There seems to be a lot of opposition to getting RISC OS onto other architectures. I was having a discussion with a non-RO using friend of mine about the issue and he made a very good point. "Wouldn't you like to see RISC OS being able to be run on any desktop computer?" Now might not be the best time to be concentrating on a serious x86 port or whatever but I can't understand why you wouldn't want this flexibility. To me, the 'holy grail' would be RO getting to a point where it had the features/software to draw large amounts of users from other OSs, who could simply buy some off-the-shelf hardware and run it. And if things ever came to that stage, what is there to stop Castle developing x86 or PPC machines?
"The only thing I like about RISC OS is the UI and (some) of the applications. If these can be ported to another system, with more stability; better hardware compatibility and greater room for growth, why should I care?"
Perhaps because in such a case, Castle, current owners of the OS, would lose all their income from selling desktop ARM hardware, and desktop RISC OS itself would disappear.
"RISC OS is an OS. It's a tool. It's not some idol to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped. Other systems can do almost everything RISC OS can do, but better and faster."
If RISC OS hadn't been treated as an idol I wouldn't be using it now! My first experience with RO was using Acorns daily for DTP at my work. I came to love the intuitiveness and simplicity of the GUI, and it certainly looked better than anything else at the time (early 2000). Had there not been a fanatical userbase which put RO on a pedestal and actively promoted its benefits, companies which continued to develop and support the users, then I would've said "Oh, nice OS, but Acorn is gone. What a shame," assumed that nobody would bother developing things anymore and went off and bought a Power Mac.
"The radical thing that needs to happen is that RISC OS users should get behind their platform, support its hardware manufacturers and stick with it. In our small little pond we have some influence - the same can't be said in the much larger Linux (or Windows) pool."
This is crucial. RISC OS is lucky to still have a small but fiercely loyal userbase which is enough to keep desktop development ticking along. This needs to continue if the OS is to survive in a dignified form (i.e. a complete OS, not just UI functionality bodged onto KDE in Linux). In an open source situation, we need a community who actually give a toss about RO, so meaningful development gets done, rather than people who would rather take bits away and use them in other OSes.