"There were previous attempts to port TechWriter to MAC OS and windows which got nowhere."
That's cutting it a little short, isn't it? Like drjones69 said, surely it's possible. Though ofcourse financially speaking it could prove difficult. TechWriter is an excellent application and it deserves to be ported to an excellent platform such as Mac OS X. If the port were to be succesful, I'm sure it would receive a fair deal of recognition and could certainly enjoy a larger amount of business which in turn would mean increased development.
"If TechWriter could save out as PDF, reasonably good word and ODF format would that not provide extremely good ineroperability?"
Well, it certainly would provide a layer of compatibility, but it would also demand the use of RISC OS specifically for that task. Now I realize this statement may upset some people, but the harsh reality is that RO can only fullfill increasingly limited roles in modern work situations - most tasks can be done equally well or better on Macs and Windows PC's, though perhaps not with quite the same elegance or ease. Needless to say many tasks performed on current Macs & PC's can hardly be done on RISC OS...
I believe RISC OS as a serious and capable desktop platform is in the process of ending, even though optimists may disagree seeing the advances made in recent times. Personally, I simply can't afford to continue solely on RO as in the past and have therefore finally put in an order for a Mac yesterday evening (which took me weeks to justify to myself after almost 20 years of sole Acorn use). Many people would say RO is mostly lacking in the application space, and that's true, but as an OS it has also become dated and handicapped compared to its contemporaries, even to other minority systems. The recent 32-bitting of arguably the most developed strand of RO is a commendable achievement, but also a rather insignificant one in the bigger picture. Never before has the OS been so dated compared to its contemporaries, never in its history has it seen so little application development or size of market. To see a next generation of application evolution, the OS would probably have to be rewritten for the most part or even entirely. Simply put - the technical and logical reality is that from here on the functionality of the OS and its applications will deminish, save for a handful of fanatics. Ofcourse, if you believe in miracles, they can happen.
I therefore feel the time is now to start porting the remaining professional applications to other alternative platforms, ideally Mac OS X seeing its current market position and resemblance to RISC OS in several ways. Again, some could regard this as heresy, but it would ensure these applications have a larger chance of survival and even flourishment. Any succes abroad could even be made to use in the RO market, for the benefit of those still insisting on its exclusiveness. Several applications of RO descent have made quite a succesful transition in the past.
The way this market is sustained is like a family keeping their relative alive through an artificial life-support system and a great deal of affection. Though a noble approach, I believe it's also a morally questionable one certainly seeing the needs companies like ROL require.
Naturally, it's anybody's free choice to keep using RO, but I suspect most already have PC's or Macs to compensate for increasingly serious shortcomings. In the end it is a tool. Is RO condemned to live on as a rather expensive geek's toy?
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Mourners at tragic Paul Vigay's funeral to plant acorns in his memory At the funeral of RISC OS and civil liberties activist Paul Vigay, who died last month, acorns were passed around to mourners to plant across the country in his memory. Journalist Jim Nagel describes the touching service after attending the funeral, held in Petersfield, Hants. 1 comment, latest by JohnR on 23/3/09 7:10PM. Published: 22 Mar 2009