thesnark>"The RISC OS 4 kernel has been divested of much baggage that arguably doesn't belong in a kernel; e.g. the OS_Convert SWIs. This is something that I applaud. Does it not count as restructuring?"
Yes it is a form of restructuring and no it is not really that significant. OS_Convert SWI's may not logically have a place in the Kernel - but moving them elsewhere *does not* make the OS more portable. Having a hardware abstraction layer and the quite considerable changes made in RO5 *does* IMHO.
thesnark>"Dynamic areas are only unsuitable for the 32 bit memory map when there are no sensible limits set on the amount of address space claimed. "
My understanding was that if you use *any* DA's then you limited the available memory for all applications - if you *don't* use DA's then the available memory (for a 32bit app) is almost all the available free memory (which on an Iyonix is quite a bit more than 16MB)
thesnark>"It would be fallacious to suggest that the HAL in RISC OS 5 removes the need for device drivers to be written for new hardware"
No one said that! The point is having a Hardware Abstraction Layer is that it presents a coherent/consistent interface for driver and OS code. It doesn't mean *no drivers* it means easier to implement drivers with no required changes to the kernel - a thing Select lacks.
cmj said >"If RISC OS 5 is 'the better OS', as druck suggests, they why did STD pay RISCOS Ltd to convert Select to the A9"
Would it have to do with Castle being in competition with STD - but RISC OS Ltd., not being? Or is that a bit obvious
cmj said>"I know nothing about the Castle HAL, but I will point out that RISC OS 5 currently only runs on one platform. The Castle Iyonix."
And how many platforms does the 32bit version of Select run (sort of) on? Answer one - the A9.
Castle *do* have versions of RO5 running on embedded products (which another contributor has pointed out).
Md0u80c9 said>"Do you mean the HAL that was developed by breaching the GPL, and failing to acknowledge its original authors?"
The HAL is *not* part of the OS. But that having been said Castle *did* subsequently comply with the GPL by making the source code for the HAL available.
thegman said>"RO5 might be the 'better' OS from a technical point of view, to be honest, I really wouldn't know, but Select is a great deal more appealing from a 'give me the nicest version of RISC OS' point of view."
The only thing that matters *is* the technical point of view IMHO. After all having "round buttons" and alpha blends while *nice* is all a little pointless if you want to add a third HDD drive (and can't) or want to use more than 128MB of RAM or use USB 2. But hey it's your money and you have to make the choices that suit you.
Painting a mini RED like a Ferrari doesn't make it a Ferrari does it
JGZimmerle>"I don't believe that Ad6 would choose RO4.4x over RO5 for the features that are nice for desktop users. Their main business comes from customers in the embedded market. If RO5 would have such enormous technical advantages over RO4.4x as some people claim, that would have taken priority over the desktop features."
We can only surmise why Ad6 chose RO4 over 5. I would imagine that the decission was probably taken on practical and financial rather than technical considerations; I might suggest a few reasons (this is *just* speculation - but are considerably more likely reasons that the ones you cite):
1. ROL asked for less money?
2. Castle wouldn't sell the RO5 to Ad6 as they are direct compeditors in the embedded market (why give a compeditor your only advantage eh?)
3. Castle may have wanted to honour the original agreement made by Pace with ROL to allow ROL to develope RO4 for desktop use and may not have wanted to raise something that might raise "legal" issues. If Castle *had* sold RO5 *direct* to Ad6 that would have put them in direct competition with ROL in a desktop product that ROL might reasonably have expected to provide an OS for.
4. After the last legal problems perhaps Ad6 didn't want/couldn't to deal with Castle (or visa versa)
As to your other point - no. RO4 other than round buttons and alpha-blend sprites has not real technical advantages over RO5 (RO4's advantages are at the "Appearence" and "User Interface" level - not in any of the underlying areas that count IMHO). RO5 runs on more expandible, faster and more advanced hardware than anything RO4 runs on.
Yes I do like UI bells and whistles too - but it needs to be built on a sound modern OS too - doesn't it?