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X-Ample touts 32bit Impression

By Chris Williams. Published: 4th Oct 2003, 13:04:57 | Permalink | Printable

Welcome home Impression, all is forgiven

New ImpressionComputer Concept's legendary Impression DTP package has been picked up and dusted off this week by X-Ample Technology. X-Ample tell us that they've accquired the source code to the popular DTP application and have promised to make the 26 bit version avaliable to users while a 32 bit compatible version is worked on.

X-Ample says we'll hear more on the 32 bit front in a few months time, exact pricings and upgrade paths are to be decided. Also, if you want any bugs fixed, feel free to drop them an email with details of your fault findings.

"All existing version of Impression, such as Style, Publisher and Publisher Plus, will be replaced by a single new version: Impression-X and will contain all features of Impression Publisher Plus", X-Ample explain in their announcement.

"As we now have access to the Impression sources, we are not only able to convert the package to 32-bit, but also to fix some bugs and add new features. Initial work will concentrate on the 32-bit conversion and the fixing of some long standing bugs, but new features will be added soon thereafter."

X-Ample's ambition to improve Impression as well as 32 bitting it will be very much welcomed by the userbase, we suspect. We hate to see old programs resurrected with no more than a re-printed manual and a minimal website. Critically, Impression has always been one of the platform's killer apps and part of the small clique of software that's kept people using RISC OS. Could good old, faithful Impression running on a keen XScale machine persuade users to stick around?


Impression development website

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I'm sure Paul Reuvers will do for Impression what Martin Wuerthner has done for Artworks. Great news indeed.


 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 4/10/03 1:39PM
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Hopefully choice will keep Ovation on its toes as well.

Very good news indeed and good luck to them. -- British by birth English by the Grace of God. [link]

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 4/10/03 1:52PM
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I can't help but feel development time would be better spent on Ovation Pro. I don't like the idea of both programs being developed simultaneously; a bit of a waste of programming effort.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 4/10/03 2:00PM
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moss: Without competition, no progress is made, though. I'm almost sure that many of Martin's improvements to ArtWorks were done partially to lure people away from buying Vantage (although why anybody would buy Vantage is beyond me).

It's healthy to have two things from different people doing the same thing - they'll both always be playing catch-up.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 4/10/03 2:41PM
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Both programs? Ovation Pro, Impression-X and Textease is three excellent and powerfull DTP programs. We are fortunate to have three such excellent DTP programs available for such a small platform. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 4/10/03 2:52PM
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moss: Having tried out Ovation Pro (though only briefly I admit) I personally consider Impression by far the more professional program in terms of interface feel etc. As nunfetishist said, too, competition helps keep people on their toes. Good news all over, really :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 4/10/03 5:00PM
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You sure you tried Ovation *PRO* and not just Ovation? O-Pro blows Impression out of the water in prettymuch every respect.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 4/10/03 6:48PM
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Well, this is the thing. From what I've heard (not having used both, I can't comment) both Vantage and Artworks have their good points and bad points.

Wheras I've used both Ovation Pro and Impression Publisher (admittedly the latter by a far lesser extent), and I much, much, much prefer Ovation Pro, both in terms of user interface, features; like imj says, nearly every respect.

Not that I'm trying to put a dampner on the news; the more development for RISC OS the better...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 4/10/03 6:52PM
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As for the competition thing, it all depends on the situation. It can be good or bad depending on the resources avaliable...

Maybe I don't know enough about the situation, in which case I shouldn't really comment. It just felt instrinsically pointless to me when Ovation Pro is just so, so, so much better. Obviously certain people don't feel that way, in which case - fine.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 4/10/03 7:01PM
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At least Impression has a decent way to control tables...

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 4/10/03 10:49PM
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Impression was a godlike program in its day. In fact, bar a few high-end features here and there, the Archimedes made the Macs of the day look stone-age, thanks to the RISC OS GUI and Computer Concepts' incredible work.

However, Impression is just far too old and undeveloped to be a contender. It's 'DTP-cum-Word-processor' concept is/was unique, but as a typographic tool Ovation Pro wins (and could still go much further).

I agree with the other poster about Impression's polish. In their day, the Computer Concepts apps made everything else look like freeware.

 is a RISC OS UserJessFranco on 4/10/03 10:53PM
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imj wrote, "At least Impression has a decent way to control tables..."

Lots of work for X-Ample there. Add it to their wishlist page. ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 4/10/03 11:54PM
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davidb> What you just said makes no sense at all. Impression *HAS* the tabling, It's O-Pro which doesn't. "Lots of work for Pilling there" I'd suggest.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 5/10/03 1:29AM
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It has?! Do you mean the stuff with tabs, TableMate or something else?

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 5/10/03 4:43AM
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I've got Impression Style and Publisher and have never noticed the tabling feature. Style was bundled with Tablemate to make up for that missing feature. Tablemate still works great to this day with Ovation Pro. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 5/10/03 8:50AM
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Sadly, David Pilling seems to be less and less interested in developing the RISC OS version of Ovation Pro, as he is concentrating on a releasable Windows version. Bug fix versions are still coming out, but no major changes.

 is a RISC OS UserNickyDeB on 5/10/03 10:04AM
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Personally I found Impression Style to be superior to the demo version of OvPro, though there was many irritations that got me, like no long filename support.

I don't use RISC OS that much anymore, though, so I've moved over to using HTML and CSS for most of my word processing needs.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 5/10/03 10:08AM
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I don't think much of the new icon, either.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 5/10/03 10:08AM
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What do you use to process your words when you're writing html?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 5/10/03 11:11AM
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mavhc: my brain.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 5/10/03 11:29AM
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It is certainly good news - anything that allows users of older software to move forwards without the loss of important (to them) applications is very significant. I do wonder about the desire to re-bradn the program, however. Publisher Plus had one of the most attractive icons/splash-screens of any RISC OS application!

My only request is that duplex printing is fixed (esp for pamphlet printing, and multi copies) as I've had to move everything into OvPro to get rounds the inabilities in PubPlus.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 5/10/03 11:51AM
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Splash screens are the most irritating GUI concept ever invented (IMHO).

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 5/10/03 12:58PM
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I'd hoped that it was just the Windows version of Ovation Pro that had slowed development; and once that is done, dual development would take place...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 5/10/03 12:59PM
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This is the best news I read since IYONIX pc and Aemulor were made public!

Thanks X-Ample!

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 5/10/03 2:07PM
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As long as it is reasonably priced for the upgrade (and the full version), then this is certainly good news for the platform IMHO. -- AndyPoole [link]

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 5/10/03 2:22PM
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I wrote my entire PhD thesis using Impression, and I'd go back to using it full time (I hate MSWord, although I use it all the time) IF it provided document export to a PC-friendly format (and I don't mean poorly implemented RTF output), and a dedicated print-to-PDF function. I'd use Risc-OS much more if I could find a powerful comprehensive stats package...

 is a RISC OS Usernen1000 on 5/10/03 2:49PM
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Oh, and this is only because of the appearance of Virtual Acorn - for anyone interested - I have to have a laptop,and I have to run PC software. If I could get a good Mac emulator that would help too... Essentially, I want one small box that I can carry around, that will run whatever software best does the job I need it to perform.

 is a RISC OS Usernen1000 on 5/10/03 2:52PM
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CAn't say I'm fond of the new logo - something 3D based on the white feather quill would be my choice

 is a RISC OS Usernen1000 on 5/10/03 2:54PM
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This sounds like fantastic news. I've been using Impression since 1990 and wrote two books with Impression II, both of which I'm revising using Impression Publisher.

This means switching from my Iyonix back to the RPC, as I haven't bought Aemulor. The same applies to all my DTP/word processing as I haven't bought Ovation Pro either. I might not need either of them now.

I'd guess that Impression will have a bit of catching up to do, though.


 is a RISC OS UserMartyn Fox on 5/10/03 4:55PM
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To NEN1000: If oyu want a decent stats package then use 1st from Robin Edwards. I used minitqab (yuck) and then switched to 1stJr.A lot nicer. It is not as noce looking as statview on the mac (used for my PhD since I used a mAc for that))

Cheers Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 5/10/03 5:31PM
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ksattic: "I've got Impression Style and Publisher and have never noticed the tabling feature."

It's more like glorified tabs with line drawing hacked into the style system. Minimal effort for, well, minimal effect.

Meanwhile, the Windows demo of Ovation Pro was impressive in certain respects - irregular frame shapes, etc. - but he's going to need to improve the user interface substantially. And, yes, that means following the platform user interface guidelines rather than foisting some kind of RISC OS look-and-feel onto the hapless users.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 06/10/03 2:49PM
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This is excellent news. Two good DTP applications being developed is good for the market for many reasons:

1) User choice 2) Competition drives down prices 3) Competition drives development of new features 4) Competition provides a fall-back if one developer discontinues development of the product (ie. you can use the other one).

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 06/10/03 8:52PM
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Guest X: I remember now, I could never figure out how to use those! ;)

The RISC OS "feel" for Ovation Pro on Windows doesn't work because GUI components are smaller in Windows than in RISC OS. It just looks odd. The program is great for me to work on a document while I'm away (and using my PC laptop).

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 07/10/03 01:22AM
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Great news. Definately one of the best RO apps ever made.

I think it's good that they're developing Impression once more. Sure, due to its age it may be a little rough around the edges, but with development it could be a strong competitor for Ovation.

Something I've always wanted is improved MS Publisher-like wizards in one of the Ovation/Impression. Always handy for that rushed presentation you need to whip up in a hurry.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 07/10/03 07:56AM
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Does anybody know if Pendown DTP is still being developed? That was quite a nice package, although the education-emphasis was a bit annoying. An improved, professional version (not educational) of PenDTP would be a good budget DTP package for people wanting entry-level RO publishing software.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 07/10/03 07:59AM
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When you talk about competition and commercial software, the problem is how much is available to be spent in the RISC OS market in a year on DTP software?

Clue: last year David Pilling Ltd.'s total turnover for everything (including DTP) was ukp 10K...

Profits were about 2.5K.

 is a RISC OS UserDavidPilling on 07/10/03 10:32PM
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Mr Pilling! We're not worthy! ;)

If you're still reading this, I'd like to know how you managed to obtain enough information to implement an Impression document loader for Ovation Pro. Are there sufficient similarities between the way in which the two applications store document information, or did the implementation require more involved analysis?

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 08/10/03 01:20AM
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Would that have been larger if there had been any big releases/ chargeable upgrades?

mw-software spent most of Wakefield 2003 taking cheques off people so I would hope Martin had a good year....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 08/10/03 4:23PM
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How did I get the file format? I worked it out. All by myself, no clues from anyone. I just created a document made a small change and looked what changed in the file. There aren't any great similarities. I was able to observe how CC did things differently to OP.

As to turnover, if I'd sold more it would have been bigger ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserDavidPilling on 08/10/03 11:08PM
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