mavhc: that's kind of the whole issue with OSes. It's catch-22. If enough users use the OS and ask for the features, and the developers use them, then it'll be supported. If they don't ask, don't think of it, or there isn't enough support, they aren't.
For example with alpha-transparent sprites (sprites of variable opacity, so you can see one image 'through' another). Why not use them in DTP work, or Artworks? Of course, it's easier than that because if you make the minimal changes for alpha-transparency, you might as well add the ImageFileConvert support and then the user can use any graphics file format they choose. Techwriter's being modified, and Ovation Pro is under development too - if users asked for these features, they would be more likely to appear. As new features appear in newer versions of Select, other options become available in other applications. Doing so doesn't mean it's OS-specific - you can introduce the feature but disable it on RISC OS 4 or Iyonix. So, it's not a problem to developers - they just need to know that people would like such features because it does take them time to add the features, and hence it has to be worthwhile.
You can even use alpha sprites for desktop sprites - I've converted sections of the Crystal iconset from KDE to test this out, for example. What this means is you can create shadows in sprites whilst the background is stripey without it looking odd, etc.
The above is purely a very very small example of what you can do with Select based upon two changes in Select 3. There's a LOT more out there you can do if you want to. Kind of the whole fun with updated OSes .