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Castle admit Oregano2 launch

By Chris Williams. Published: 19th Mar 2003, 15:17:18 | Permalink | Printable

Either that or they felt we needed reminding

It's only taken them just under two weeks to confirm our initial coverage of the Oregano2 release but hey, it means the company that brought us the XScale powered Iyonix gets a second run on the drobe.co.uk frontpage. Today Castle have finally got round to officially issuing a statement announcing the release of their Oregano2 web browser (developed by Oregan), describing Oregano as a "fully-featured web browser for RISC OS systems". Sure. In their unexpectedly concise announcement, Castle spokesman Mike Williams lists the following O2 features: HTML 3.2, HTML 4.0 compliancy on supported elements, Javascript 1.5 with DOM Level 0, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL 3.0), Cascading Style Sheets 1.0 (except layers), Frames with frame history, Cookies, Secure Authentication and more besides.

Pricing details for new users and those upgrading from Oregano1.10 are available here and you may remember the commotion caused when Oregano1.10 users, originally promised free upgrades to Oregano2 by Castle, found out they needed to fork out cash to obtain the latest versions of Oregano. It turns out, after a breeze of refreshing effort from riscos.org, that the decision to charge for Oregano upgrades was made by Castle after an unexpected U-turn in policy by developers Oregan, according to Castle management. Now that punters are having to pay for updates to their browser, we assume they'll want to be happy that it's worth the money.

So, don't forget you can download a time limited, slightly crippled demo version for free before you buy - don't worry, we're told the full version can open more than one browser window unlike the demo. Incidentally, we ran our demo copy just now only for it to suddenly run an updater and grab some updates. Spyware? Perhaps not but we did for a second think we were getting a free full copy of the software. The update appears to have brought in proper working scrollbars which is a relief and also worthy of note, the tabbed choices window has our approval.

But of course, you read all of this last fortnight.


Castle software Oregano2 released

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Scrollbars working properly should surely have been the title of this news story! Hurrah! -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 19/3/03 3:51PM
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Oh, I've been to ask - exactly what are the limitations of the demo? I can't find this info anywhere... -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 19/3/03 3:54PM
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O2 doesn't allow you to save anything.

I tried to get it play some online mp3 files by going to [link]

and even thought I've got a 512K cable connection Oregano2 had a lot of trouble playing them. (SHIFT clicking on a file link doesn't appear to allow the file to be directly downloaded).

When I did downloaded the mp3 to disc first using Fresco, O2 didn't want to play it even though its got a mp3 player in it! Duh.

Why do I get the impression its unfinished?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 19/3/03 4:17PM
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Gavin - the demo version doesn't let you save, print or open multiple pages. There's also a bar at the top saying "demo". I'm not sure if it's time-limited.

To download those mp3s, shift clicking really doesn't work. You currently have to use the menu to save the link target.

O2 does attempt to play the mp3 but it sounds terribly broken. I think that's because O2 is trying to play it as a stream, but the download rate isn't quite fast enough. I'm on a T3 and it didn't work for me, either. Can anyone try it on IE and see if it works? -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 19/3/03 4:45PM
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I tried the above link and IE6 loads Quicktime and plays it fine. Must be a bug in O2.

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 19/3/03 4:55PM
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It could just be that on a StrongARM RPC, MP3s can sometimes be a bit of a struggle with the lack of FP and everything, the additional overhead of the streaming etc. was just too much for the wee lad.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 19/3/03 5:09PM
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Could someone run Oregano2 through the CSS1 Test suite to test compliance, please? :-)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 19/3/03 5:32PM
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quatermass: mp3's take a lot of processor power to decode in real time. What processor have you got ? because your network connection should be fast enough for real time.


 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 19/3/03 5:38PM
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85!! What the hell! Do they really expect people to buy a web browser for their RPC for 85! It's bad enough all the hardware costs so much, why should we have to pay 85 just so we can view pages the way they're meant to be seen. Besides, why mp3 and au playback. There are plenty of programs to do this for you. ----------- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 19/3/03 6:21PM
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To be fair, with the market in the state it's in, complaints about the price are a bit silly - Castle aren't there to rip people off, they need that money to invest in RISC OS.

Not that I'm paying 85 for a browser - I just can't afford it - but I can't really complain about their pricing strategy.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 19/3/03 6:38PM
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I think it's wrong to call the complaints 'silly', I mean if RISC OS browsers were as good those on Windows, and Windows was in the same situation as we are now, we'd all be laughing our socks off. Generally speaking I find O2 about the same standard as Netscape 4.75, except that on Netscape I can use Lotus Notes. O2 is'nt worth 85, when it's compared with other browsers on other platforms. In fact if I used Oregano2 on my Mac at work, and it was free, I'd probably say it was crap, if only down to the fact that you can't copy text off pages. But of course, at least Castle are trying, I mean the less said about WXL the better. Hopefully Netsurf development will continue apace to get us a free browser but until then O2 is the only serious browser we've got.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 19/3/03 7:41PM
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I suppose when taking into account the quality of the browser, maybe saying "silly" is slightly harsh, yes. It's just I'm over-sensitive about people complaining about pricing in RISC OS land.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 19/3/03 7:47PM
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Respect to Castle for actually getting a usable RISC OS browser onto the market.

Respect to Castle for getting a high spec RISC OS computer onto the market.

imho I think that the high price is an encouragement for people to by an Iyonix. And why not? Nice little marketing ploy. I find that the O2 demo is slightly too clunky on my RISC PC SA anyway. -- Snig :/ Undoubtley doubtful.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 19/3/03 9:12PM
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85? So I see. So I'm going to get jumped on by bringing up the price moan again - if you've got O1 you'll now end up paying more than that in total to get to the same level of browser.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 19/3/03 11:46PM
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moss: I generally agree about the price moaning, this is tiny market after all, and Castle need to make a living. I suppose I moan a bit about the price of the Iyonix and stuff but Castle got off their arse and are trying to put some life into the market, and best of luck to them. I suppose while we pay over the odds for web browsers, OvPro, Vantage, Artworks, and Photodesk are cheaper than counterparts on Mac/PC.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/3/03 12:06AM
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The simple answer to the price problem is to buy a PC or a Mac and run a free browser on it. That'll be cheaper. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 20/3/03 9:25AM
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I've got a Sun at home for web browsing the Acorn can't handle, but it's nice to be able to turn on the RiscPC and be using it in 20 seconds, rather than wait for the Sun to boot. I've got a Mac at work and from that experience, would'nt spend my own money on one, same goes for Windows.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/3/03 9:45AM
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Does this demo version play Flash files? Because the one I tried at [link] doesn't play.

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 20/3/03 10:42AM
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Where did the 85 come from? Can't see that as one of the prices. As far as it goes, of course, it's as free as any other browser, given a restricted definition of "free". If you buy RISC OS 5, you get it free, don't you?

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 20/3/03 10:56AM
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If you buy an Iyonix, you get Oregano2 free. Otherwise it's 85+VAT to buy it from scratch or 49+VAT to upgrade from Oregano1. Just out of interest, is it the worlds most expensive web browser? Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 20/3/03 11:26AM
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I remember that OmniWeb for NextStep was very expensive about $200 I think, but it's on OSX now and only $30.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/3/03 11:58AM
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Having just seen the Iyonix at work (at the HHRUG last night), it is good proof that the money is going on something useful!

As far as the Oregano issues with compatibility, there is a lot to be done, but what has been done provides use with a usefull browser after the previous standard browser's (Fresco) maintinence was ceased!

Good Luck to castle!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 20/3/03 12:37PM
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I'm rather lucky for a RISC OS user, as I have my machine connected through an old 10-Mbit net card onto a VERY fast PC network, with ADSL access. Consequently, I've always been pleased with the speed of Oregano 1.

However, running Oregano 2 alongside it is like putting a StrongARM card in the RiscPC. Its rendering speed and fetch speed is very considerably quicker. It also renders pages in a much improved manner.

If you work out what the speed-up will save you in "online" time, I rather suspect that for most casual browsers who may do no more than 15 minutes a day, it will pay for itself in a year (or so).

No doubt someone can do the maths for me, but my personal opinion is that it IS worth the upgrade cost.

Now to find the money! ;)

-- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 20/3/03 2:45PM
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Before anyone says anything; we know unmetered internet doesn't cost any more the longer you are on. However, your own personal time has worth which an be expressed on terms of money.

If you can do 2hrs of browsing in and hour and a half now then you have half an hour to do something else. What's that worth? -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 20/3/03 2:59PM
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 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/3/03 3:34PM
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So you can buy it in 66 years then ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 20/3/03 7:01PM
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DOM Level 0? I didn't know there was such a low level as level 0!

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 21/3/03 8:31AM
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thegman: if you're only getting three quid an hour, I'd get hold of the low pay people. Unless you're twelve and doing a paper round, that is.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 22/3/03 11:26AM
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MIKEG: perhaps thegman lives overseas. In New Zealand, the currency conversion equals NZ$8.52, two cents over the lowest pay rate here.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 24/3/03 7:29AM
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