Julian wrote>"The reason I supported the Omega, was that in its finished state it would have offered a hell lot more processing power than any standard PC workstation (through the use of user-programmable FPGA-space)"
As it was never finished that would be a safe bet wouldn't it ?
As to a hell of a lot of processing power the *actual* Omega out there in processing terms is not much better than a RISC PC (other than faster memory access and disk access). The Iyonix would have more processing power (and it too has an FPGA - albeit a simple one) - so why not support it?
Julian wrote>"The only way we can hope to get back to a state where RISC OS might be considered a fully-featured desktop/workstation computing platform, is by utilising the vast amount of open-source code out there and stick RISC OS frontends on it"
While I would have sympathy with that viewpoint it doesn't really address the glaring problem inherent in this. Most OSS code is pure C or C++ it is often written to be portable (in other words *not* optimised for any particular platform). The end result of this is the more complex OSS code when converted for the RISC OS environment is (sad to say) bloated and slow. While Firefox is a good advertisement of what *can* be acchieved it, subjectively, it appears slower to me than say Origano 2 (which itself is pretty slow even on an Iyonix).
The fastest, most useable applications on RISC OS tend to be a mix of C or BASIC and ARM Assembler. OSS from the Linux or BSD camps won't be that - it'll usually be pure C/C++ and designed for machines that run somewhat faster processors, have more RAM and less resource constraints.
Given the choice would you prefer to run Firefox on a RISC OS machine or a PC ? In short side by side people would (I believe) opt for running such Open Source code on a PC running Windows or Linux over a RISC OS machine running the same app.
The best solutions IMHO are either (a). Faster RISC OS machines that would allow "slow complex" code like that to be run effectively or (b). More "native" RISC OS application development - that makes use of OSS where possible but is optimised for ARM RISC OS use where required.