JDC>Yep, it's to a large extent all speculation - just (to a large extent) like the article.
JWCR>Indeed I agree with you on many of your points. The thing is RISC OS runs *best* on ARM, no emulation required etc. I'd also caution that open sourcing RISC OS has *no implication* for the availability (or otherwise) of Castle's hardware. The OS and the Hardware are *separate issues*. In fact if open sourced it may be possible for Castle to better leverage the hardware designs that they have. In fact they *could* have a bit of a renaissance (selling the motherboard and access to the source to "enthusiast" developers). This (and sales of the C/C++ tools) and "minor" license royalty charges may be enough to keep the development going. Be sure that if Castle *do* open source RO - they *still* have to make money somewhere (consultancy and hardware) that being the case I'd suspect *more* hardware development will happen *not* less.
And before our Linux inclined friends pipe up - I'll add the comment that Open Source (in it's fullest sense) could have RISC OS running (under a free emulator or after some form of "translation") on Windows. Think of it as a free alternative to Virtual Acorn. Open sourcing RISC OS may just move more people to Windows.... (personally after the Native on Arm option, the next most favourable option would be Linux - but there is *no* guarantee of that).
If RISC OS were open sourced I'd suggest that it use its own specific license (there is precidence for this in things like the Mozilla License). The license could explictly forbid the reuse of the source in other OS'es (to stop "cherry picking"), restrict use to ARM or compatible hardware - but otherwise leave people free to contribute and obtain source.
Julian>Come on man, you used to be a big supporter of Omega and *now* rather than fall in behind the most advanced remaining RISC OS compatible machine (Iyonix) you'd rather support moving us all to Linux and x86 - is it *really* that difficult to encourage people to support native hardware even if it happens to be from Castle ? Really ?
Anyway I don't know why everyone is getting so worked up about a largely speculation based article. All or none of the above may occur, we've seen all the horror stories already (e.g., Iyonix CPU out of production, EU bans Iyonix, Castle ate my hamster) so just take it all with a pinch of salt - wait and see.