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This could be very good news for RISC OS in general. There are certainly short term opportunities this will bring to ensure new APIs are available on all platforms, and I hope that over the long term with the continuing enthusiasm (or is it now masochism :) ) of RISC OS developers, to produce significant new functionality for the OS.

For example in the short term the unicode font manager can be made available for all platforms, bring the benefits of NetSurfs support for foreign character sets to all, and making life easier for its developers. If the print manager also contains the drivers, it will be possible to patch the missing support for unicode text printing in RISC OS 5 at the same time making it available for 4.x.

One thing ROL doesn't appreciate is that by not making APIs universally available, developers will be reluctant to use them, and without programs either requiring people to upgrade, or at the last tempting people with the promise of additional functionality if they do, then there just isn't a good case for buying an OS upgrade. ROL now has the ideal opportunity to licence some already written code and get out a release to Select customers, however I suspect the reluctance they have shown in the past to paying licence fees will mean that miss this boat too.

However, the good news for users is that if ROL don't commercially exploit it, other developers can still make it available under the shared source licence, and any improvements can be returned to ROOL for the benefit of everyone.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/9/06 3:32PM
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