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Tools available for 32bit RISC OS!

By . Published: 2nd Oct 2002, 19:28:57 | Permalink | Printable

We saw them for a while, from RISCOS Ltd/Pace, and now Castle Technology Ltd have done the deed and the new 32bit tools are available for all.

Acorn's C compiler is well regarded as a quality C compiler for ARM systems, but there's not been any public updates of it in years and we were missing out on bugfixes done by Pace et al, along with improvements such as the update to the C99 language standard. Whilst we saw a time-limited licence and free download available through RISCOS Ltd for a while, it's all been quiet since. Then Castle came along.

For a mere 99 earth pounds (inc vat/delivery) you get the latest C / C++ compiler, a licence to use the tools and libraries in commercial software and updated manuals. The compiler not only produces the "26bit" code required for current RISC OS systems, but can also generate 32bit code which would be suitable for a possible future version of RISC OS running in 32bit mode on processors such as the Intel XScale. Great!

But that's not all. You also get the RISC OS Programmer's Reference Manuals 1-4 and the elusive 5a on the CD, the Style Guide and other essential docs. There's even copies of essential PD software such as Zap, StrongEd and PDF.

There's no alternative if you're serious about producing quality RISC OS C and C++ programs that'll be compatible with 26 and 32bit. Order today and build the apps of the future!

For more info, see the Castle website.


It's also worth noting that the Arm Club produce a fantstic bit of software called Armalzyer which is available for free download from http://www.armclub.org.uk/free/. This little trinket will, amongst other things, check your binaries for 32bit compatibility - just what the doctor ordered.

The ARM Club free software

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Sounds like a wondeful idea to me. And the code it produces is faster? Cool! -- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 3/10/02 10:17PM
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Excellent, but does this include any new C++ class libraries? WIMP library for example?

-- Gunnlaugur Jonsson, Iceland

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 4/10/02 12:38AM
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Judging by this link


the package is exactly the same as the last one produced by Acorn except for updated compilers / SharedCLibrary. I rather suspect that Castle have obtained a proper license for distributing the "evaluation release" that was on RISC OS Ltd's web site for a while. Hopefully there is a new installation program because the one that came with the original version doesn't know about the new !Boot structure and had a habit of overwriting newer versions of modules. Also having the PRMs CD in the same package is a good thing for new developers.

IIRC Stewart Brodie once posted on the newsgroups that creating a proper C++ compiler was outside Pace's interests / resources so I doubt CFront has been updated much. Extending this it would seem obvious that there is no C++ WIMP class library either.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnstlr on 4/10/02 8:13AM
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get it quick, because I think the annoucement said the 99ukp was a half price special offer.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 4/10/02 11:14AM
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Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 4/10/02 12:42PM
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So? If what johnstlr is saying is true we should all chuck our hard earned cash down the drain? Does anyone actually know for certain?

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 4/10/02 11:25PM
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johnstlr's comment is what we already knew. It is the same kit as the one Acorn provided (that is to say, Norcroft), except updated.

Oh, and these drobe comment boxes are far too small.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 5/10/02 6:46PM
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My comment appears to have been taken a bit negatively and that wasn't the intention. I just don't see the point in people getting their hopes up for no good reason.

This release is a step forward for two reasons. Firstly it means that for the first time since Acorn went under the updated tools are available for anyone to buy. Secondly it means that developers can (legally)produce and distribute C code that's ready for processors such as the XScale using the Norcroft tools - and remember only the Norcroft compiler can produce module code. I'm quite encouraged by this because for the last three years it seemed we were slipping back into the need to write ARM code guarantee future compatability - a situation which, quite frankly, is laughable to developers outside of the RISC OS and embedded markets.

The lack of a C++ update doesn't bother me because, thanks to some sterling efforts, GCC is available. IMHO there is far more to be gained in encouraging those responsible to keep the port up to date than writing a C++ compiler from scratch. Even Microsoft, with all their resources, have stated they're not interested in implementing the complete C++ standard. They feel code performance is more important than complete compliance to the standard.

The lack of a C++ WIMP library is obviously a bug bear for some. However RISC OS has had such class libraries (Vista and Blue to name two and I believe that the RiscGuiLib project did release a class library). The fact that all these projects appear to have disappeared off the radar suggests there wasn't sufficient interest in them.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnstlr on 6/10/02 8:31AM
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This is more than a bug bear for me. I'm interested in trying to write some software for RISC OS but I'm not willing to go back to BASIC or C now that I have "mastered" (:)) object oriented programming, simply because I don't see me having any real use for either in the near future.

-- Gunnlaugur Jonsson, Iceland

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 9/10/02 8:08PM
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I understand where you're coming from. I just think that Acorn C/C++ will never offer a proper C++ compiler so there's little reason to hope for a fully fledged class library to be included. However RISC OS has had its share of class libraries. In fact, because of the dominance of Visual Studio and the MFC, it has probably had more native (not ported) class libraries than Windows. Unfortunately, as with many RISC OS projects, they have fallen by the wayside.

The RiscGUILib project yahoo group is at


although it has been quiet for along time. You could try Arachne Software at


Under the software section they list RiscOOPLib. However the web page was last updated four years ago.

Finally there is Vista which, IIRC, is GCC only and is available from the Hensa archives at


All the other class libraries I've seen in the past seem to have disappeared and I doubt any of the ones I've linked to here are being developed.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnstlr on 10/10/02 1:02PM
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