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MW Software licenses full Artworks from CC

By Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Nov 2002, 03:29:10 | Permalink | Printable

Artworks undergoing "drastic changes" to bring it up to version 2

While taking a midnight stroll through drobe.co.uk's archives vault, we found out that MW Software has been developing Artworks modules for around about eight years now, first releasing Translate and Polygon way back in 1996. As if you didn't already know, Artworks is the powerful, old school yet still very much loved, vector graphics package for RISC OS, originally developed back during the Acorn era by Computer Concepts. Artworks modules, such as the excellent Crystal module, are loaded by the Artworks package as it starts up and they essentially enhance the software and provide new features.

Artworks logo

Why the sudden interest in MW Software, you ask. A valid question, here's an intriguing answer. MW Software regularly sends out "Artworks Modules" newsletters, now they're sending out "Artworks" newsletters. Look closely, you'll see they've subtly dropped the 'modules' bit. That's because MW Software has (finally) managed to secure a licence for the full ArtWorks project from Computer Concepts. This will enable MW-Software to break out of module development and advance into the exciting position of being able to develop and release much more comprehensive updates to ArtWorks.

"MW Software will be able to release completely new versions of ArtWorks as opposed to plug-in modules and patches only", writes Martin Wuerthner of MW Software in an email to drobe.co.uk. We can hardly wait. MW Software have many other plans too, as Martin continues, "It is our firm intention to make 32-bit versions of ArtWorks and related software available. However, due to the massive effort involved in adapting huge amounts of hand-written ARM code for 32-bit operation, these are unlikely to be free upgrades."

For version 2, Artworks will "undergo drastic changes", including a more streamlined user interface and other additional features. Its 26/32 bit neutrality will allow all users with RISC OS computers powered by an ARM6 processor or better to use and enjoy the new version.

The GDraw and DitherExtend components are already 32 bit happy and a 32 bit version of AWViewer, the ArtWorks file rendering utility, will be released hopefully mid-December. The release of SVGexport will be postponed until after the AWViewer release. If you have any further questions then why not visit MW Software at this month's Midlands RISC OS show.


MW Software website

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Good news, but I hope all the effort doesn't go in to 32bitting at the expense of actual feature development.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 22/11/02 9:21AM
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Great news! Artworks is one of my favourite bits of software on the RISC OS desktop. I look forward to a new version with enhanced features.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 22/11/02 9:55AM
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Oh what great news. Artworks was always a pleasure to use. I do miss it dearly. I'm glad it is going to get the full-on development it desperately deserves! -- Steve Scott sassquad.com

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 22/11/02 10:05AM
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Ian, certainly most of the effort will have to be spent on 32-bitting the app - this is a huge task. It is unlikely that major new features (apart from SVG export) will be added before the 32-bit conversion is finished. However, the level of control I have now will mean that major new features will be easier to implement - Martin

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 22/11/02 11:00AM
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Don't forget to add bitmap fills at some point ;)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 22/11/02 11:11AM
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Poor Martin must be overwhelmed with feature requests -- I have several dozen myself :-) I believe that Artworks is still better than Xara X in many respects. Though Xara may have many 'fancy' tools, I find I am much more productive when using Artworks. And *where* is HatchPro for Xara X? HMM?


 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 22/11/02 5:03PM
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In reality the important bit is to get it 32bit (as Martin seems to indicate), that will mean it will really fly on the Iyonix and later hardware - rather than having to rely on emulation.

Overall the announcement of MW taking over ArtWorks development is good news. Perhaps other (former) RISC OS software vendors will take the same enlightened stance as Computer Concepts and license their code to other developers still active here.


-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 24/11/02 4:06PM
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