Stoppers wrote >"You, I think, are looking for RO(D)L or Castle to become a major player in the OS market with a return to the days when ARM processors were the most powerful desktop processors in the world. I think that's very unlikely to ever happen, especially the former. "
If that's the impression I gave I appologise. ARM is *not* going to be the fastest processor in the world again. It won't outrun an x86 or PPC. But - and this *IS* the kicker, the one thing it does *better* than any other processor is it runs RISC OS *quicker*. So you're perfectly right for compressing mega gigabyte JPEGs or something the ARM sucks, but not all ARM's do to the same degree and (in their favour) they happen to be darned good at running our favourite OS.
Julian wrote>"And the best reason to move to a Linux-as-HAL approach is to widen the user base. Many people are prepared to spend up to about 100 EUR on a Linux distribution, because they can easily install it on their existing hardware. I think a similar offer would be possible with RISC OS. The one thing we really need, is user-base growth. For the last couple of years, the userbase has been shrinking. If we allow this to continue, the platform will die."
Ahem Julian. Let's get real here shall we. Linux users *only* love one OS, Linux. You're *NOT* (IMHO) going to get droves of Linux users moving over to use RISC OS. At best they'd use RISC OS on Linux to show how "superior" Linux is and then go back to using "The GIMP" or whatever. You'll have one sale and then no more (bye bye Select subscription scheme) - besides I can't see ROL parting with RISC OS for less than they do for VA can you (and if they did would VA be eternally grateful - I doubt it).
The best way of keeping the userbase is to *assert* that RISC OS is an alternative independent platform that does not rely on hardware and software over which we have *no* control. Then build from that, when Apple finally goes x86 there'll only be one platform left not reliant on x86 - and that's our own ARM/RISC OS. Having choice is a good thing - and sometimes a that can become a selling point in itself (a slogan suggests itself "Dare to be different").