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Please Stop the Madness

By Peter Naulls. Published: 10th Nov 2003, 18:02:37 | Permalink | Printable

Oh how we laughed

As you may know, it is drobe.co.uk policy that all correspondence is for publication, unless otherwise stated. With this in mind, and after our recent articles on emulation we received the following flame that we're happy to share with our readers:

Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 16:45:37 +0100
From: Axel van Almsick
To: comments@drobe.co.uk
Subject: RiscOS for everyone


Please stop the bullshit.

After RiscOS 32 bit I told ROL in Dutch that it is now Time for RiscOS
to go on every platform.

Why HAL and Emus, when it is possible to make out RiscOS for ARM,
RiscOS for PowerChip, Intel, etc.

ARM and RiscOS is not together anymore.
It is bullshit to wait that one company is bring out a ARM-Chip
(Intel, Samsung?, etc). It will be too expensive.

But to buy RiscOS for Intel, PowerChip, etc. like Linux or BSD,
without Emu, will bring more fun and sense.

But ROL is like Acorn, far away to be clever and see and accept the

Please ask ROL when it will bring out RiscOS for everyone platform.
Make a petition.
Or better, ask Castle.
Maybe Castle have brains.


Oh, Axel, we're touched; really. We like your mail so much we're thought it would be nice to do an article based around it to clarify some of the issues about emulation, new machines and so forth. So, without further ado, let's see what Axel really thinks he's saying:

"After RiscOS 32 bit I told ROL in Dutch that it is now Time for RiscOS
to go on every platform."

A noble cause, I'm sure, but you've not bothered to enlighten us on what they said on the matter. But perhaps I can suggest why they might have said by examing what else you've got to say:

"Why HAL and Emus,"

Oh dear. HAL stands for "Hardware Abstraction Layer". The whole point of it is precisely to allow RISC OS to be moved to other machines, just what Axel seems to be advocating. That is why the HAL is so important. However, the RISC OS 5 HAL is really ARM based, it was designed to allow moving RISC OS to different ARM platforms. In principle you could have a new abstraction layer if you wanted RISC OS to run on multiple processor architectures, but it would probably need to be quite different and larger. Multi procesor OSes such as Linux and the BSDs have various layers of abstraction that perform this function.

As for the RISC OS 5 HAL itself, I have examined its sources in some detail, and although such things often have be compromises in how closely they're tied to hardware, there isn't too much I'd change if I were redoing it myself. Some parties in the past have attempted to critisize the HAL, but they've not bothered to follow it up with any kind of justification.

"when it is possible to make out RiscOS for ARM, RiscOS for PowerChip, Intel, etc."

RISC OS (which is, incidentally, the spelling) runs on Intel and PowerPC processors? Gosh, why didn't someone tell us sooner? I'm interested as to how you came to such a conclusion? Perhaps what Axel really means is that it would be straight forward to convert RISC OS to run on another processor.

Well, let's assume for a minute that you've rewritten the approximately 40% of RISC OS that is in ARM assembler (I'm sure that would be no problem for a technocrat like you now, would it Axel?), and let's assume you've fixed all the Basic and C in RISC OS that assumes it's running on an ARM processor. In short, we're talking about a comparison with the 32-bit conversion, but on a much larger scale. So, assuming you thought it was appropriate to invest massive amounts of money to make this happen (instead of for example adding PMT to RISC OS), then what?

Well, you'd be able to run your Basic programs, but you'd have to recompile all your C RISC OS applications, and rewrite from scratch all your assembler ones in a high level language - and then you'd have to make sure they worked on all the processors you were targetting. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it? Sure, this is what happens on Unix systems, but there are millions of users to deal with such things.

But there is one more option, we could do what Apple did when they converted from 68K machines to PowerPC - emulation. The ARM instructions could be emulated (JIT or otherwise) to the host instruction set and then excuted - naturally at a performance hit. But wait, wasn't emulation the basis of Axel's objection? What a conumdrum.

"ARM and RiscOS is not together anymore."

We're not entirely sure what Axel means here. It's true that it's been many many years since RISC OS drove ARM development. But it's not true that RISC OS doesn't rely on an a processor with an ARM instruction set (whether that's an emulated processor or otherwise).

"It is bullshit to wait that one company is bring out a ARM-Chip
(Intel, Samsung?, etc). It will be too expensive.

Again, we're not entirely sure what he's getting at. Sure, Samsung have dragged their heels a bit bringing out their ARM chips, but Intel haven't - just recently we covered Intel's 800Mhz 80331 XScale processor - a later version of the 80321 found in Castle's Iyonix. Perhaps Axel's referring to the cost of developing a new motherboard around such a chip - but I'd be interested to see his comparison against converting RISC OS to another processor. If his argument is about price, then surely he should be advocating, again, emulation - VirtualRPC on a PC involves no further development effort.

"But ROL is like Acorn, far away to be clever and see and accept the

If you say so, Axel. Be sure to tell us when you have some facts and we'll pass them on.

"Please ask ROL when it will bring out RiscOS for everyone platform.
Make a petition.
Or better, ask Castle.
Maybe Castle have brains.

We'll be sure to pass that on too. Honest.


At drobe.co.uk, we're well aware of the debate that emulation has caused; we've tried not to express any particular opinion on it, and made sure everyone has equal coverage. But for us to stick our heads in the sand and ignore emulation would certainly be wrong - it's now part of the RISC OS landscape, like it or not.

What we do think is great is that, even without VirtualRPC and friends, that there's more choice than ever of machines to run RISC OS on - even if it's still just a souped up, and entirely usable RiscPC.


News? Comments? Flames?

Previous: Drobe price comparison chart
Next: Castle bids farewell to RiscPC


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I wish I got email as exciting as this.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 10/11/03 6:15PM
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Do some people still think that to run RISC OS natively on x86 or PowerPC hardware requires just a simple recompile? It would seem so. I suggest the author of the email that formed the basis of the article starts to port RISC OS to x86 after obtaining the necessary licences.

Excellent article.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 10/11/03 6:19PM
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I still boggle why this kind of tit emails drobe, of all places, with a silly rant like this. I mean, what's the point? What's drobe gonna do with it? "Please, stop the bulls***" -- stop mailing it to drobe, anyway.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/11/03 6:33PM
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Dear Drobe,

Why is you not covring the secrit biochips that the cia have in area 55 istead of this emulayshun rubbish? Opteron is old and out of date trash and RISC OS can run on new biochips now, cos it dumps all over linux from a great height. I am talking about the future of RISC OS that will help it run office xp forever!

Luv Slash

So there's tommorow's news for you. No one minds a genuine slow news day. Not everything is better than nothing.

 is a RISC OS UserJessFranco on 10/11/03 7:00PM
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"After RiscOS 32 bit I told ROL in Dutch that it is now Time for RiscOS to go on every platform"

Could someone please explain to me why a German tells something to an English company in Dutch ????

Nah..don't bother..



 is a RISC OS Userrick11 on 10/11/03 7:09PM
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The article is meant to be informative and highlight and explain issues. If you got nothing out of it, then that can't be helped, but it's worth our time to clarify mattes to users who are less technically inclinded.


like many RISC OS users, and indeed yourself, Axel has English as a second language, so possibly a literal interpretation is not what is meant. Presumably he meant when he saw ROL in the Netherlands at the Big Ben show.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 10/11/03 7:48PM
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Perhaps Axel thinks that "Dutch" is the English equivalent of "Deutsch".

 is a RISC OS Userlibrarian16 on 10/11/03 7:55PM
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Is Drobe posting it's spam now?

Hey I've got some great Emails I could forward to you - about prescriptions for enlraging your penis so that the barely legal Russian brides will come from eBay Nigeria and install free cable for you whilst updating your Windows installation with the latest MS security patches.....

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 10/11/03 9:49PM
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simo: you think you're the only one who get such spam?

30% of all email here is spam!

if i would get 0.1 for each incoming spam, i'd be rich enough to afford an iyonix!

 is a RISC OS Usercrow on 10/11/03 10:21PM
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It seems a little unfair to have a go at Axel because of his poor english. His point is that with fast CPUs in the x86 world, would it not be better to build on those? Of course, this isn't sensible in practise (as the article points out), for both software and hardware compatibility reasons - just think of all the gfx cards, chipsets, sound cards etc there are. Instead, we have emulation. Buy utilizing the "standard" of the DirectX interface, RISC OS 4 is able to run on a wide variety of different gfx cards, sound cards and chipsets. Since the emulation is of a 26bit ARM, then even software compatibility is maintained.

This sounds like I'm advocating emulation. As many of you know, I'm still a "pure Arm" man at heart, but don't the emulation opens computing possibilities that many will find attractive. Indeed, I think the two methods of running RISC OS may well work to ensure a healthy level of technical one-up-manship, which may well give the OS a healthy future.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 10/11/03 11:50PM
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Repeat 100 times "I will not press return in textareas"

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 10/11/03 11:52PM
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librarian16: That has been said in English in times past. The German miners brought into England in Elizabethan times were called "Dutchmen", probably for that reason, and I think it was used elsewhere at around the same time.

Cue moderation, since this is completely OT.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 11/11/03 12:11AM
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Hello Drobe, I make no apologies for this message - no comments in this comment (!) make reference to the orignal email, merely the way drobe staff used it.

How dare you treat someone making comments to you as such! I have a great deal of respect for drobe.co.uk - christ it's my damn homepage, but I really have to get on my soapbox over this article. Your rule on all emails being taken for publication is not clearly visible prior to posting, giving this young Axel fellow grounds for a libel case if he so chooses. If it were a message I sent you, I'd ram a libel case down your throat quicker than you could point out the grammatical errors in this posting!

Why on earth do some of your staff, who spend a good deal of their time producing excellent RISC OS software, feel the need to have a go at the little guy who writes you an email? The level of personal and abusive arrogance goes even beyond the level I am willing tolerate of Mr Naulls in this article - for christ sake get over yourself for once! Why not have a go at this chap for his bad English - bloody foreigner? That would be of the level of this article! If Drobe is going to lower itself to personal attacks on comentors, I would like to hope that the founders would say something against this practice.

Here you have someone who is obviously, to those of us who look at the meaning, as opposed the grammatical errors, slightly miffed at the way RISC OS market is being run - who amongst us isn't at the end of the day?

If this kind of article is going to be a standard fare of drobe from now on, can we have tools to moderate articles as well as comments?

You'll be glad to know I'm leaving the ol' soapbox now, you folks do as you please, you are (after all) only a website to me.

Regards, Ryan

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 11/11/03 2:01AM
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drjones: Thank you for your comments, I enjoyed reading them. Our policy on reproducing email is there so that we can use any correspondance as we see fit, especially when something of public interest is sent in or a company decides to get nasty. With all due respect, I doubt that you would be able to "ram" us with a libel case if we reproduced an email that you wrote and you explicitly gave to us. For a start, we'd probably have very good reaons for doing so.

The article is not a personal attack and we would certainly never hold someone's nationality and choice of language against them. We appreciate each and every reader, regardless of where they come from. Yes, there's playful sarcasm in the above article but it's the interests of the "little guy" (your words) that we're looking out for. The angle of the article is on the emulation situation, Axel's email was merely a catalyst for the write up. We all find it frustrating that we're effectively trapped on a sub-1GHz processor architecture that's heading off into PDA country, but we can't fantasise about running RISC OS natively on next-gen Pentium chips. We need a solution that's achievable and sustainable. Answers on a postcard, please.

We may be a website to you, but to us, you're a reader and a reason why we do all and any of this.

Chris. drobe. sarcasm, remember.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 11/11/03 2:26AM
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It's a shame a RISC OS company can't get a license and develop their own ARM processor. Then we could head out of sub-1GHz territory, and at the same time have processors designed especially for desktops. I guess even Castle doesn't have enought cash to fund something like this, though. If only Acorn hadn't gone subsiduary crazy and sold off ARM Ltd. :(

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 11/11/03 4:01AM
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drjones69> Look, as Chocky has explained English for many people to drobe (hello ArcSite readers!) is a second language.

I know that I would be awful at trying to talk anything other than English and to have someone who will try to bear with you and try to understand what you are trying to say is invaluable.

This is what Peter has tried to do in this article, with the typical drobe twist on sarcasm - part of the site. everyboday who reads the site knows this. (by the way, Axel is quite liberal with the use of the word 'bulls***' are you going to write a rant at him for being 'rude'?)

Hopefully this Christmas I will pass at speaking Floridanese, and Japanese in a year or two.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 11/11/03 7:24AM
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Look at it this way. There was no need to mention Axel at all. The article would have stood up well enough if you'd just said, 'we have had comments suggesting the following points. Let's address them.' Still, you chose to hold this guy up as an example and, you have to admit, for the comic value. Coupled with the general tone of the article I think the article stepped over the line.

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 11/11/03 10:34AM
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So much like TheRegister.co.uk then.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 11/11/03 10:50AM
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This article and the comments it has elicited raise some important questions about how we adapt to the new media of communication of which Drobe Launchpad is an example. If I were Axel I would feel hurt and angry at the reply I received. Is the author lacking in imagination, or did he intend to hurt? I too have sometimes given offense, perhaps because I was trying harder to be right than to be kind. May I suggest that the problem of how to use our new technology politely is not only an ethical problem but also an intellectual one, and just as worthy of our brains' employment as how to write a JIT compiler. I hope that this comment gives no offense, so let me end by saying that if he is a man the author of the article will have the courage to sweeten the air by apologizing to Axel and promising to think a bit harder about the effect of his communications before he sends them.

 is a RISC OS UserGavinWraith on 11/11/03 11:25AM
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Interestingly, Axel makes only one mistake.... he appears not to know that a good percentage of RISC OS itself is written in assembly language and therefore needs rewriting or emulating on non-ARM platforms.

I think it's a mistake easily forgiven nowadays too; few other OSes still being developed are so reliant upon processor type. If you're non-technical and don't know its history, how would you know that RISC OS is different?


 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 11/11/03 11:57AM
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I suppose we could invite Axel to post a comment on how he feels about how his e-mail has been used.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 11/11/03 12:27PM
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I agree with Spriteman and Gavin. However, I think that Mr Naulls come across as a bit of a twat and on this occasion has succeeded in ridiculing nobody but himself.

Peter, a wise man once said to me "There's no shame in not knowing, only in not wanting to know". I am in no doubt you have vast technical knowledge but you seem to forget that most of the rest of the population isn't so well informed about particular technical matters. If you asked some niave questions of a knowledgable person about a topic they were expert on, in the search for some knowledge, would you expect to be publically ridiculed too?

You see, this is all part of the attitude which puts people off RISC OS. You ask questions int he PC community, and yes you get the odd prat, but you geta lot of very helpful answers too. What you do NOT find is the editors of supposedly well-respected websites taking the p*** out of the few people who still have an interest. Trolls on a newsgroup is one thing and largely ignorable, but such behaviour on a portal such as Drobe brings down the reputation of the whole platform, IMHO.

Hardly inspires me to click on the "Donate" button at the top of the page...

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 11/11/03 12:30PM
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As an aside, why are we allowed to read words such as s h i t in articles, but not in comments?

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 11/11/03 12:31PM
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Clearly it's time for me to comment. People have gone overboard and read far too much into the article.

Let's make a few things clear:

All the drobe maintainers (Chris, Ian and myself) looked at this article beforehand, and decided it was ok. If you want to throw accusations around, then remember who you're really talking to. Equally, just because Chris's name appears on many other articles doesn't mean Ian and I didn't have involvement, and don't also take responsibility for them.

Andrew/others: repeat 100 times "I did not make fun of his English", as I've already said, that would be pretty silly for someone whose firsth language was not English.

drjones: your objection doesn't add up - you claim Axel has problems with the way the market is being run, and yet Axel's objections don't make sense. Seems like a strange conclusion.

robert: you've clearly completely missed what was said. The email didn't contain any questions (other than essentially rhetorhical ones), it was mostly a series of statements saying what should be done. If it was genuinely a series of questions then it would have been a different story.

And you've missed a second point - the whole _point_ of the article was to inform - to educate users as to why the suggestions might or might not be sensisble. It says as much at the top of the article. If you want to accuse someone of not educating people, then you've chosen the wrong target.

Finally, you're assuming that poor Axel is innocent. If we put aside his history of flaming people via email, then even by itself, emailing drobe with damning statements isn't really going to acheive anything. On the other hand, if you email us with genuine questions or reasoned argument, then you'll get the respect you deserve.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/11/03 12:49PM
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Classic Drobe smugness, and whilst the editorial retort is high on detail, it isn't really any more enlightening than the original message. The guy wants processor-independent RISC OS through traditional porting approaches, which is admittedly a lot of work for little reward if you consider porting the whole thing from the hardware up, but then perhaps he isn't suggesting that.

Anyway, such public ridiculing hardly encourages people to pay *you* much attention by "examing what else you've got to say", Mr Naulls.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 11/11/03 2:02PM
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People oddly seem to assume that because they personally learnt nothing from the article then it was pointless and hard nothing to impart. It couldn't be further from the truth. It's all very well to sit there and say "it says nothing useful", but you're forgetten that the majority of RISC OS users simply don't understand the techinical matters involved, and that they appreciate being informed on these matters.

Keeping people ignorant about RISC OS issues is certainly one of the worst things we could do.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/11/03 2:12PM
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Peter, perhaps Axel has flamed the hell out of you or your mates. Maybe if that's the case then one can understand you not respecting him. Whatever. But that doesn't make it necassary or excusable for you to use a public website to ridicule him. Yes I assumed he's innocent - innocent till proven guilty or something similar springs to mind. But in any case I'm not interested in personal petty arguments, that's NOT why I read Drobe, and is the reason I was a bit dismayed when I saw the article. Perhaps people could learn something from the article if it wasn't so smug and smarmy in it's tone. As it stands, I can't see many people reading beyond the first few paragraphs.

The saddest thing about all this is that if you were to remove the smugness, p***-taking and personal vendetta, you'd actually have had a half-decent article about the practicalities (or otherwise) of porting RISC OS to another processor achitecture.

Right. I have work to do.


 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 11/11/03 2:27PM
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 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 11/11/03 2:34PM
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I'm quite enjoying this :)

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 11/11/03 2:40PM
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I can do this all afternoon, wooot

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 11/11/03 2:52PM
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I think it perhaps was unfortunate that this article was published in its current form (and to be honest given the negative reaction I'm suprised it hasn't been updated or removed). The technical aspects that are discussed are actually quite interesting and worth presenting, its just a shame they seem be intervowen around a personal attack. And with comments like "Oh how we laughed" and "I'm sure that would be no problem for a technocrat like you now, would it Axel?", I don't think the editors can really deny this.

Sarcasm can be amusing, but when it is used on a personal level and in a popular public forum I don't think it is really excusable or responsible. My gut feeling is that perhaps Drobe should review their policy with regards to articles and comments, this certainly isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. Personally I would prefer articles to be less opinionated.

Finally, someone previously mentioned libel action. It is worth noting that the libel laws for publishing on the internet (in the UK anyway) are currently being reviewed with the intention to make them much more stringent.

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 11/11/03 3:07PM
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Drobe lowers itself again...

 is a RISC OS UserAndrew Duffell on 11/11/03 4:07PM
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/More/ stringent libel laws?! There used to be free speech in this country!

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ via on 11/11/03 4:45PM
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Andrew Duffell: How have they lowered themselves? They got a silly letter, and simply pointed out the things they got wrong.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ via on 11/11/03 5:00PM
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 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 11/11/03 5:06PM
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When was there free speech? in which country?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 11/11/03 5:19PM
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So do all non-Drobe staff posts get automatically moderated now then, as I can only see Chocky posts now! ;)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 11/11/03 5:50PM
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There might be issue of copyright. But that aside would porting RISC OS to other platforms actually be sound comercially, I don't think it would, firstly the cost in development time would be huge having huge chunks of ARM code to re-write, but all the other frills to go with it, And where would it leave us, people would buy RISC OS, and buy a cheep PC and run it, probably 1/2 the programs under emulation anyway and the hardware suppliers would be out of business under-cut by mass produced off the shelf PC's.

It would be perhaps an idea to code new parts to RISC OS in C instead of pure assembly, but I doubt it'd ever come to much.

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 11/11/03 6:06PM
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It would be commercially viable if it sold well on other platforms.

And as RISC OS is so obviously ahead of every other OS on every platform ever, it would sell in millions if not billions ...

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 11/11/03 6:11PM
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I'm very dissapointed with this article. At the very least, it is /not news/ and should not be in the news section.

In the past, I think you have put too much emphasis on Opinion (vs News). This article is a stunning confirmation of this.

I hope you will exhibit more professionalism in future.


 is a RISC OS Userdontcarereally on 11/11/03 6:35PM
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Information is just as useful as "news", if relevant.

Perhaps the RISC OS section of the front page is just slightly mis-labelled, that's all.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 11/11/03 7:09PM
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IIRC, there was a time when there was a little icon at the top (-ish) of some articles saying whether it was news, software-roundup, editorial, rant etc. Has this gone? Or does it just appear for some articles? It would certainly be one way to inform readers quickly whether they were getting breaking headlines or editorial. This could also help make the separation between news and opinion (as referred to by Adam Richardson) a little clearer.

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 11/11/03 7:25PM
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Oh, and just for my 2p'th, I agree with every point made in the article but were I in Axel's shoes I would certainly be pretty upset at being publicly humiliated in such a way. Whilst keeping people informed about what is and is not possible in RISC OS is laudable, doing it such a way as to deliberately expose someone to public ridicule (no matter what personal grievances you may have against them) is pretty unprofessional. As the foremost RISC OS portal you do have a certain responsibility to not let your own personal feelings cloud your articles.

</high horse>

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 11/11/03 7:31PM
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Are you sure Axel has been publicly humiliated, though? Are you suggesting that just reading his email (unedited) would make people agree with Peter's opinion that the email is laughable, or (implied) that Axel is not a technocrat?

The Register normally publish "flames of the week" unedited and with no further editorial comment, and also include a very visible "Opinion" tag on the front page for articles that are opinion rather than news as such. Either approach could be worth considering for Drobe.

A number of people have raised the topic of "professionalism", but it's quite clear that those behind Drobe are not running it in order to earn a living. Some of those I've mentioned, who do run similar sites in order to earn a living, do produce very similar articles to this.

Finally, I should point out that the law would regard Axel's email as being "published" as soon as he sent it to Drobe. Libel may be a lovely term for armchair lawyers, but there's nothing in the article in question that even vaguely approaches it (since we can safely assume that Axel did indeed send the email as quoted).


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 11/11/03 8:09PM
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It's a good point you make, dgs, about Axel speaking for himself as his email; the only thing I would say is that perhaps he did not realise that all email was for publication and thus saw his email as more private than it ended up being (however Drobe do say that all email is for publication so that's fair enough I suppose).

Of course the Drobe editors aren't running it for profit, and I would never deny the huge importance of the job they do to the RISC OS community. However I still maintain that the nature of their job (particularly in view of the role it plays in unifying RISC OS users everywhere) implies a responsibility on their part. Perhaps 'professionalism' is the wrong word: what I am referring to is not to do with money. It's hard to find the right word, but I think you probably know what I mean (I hope).

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 11/11/03 8:49PM
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It's not really on, taking the p1ss out of the Email. Although Axel hasn't replied to complain - well he probably has, but it's been moderated to Hell.....

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 11/11/03 9:24PM
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Please stop the madness, Drobe. Shame on you. You made an article out of this poor confused guy's worthless e-mail. You didn't have to, you know: there was no need to do that, and it does not help anyone. Don't make that your hobby, Peter. There's so much good you could have done meanwhile.

 is a RISC OS Usermaus on 11/11/03 9:24PM
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> Although Axel hasn't replied to complain - well he probably has

Well, I for one, have received an email from him and he is upset about his email being treated in the way it has been.

What saddens me though is that you, me, Axel and Drobe all want the same thing. We want RISC OS to grow and prosper. Perhaps we all need to be a bit more careful about how we express ourselves.


 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 11/11/03 10:26PM
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To help Hutchies out here; you can act professionally without being a professional. Just as you can act stupidly without being stupid. :) -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 11/11/03 11:04PM
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O.K. guys I get it - It's a wind up. Axel and his e-mail was made up by the drobe team. It's an April fool. Can I claim the prize for being the first to realise ?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 11/11/03 11:25PM
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Let's keep this brief. We've been exchanging emails with Axel since the article to discuss things. Also, try not to mention the 'libel' word too much, it makes our legal advisor tingle all over. Please look beyond the light hearted sarcasm and see the technical points we've raised. If you were offended by this article, ask yourself why.

This webpage may contain nuts.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 12/11/03 01:23AM
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What a cozy little world....only technocrats can send emails to Drobe. Which nuts are you refering to the Drobe team or any poor sod who asks a question.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 12/11/03 06:35AM
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No. We receive many emails from users asking questions and I try to answer them all to the best of my ability. However Axel's was so far removed from reality, it deserved an article to ensure everyone is clued up on the technical reasons why it's not so easy to do RISC OS on a P4.

Emails and correspondence is fine and welcome, just please keep it sane. And the nuts thing was a joke, see the side of any packet of junk food.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 12/11/03 08:30AM
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jeff: there was no claim at all about "only technocrats can send emails" - you've taken something that was said in a completely different context and changed it around. Equally, there were no genuine questions asked - I've already explained this earlier.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 12/11/03 09:50AM
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I wasn't in the slightest bit offended by the article, but I didn't like it, and it did make me want to read your otherwise excellent website less. Maybe you don't care what I think, and maybe you don't care if I read your website or not, but on the off-chance you *do*, you should be aware articles such as this one could lose you some of your readership.

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 12/11/03 09:57AM
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This article and the comments have given me the biggest laugh in ages, I'm afraid.

Actually, I probably deserve to lose my blue star for that unhelpful comment.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 12/11/03 10:11AM
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Frankly, we risk losing readers with any article, same as any news media. If anything, articles like the above get us more readers, not less. If you want bland news that doesn't say anything interesting because it's too PC, then perhaps you should try the Times, or myriscos.co.uk.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 12/11/03 10:15AM
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If the email had just been fabricated and such had been specified then everyone would have been chortling away happily. I do think it's improved the quantity of contributions to drobe though which is always good. A more natural (/intuitive or whatever the word) policy on email would be anything is publishable unless otherwise specified but every effort will be made to contact the sender to let them know beforehand and allow them to add the "not to be published" tag afterwards. It's considered bad practice to publish private emails without permission on newsgroups and mailing lists, and with good reason. Anyway, back to work!

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 12/11/03 11:01AM
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> If you want bland news that doesn't say anything interesting because it's too PC, then perhaps you should try the Times, or myriscos.co.uk.

What I wanted was pretty much every drobe article prior to this one. Personally, I didn't find all your previous articles bland and uninteresting.

But I do think this article was unpleasant, and clearly several if not many other people agree, as it is rare for your conments section to be so filled with so many complaints.

I realise you don't care what I and these other people think about your site, but I also presume that if we made up a high enough proportion of your readership, then you *would* care.

This article the proportion was higher than usual.

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 12/11/03 12:00AM
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Thanks for missing the plot, and the several explanations given by drobe staff that it was *NOT* a personal attack on anyone. Look at previous articles. Many articles have an equal element of sarcasm to companies, software reviews, etc. As stated before it is part of the *style* of drobe.

It appears that the problem lies where people have not taken the time to read and understand the terms and conditions of Drobe before shouting their mouth off.

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 12/11/03 5:22PM
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Nice to see how this is going.

But perhaps a translation into a more appropriete english would make things clear. Luckily, my native langauge is the same as Axel and my country is simmilar to where Axel lives. So I can see his viewpoint and definitly understand his nervousity.

At least the UK residents should understand that there are less RISC OS users you come accross abroad than within the UK. In the UK there are still club meetings and fairs where you'll meet each other. This is less appareant outside the UK not to mention the language differences and distances between RISC OS users. Therefore it's MORE frustating to see such a wonderfull OS/platform becomming extinct and more obvious to notice this, when you're outside the UK.

SO what did Axel mean:

He told ROL that he feels its about time that RISC OS runs on other H/W paltforms instead only (a few) ARM-based.

Axel points out HAL and emulation while it are actually these 2 things which lead to this. He probably meant proprietary coding and hardware development. Especially towards non-ARM cpu based hardware. From his point of view it's clear he doesn't see or knows the complexities involved in this. In fact, what Axel describes here is excactly the view of many non-Acorn/RISC OS ppl. They don't know any better too.

With the "ARM and RiscOS is not together anymore."-paragraph he again merely means that he wants to see the link between ARM and RISC OS severed. He's following line clearly states (not entirely wrong if I may say so) that waiting for one company to bring out new and improved ARM-chips will drive the price up. Especially since this all happens at low pace.

Axel wants to see RISC OS running on various platforms. Unfortunatly, as Chocky rightfully remarked, it's not evident to simply re-compile RISC OS apps to make them usable on other platforms unlike Linux).

He's line "But ROL is like Acorn, far away to be clever and see and accept the facts." Means no more that ROL just like Acorn don't see the frustation that non-UK RISC OS users have when they see the low pace and gentlemen attitude of ROL and former Acorn. Compared to the pushy and agressive attidute that other (especially US-originated) companies have towards their products. Users abroad see a much faster decline of the RISC OS "market" and want to see a proud and powerfull company to stand up.

Needles to say I completely understand Axel's frustration. Even more so since I was a former "official" Acorn dealer and had to deal with the Brit "nice guy/gentlemen" attidute personal. I too was frustated that Acorn wouldn't be more pushy in advertising and public relations then its competitors. I'm sure many will remember how fierce foreign RISC OS users reacted when Apple introduced their PowerMac especially in Holland and Belgium.

Noneteless I also understand that a tiny Acorn (or ROL for that matter) really can't fight the big mastodont corporations. They'd crushed Acorn ages ago if Acorn became too pushy. In that respect Acorn lasted longer than Amiga/Commodore so perhaps the gentleme-attidute isn't so bad after all.


Manu T

 is a RISC OS Userepdm3be on 12/11/03 6:29PM
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Thanks Manu, that has made everything much clearer.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 12/11/03 9:52PM
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And thankyou for missing *my* point. Regardless of how it was intended, this article seemed to many people to be a personal attack. They didn't like it. You can argue that's not what it was till the cows come home, but the fact remains the vast majority of your articles don't engender any criticism at all. This one was different.

> Many articles have an equal element of sarcasm to companies, software reviews, etc. As stated before it is part of the style of drobe.

I don't agree. I like the style of drobe. This (to me) seemed out of character.

You are saying "You read it wrong." I'm saying, "Maybe I did, but so did many others."

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 13/11/03 10:48AM
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Yes, but we don't see any one else offering content which would be oh so wonderful to your eyes. As usual, users/readers are heavy on critisism, but have precious little to contribute.

If you'd like articles that will always be pleasing to one person (yourself) then the person that has to write them will be you. If you'd like to write us articles, then we'd be happy to publish them, but I suspect they will not be forthcoming.

In the meantime, we'll publish what we think appropriate, safe in the knowledge that we can't please everyone all the time.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 13/11/03 12:32AM
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Mavhc - where do you think the concept of free speech came from? That's right, here. They'e free do publish what they want unless the author mae a copyright claim restricting it without spurious libel threats. The point is, judge it on it's merits to Drobe's function.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ via on 13/11/03 3:45PM
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Feel free to correct my spelling there - terrible :-/

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ via on 13/11/03 3:48PM
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Chocky: of course, but it'd be pretty unrewarding running a news site if you never got any feedback, you'd never get any praise either. You're surely doing your best, but as a result of feedback you can make your best even better. I know I've seen a lot of developers complain that no-one ever tells them what they think of their software even though they have had n thousand downloads. Perhaps (should we?) we should be plased that everyone is so free with their opinions on things on drobe? I know that drobe gets plenty of positive feedback as well, in the comments, so it's not all one sided negativity.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 13/11/03 4:47PM
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> If you'd like articles that will always be pleasing to one person (yourself)

I'm not sure where you got the idea that I only want you to publish articles that will please me. The only point that I've been trying to make is that several of your regular drobe readership didn't like this article as much as all your others. It is exceptionally unusual for your articles to get any complaints at all.

As John Duffell states above, I thought it would be valuable feedback for you to know which of your articles *we think* are good and which *we think* are bad. I apologise my presumptuousness and assure you I won't be offering any more of my unwelcome feedback in the future.

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 14/11/03 10:43AM
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I thought this article went too far and wasn't in line with the usual good quality of Drobe. The sarcasm went to a level where it came across as rather nasty and personal. As someone who is for ever correcting others, it should be no hardship for you, Peter, to accept some criticism and learn from it. To ignore the opinions of readers would be folly - after all surely Drobe should be tailored, as far as possible, to a style that people like. People like your honesty, technical know-how and up-to-dateness. A sarcastic twist is welcome, and mostly amusing. If you grandly ignore what the readers like, you won't have any, will you! It's only one hiccup - nothing to get offended about. If you accept it may have gone too far in many reader's opinion (not the opinions of Drobe staff) and treat that as a level not to reach, all is fine and dandy, isn't it. As someone whose degree was writing music, I know what it feels like to be told something isn't good that I have personally created - but the only thing for it is to go back and make improvements, or to avoid the mistakes next time.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 16/11/03 10:20PM
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Oh dear, or dear guys. I guess sarcasm bites. One thing that the article has demonstrated to me though is that Acorn really were truly short sighted in their approach to future expansion. No decent hardware architecture and no way to re-invent yourself other than retro-stylee with emulation. Bugger. Peace out. You can flame me now guys :)

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 19/11/03 3:08PM
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You mean *a* decent hardware architecture and no way to compete against American companies 1000s of times your size. Everyone knows the IBM PC architecture is a pile of bodges built on top of a shaky foundation, why do you think they're trying to replace most of it?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 20/11/03 3:42PM
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iamnotamused: "I guess sarcasm bites."

I think you need to distinguish between sarcasm and unwarranted public humiliation of an individual. For various reasons, it would even have been in bad taste had Axel been a fictional character.

Now the RiscStation article was a more appropriate use of sarcasm, and it would be good to see more of that (and fewer cheap shots because you either don't agree with someone's opinion or can't be bothered to have a proper debate about what they're trying to say).

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 21/11/03 11:44AM
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mrchocky: >As usual, users/readers are heavy on critisism, but have precious little to contribute.

Meanwhile, another Top Tip from Drobe:

"Show your support and appreciation of Drobe launchpad by donating a little money to cover our running costs!"

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 22/11/03 11:07PM
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Unsurprisingly Axel's very annoyed

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 25/11/03 1:07PM
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