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Congratulations, certainly: this is a fine achievement and Drobe has certainly worked its way to becoming the leading RISC OS site by a significant margin. Clearly much effort goes into it, and I applaud Chris and his team for the good work they've done.

However, I don't feel I can let the comments about the competition go by without a slight rebuke.

First of all, singling out the Acorn Cybervillage for its "utter incompetence" is not very charitable. For several years the Cybervillage was kept up to date on a regular basis by a single individual who was doing the work for love of the subject and not for money, and the Cybervillage was, for a long time, the primary source of news and rumours about the Acorn world. If nothing else, it helped to pave the way for Drobe, so a rather triumphalist public criticism on the part of Drobe seems out of place. If Peter Price (who's being quoted) feels that he's done a lot better, then that should be a matter of personal pride rather than of public gloating.

On a more personal note, having put a great deal of effort into editing RISC User volumes 9 to 11 (1995 to 1998), and making it the best quality publication I could manage, there's no way that I consider that Drobe has "beaten the pants off" my magazine. How could it? RISC User ceased publication over four years ago, when Drobe had barely got going. In any case, Drobe is not a magazine: it serves a different purpose and covers different material in a different way. Whilst I consider that Drobe currently leads the field of RISC OS Web sites, I wouldn't dream of comparing it with a magazine like RISC User; that's just plain silly. They're entirely unalike; beyond covering RISC OS they have nothing in common.

Besides, why single out RISC User for criticism? It was unquestionably one of the best quality of the RISC OS magazines throughout its life. If it's had the pants beaten off it, then I'd suggest that Archive, Acorn Publisher (only recently deceased), Qercus and whatever else you care to name are also wandering around in a trouserless state.

I don't mean this to sound like sour grapes, and I do applaud Drobe's achievement. I visit Drobe every day and read most articles, even if I don't generally participate in its discussions. I just feel that it's a mistake to start singling out the supposedly inferior competition when (a) the comparison is totally invalid, (b) some competitors are named and others are ignored, and (c) the supposed competition could easily be shown to be superior in numerous ways.

Final point: I realise that the opinions I'm countering are in quotations and are hence those of Peter Price and not necessarily of Drobe itself (standard disclaimer). He's as welcome to his opinions as I am to mine. I just felt that these points ought to be made in the interests of fairness and balance; that's all. Best of luck to Drobe: may you continue to build on your success.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 2/5/04 12:25PM
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