labour of love to a grinding obligation to users who expect instant results in return for their money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/04/07 1:28PM
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In reply to Keith,

I will submit to CSAA today.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 1:37PM
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The setting up of a fund/charity to help develop software on the RISC OS platform is not the same thing as organising donations purely for Netsurf.

The mention of Netsurf donations were my initial thoughts (and if it was the only option or preffered option I have said I would contact the developers to see if it would be welcomed and then try to assertain what they need and offer my help)...

After that suggestion a few people have suggested actually trying to raise money or create a fund for the wider field of any RISC OS software development. This 2nd idea has no specific link to netsurf. This could be to help development of software to fill any gaps in the RISC OS software portfolio.

As far as I can see the discussion that people are going to have at wakefield is about this wider idea about software development so really doesn't need to ask the Netsurf team anything.

I hope this clears up any confusion that appears to have crept in.



 is a RISC OS Usermrmac on 25/04/07 2:40PM
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I'm not convinced of the need for a charity yet, there does not seem to be a lot of freeware and open source developers asking for cash, other than Peter Naulls. Can you name another person that's working for free and wants to be paid for it? Is there a market for the services that this fund is to provide?

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 25/04/07 3:41PM
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In reply to Peter Howkins: -

At the moment there is no fund or charity. I think the proposal at the moment is to simply meet up at Wakefield have a discussion and take it from there. I know I would like to see something come out of the discussions. I have my own ideas as to what that is, as will other particpants in the discussion. Until that time, there is no fund or no charity, simply idle chatter on Drobe.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/04/07 3:47PM
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In reply to Druck.

Agree that money isn't the total motivation for some developers and about obligations but this is where a "bounty" is good in that there is no obligation and the bounty is obtained when the criteria is meet so people do not get given money that they feel obliged to do work for.

I think the bit about other assistance is key and that the money is a side issue in that what ever help is offered could just help someone continue or start some development.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 25/04/07 3:53PM
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In reply to Paul Stewart

Totally agree, lets have the discussions as this might bring something to the table that no one has considered here. The willingness of us as the community and end users to get involved and help is the bit that needs the focus as it's all well and good bemoaning that x,y and z are not in RISC OS and then not being prepared to think of how we can help achieve it.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 25/04/07 3:58PM
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In reply to Doug:

Also agree- I don't know whether a viable solution can be put in place but its worth the effort to at least try.

Unfortunatly for me I've not lots of other commitments that day so can't gurantee I can turn up - but am very interested in taking part.

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 25/04/07 4:50PM
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Perhaps some correspondence with Dr Graham Shaw might be done before Wakefield to see if his plans have progressed or to ensure that they are aired at the meeting along with other views.

I'll drop him a line.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 25/04/07 5:42PM
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I'm here. Thanks to those who e-mailed.

Yes, this is an idea I've been gradually developing for some time. The basic concepts are that: - tax relief is a very good incentive for people to donate money, and - money is at least a moderately good incentive for fixing the things that nobody wants to do (and generally 'oiling the wheels'). The obvious example of where bounties have met with some success is Ubuntu. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to personally bankroll the venture, but I suspect there are enough who would be willing to contribute if the organisation was sufficiently democratic, transparent and accountable. No it won't solve everything, but it might achieve something. I have written some more specific proposals. They're not quite fit for publication yet, but now that the topic has been brought to the fore I will ensure that they are very soon.

 is a RISC OS Usergdshaw on 25/04/07 7:50PM
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One more point, for clarity: I'm not looking to make any money out of this idea personally (and those responsible for running it would almost certainly not be allowed to).

 is a RISC OS Usergdshaw on 25/04/07 8:10PM
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nijinsky: "One can have an opinion, post sarcastically and still sibsequently be taken seriously."

That's great, but there should should come a time when people grow up, move on, and realise that repeatedly rubbishing people trying to contribute to RISC OS, is not the best way to start a project contributing to RISC OS.

If someone is trying to contribute to a new project, it's time to be mature about it.

One specific prerequisite for this project, is for someone to contact RIG, and find out if RIG still exists, what their plans are, how they felt similar investments went in the past, and similar material. It's quite amazing that so many people are so keen to plough money into such an old project, without learning from the past.

"Those who ignore the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them"

None of that stops people meeting up at a bar for a drink, of course. Have fun.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 26/04/07 02:45AM
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Has anyone in the RISC OS market ever considered to hire developers from countries wich have lower average living costs and income? Sure, a full-time UK-based developer will cost about 30 to 40 thousand GBP a year, but I would think that a developer in india or china might ask for considerably less money.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 26/04/07 05:46AM
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I'm a professional coder who is struggling to find time to work on his own projects when he gets home. For me, the biggest problem is finding a large "lump" of time - not quick hlf-hours here and there. By the time I've cranked the computer up, and switched my brain from "eating my tea and putting the kids to bed" mode into "what stage am I at with this RISC OS project mode?" its normally time for bed.

So for me, it would be enormously helpful to a project to take a day off work and lock myself in my playroom. Perhaps any donations could go to fund this, for the NetSurf developers (not for me!)? Stick enough money in the pot so that a senior NetSurf developer can take a day off unpaid, and just work at home? Ask them to describe what the objective of the day would be, so that people can see their money is being used by the code that gets commited to the repository at the end of the day.

 is a RISC OS Userkrisa on 26/04/07 07:20AM
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In reply to DGS and Colin Cartmell-Browne: -

After doing some googling. I have now found the original announcement about the RIG and will be in touch with them to make sure nobody's toes a tread on. However from the original announcement, it looks like it was simply an investment vehicle for investing in ROL back when ROL was first formed.

The RIG announcement of June 3 1999 can be found here [link] estment&rnum=2#5464c09ae459b444

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 26/04/07 07:49AM
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*In reply to Bluenose:*

I know that there is the AemulorPro available (and hopefully still available) to run !Sibelius and old 26 bit software.

Reading through most of the posts here, I think that we should focus on what we have like Netsurf and Firefox. Maybe we had too many browsers going on over the years?


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 26/04/07 07:54AM
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JGZimmerle: that's the very same pitfall that many companies fall in to when considering out sourcing, thinking that development costs equate to a few hours of a 3rd world programmers wages. There is no skills base in RISC OS programming in India or China to draw on, so training would have to be provided, the project would need to be rigidly specified and managed. Goals such as "go away and 'finish' Firefox" would be unlikely to be successful.

Oh and I doubt if any former RIG members would be willing or able to donate so much as another 50p to RISC OS software development.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/04/07 09:15AM
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I think Oregano itself was a really bad product for the RISC OS market anyway, simply because it integrated too much into one application. Now that Organo for RISC OS has stopped, we have no decent Flash, for example. If people had invested their money into separate projects for individual web technologies (basic browser plus some plug-ins), we might be in a much better position, because we would be able to use flash-, java- and SVG-plugins with Netsurf or Phoenix.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 26/04/07 09:17AM
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I never said that "development costs equate to a few hours of a 3rd world programmers wages". But surely there are good reasons, why big companies hire such "3rd world programmers" and still manage to get good work done by them. Good management is needed for any development project, but surely a significant amount of coding work could be done by someone in India or China. As for the training, I'm sure that it would not take more than a few weeks for a trained software engineer to become familiar with RISC OS, and as the learning curve flattens, he would become a big contributor to the platform.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 26/04/07 09:30AM
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IME, which is reasonably extensive in this area, work produced by asian out-sourcing companies is almost comically bad. Only it isn't comical when you have to deal with it. None of their programmers ever seem to know anything about the environment they're writing for so you end up getting loads of very simple newbie questions appearing from them on mailing lists and usenet and IRC asking for people to write the code for them, and what you tend to get is laughably badly written code with so many obvious flaws that it'll never be maintainable, and often won't even be buildable.

Frankly, it's a no-go.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 26/04/07 09:54AM
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ONe thing that could be done is to instantly leverage existing software from other environments.

I know there is the UNIX porting project etc, however, my idea would be something different.

I would try and get a cross platform IDE ported to RIUS OS. Know I know that there is C++, and I know there is BASIC, and I know that many will say. God all we need is another IDE (sarcastically).

But I enquired in the past about getting runrev to port the metacard engine. This is a simple x-talk IDE, but the beauty is that it is truely crossplatform. I write on winxp (I normally use Linux/xandros) and tick one button to immediately make an app for MacOSX and Linux. Now I know thast this can be done on other IDE's but x-talk is even easier that basic and ther is a native browser written in x-talk. Unfortunately they sais NO. The RISC OS market is too small, however, if it were paid for then that is a different matter.

In reply to DGS... I think only one quote was mine. But no big deal. You certainly have very good points and I appreciate that some people (I dont know who) are a whingers, however, they may also be whinging out of enthusiasm anad fristration.



 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 26/04/07 10:22AM
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"Now I know that there is the UNIX porting project etc., however, my idea would be somethign different."

Look, GCCSSK is the cross-platform solution which we have now, and which is actively porting stuff, and which has a mailing list and a (small) community of developers. Why do people insist on re-inventing the wheel? It may not be perfect, and your x-talk IDE might be wonderful, but here again we have 'the best' being the enemy of 'the good'. Let's get behind the projects we *have*, which are working, and not keep pushing these pipe dreams! If you're keen on helping in this area, why not drop the GCC people a line and see what work needs doing - I'm sure they'd be very keen for extra help. :)

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 26/04/07 11:14AM
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For GCCSSK (what's that?) read GCCSDK, above. Apologies. :blush:

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 26/04/07 11:17AM
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I looked at C++ (as an amateur) and thought Oh dear.... I dont have the time to learn that.

I looked at x-talk with simple syntax like.

On mouseup Put the contents of "field 1" into "field 2" end mouseup

I'm Sure C++ can do this even easier but I was put off by the syntax

!"£$%^)%() &%T)*&^_ ^^ (well that is what it looked like to me)

I don't have the time to learn that.

Cheers Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 26/04/07 11:31AM
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In reply to Chris Wraight:

No need to blush, we all make typing errors.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 26/04/07 11:33AM
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Bob Hartley: What you suggest sounds a lot like Genesis, if anybody remembers that. Like Hypercard and such. Sure, it might be fun to have, but it doesn't actually solve any problems people want solving: like having Flash, Java, and a fully-featured modern web browser.

C++ is not a language to learn as a hobbyist amateur.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 26/04/07 11:42AM
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in reply to Rob

"C++ is not a language to learn as a hobbyist amateur."

Exactly my point. I feel that there are too few programmers in RISC OS land doing everthing. If the amateurs like me can do the small stuff then that will leave more experts for the things like browsers (the topic here).

Anyway I digress


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 26/04/07 11:52AM
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Just to add a little spice to the discussion. Amiga!!! are back and they are releasing AmigaOS4. The blurb (i.e. what makes it better than M$ OS) could have been written for RiscOS. However they have browsers that have javascript, multimedia apps that handle DIVX, MPEG4 etc.

If some chinese firm, for example, was looking for a new OS to put in billions of mini computers then AmigaOS would look far far more attractive then RiscOS.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 27/04/07 09:10AM
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mripley: "If some chinese firm, for example, was looking for a new OS to put in billions of mini computers then AmigaOS would look far far more attractive then RiscOS."

I don't think RiscOS was ever aimed at that sort of market; and in any case, Silicon Graphics no longer really support it (and certainly aren't trying to push it into new markets, Chinese or otherwise). Even their IRIX customers have been encouraged to move to Linux since quite a long time ago now.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 27/04/07 09:26AM
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Malcolm Ripley: Just to clear stuff up, AmigaOS 4 wasn't produced by Amiga, and the only hardware that it runs on went out of production shortly before its release. RISC OS (note the goddamn typesetting! :) could easily have DivX, MPEG4, DVD playback etc, if it were not throttled by incredibly slow CPUs.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 27/04/07 09:43AM
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Rob, I read a few days ago that they have got a deal to produce new Amiga hardware, might be wrong but the link is [link] if your at all interested. I think from what Malcom was saying, he was using the chinese firm as an example, personally I much prefer Risc OS but can see the sense in what he is saying. Its seemed that its always been the case that we as ROS users can look at Amiga users and take comfort in the fact that there is a user base worse off than us - it would be a real shame if this shifted.

 is a RISC OS Userpolas on 27/04/07 10:15AM
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"I'm sure that it would not take more than a few weeks for a trained software engineer to become familiar with RISC OS, and as the learning curve flattens, he would become a big contributor to the platform."

The problem is if you want to pay cheap 3rd world wages you'll get untrained software monkeys, not trained software engineers. There are good engineers in India and China, but you won't be able to get them for 50p an hour.

 is a RISC OS Usercmj on 27/04/07 11:15AM
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I never suggested, that we would get a good Indian software engineer for 50p an hour, but surely they are a lot cheaper than their English counterparts. Anything made in England always seems excessively expensive to me, because the GBP is so strong, wich all by itself makes everything about one third more expensive than anything made in the Euro zone.

If we could get a full-time Indian software engineer working on RISC OS software for about 30k to 40k GBP annually, maybe this could just about be financed by about 400 subscriptions. This would mean a wage of about 15 GBP per hour for the engineer.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 27/04/07 12:53AM
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JGZ: 30k - 40k would pay a UK based programmer. Assuming we're talking GBP here and not 30-40k rupees. Don't know what the conversion would be!


 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 27/04/07 1:08PM
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In reply to JGZ:

I have a quote for 16 USD per hour or 2500 USD per month from an Indian company. No idea what they'd charge for non-standard work though.


 is a RISC OS UserPBiggs on 27/04/07 1:29PM
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Look at places like Russia, the Philippines and Argentina if you want good, cheap, programmers and engineers. India is considered too expensive by many these days.

 is a RISC OS Userdms on 27/04/07 2:19PM
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As promised, I've uploaded an outline of my ideas to:


I don't know how well this matches up to what others have in mind, but I do think that having specific proposals on the table will help to focus any future discussion.


 is a RISC OS Usergdshaw on 27/04/07 8:00PM
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In terms of attracting new programmers, I think one way to do it would be to port an open RISC OS to some sexy new hardware. If you can say 'have a full desktop OS for your Nokia' then people will be interested. If they'll be interested, a few of them might be interested enough to get involved and start coding. The key is making RISC OS an interesting proposition (you might not use your mobile as your main OS, but Linux-on-Psions or similar generated enough interest to support developers). RISC OS from a developer's point of view is quite interesting... many of the challenges which are over-solved on other platforms (how many Windows unzip programs do you need?) aren't solved here (browser, VPNs, wireless, etc etc). The key is to make it attractive enough for people to use it - spending a fortune on hardware is a huge disincentive, emulators aren't really relevant (though writing them might be) but the ability to do something exciting for little cost will attract people.

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 28/04/07 00:25AM
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