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At the risk of looking like I'm trolling, I'd like to clarify the points I made. Leo is of course right in defending Oregano 3, but I think he's been a bit too quick to read into what I mentioned, so I'll ask my question again.

If Oregano 3 is delayed until the end of the year, then what will it bring to the table?

Let's assume for the moment that NetSurf, Firefox and Oregano will by that time supports almost all of CSS/HTML4 etc that's being used in pratice on the web making the vast majority of pages accessible - with the exception of JavaScript in NetSurf which we can presume will have some functionality by then, but will be some way from complete. In other words, they are approximately equal in terms of web site access. So, the question really has to do with RISC OS - what will O3 be able to offer users if it's delayed until then?

If it was released now, then O3 would clearly give a much better experience as a RISC OS application than Firefox. It would probably also be faster with many activities. The point is that by the end of the year, this gap will have likely closed considerably. The main thing (AFAICT) O3 will be able to offer by then over NS/Firefox will be Flash - and that too is being slowly addressed by work on gplflash2 et al. That is really the main reason that I would be concerned about the ecnomics if I were Richard.

As for future development of Oregano - I have no reason to doubt that will continued unabated. Obviously Oregan have considerable interest in pleasing companies like Sony - but again, the question is about RISC OS. Remember also that development of Fresco and Browse also continued after the last versions were made generally available for RISC OS, and also the large gaps between RISC OS releases of O1 and O2. I think this is a valid basis for my concern about commerical browsers on RISC OS, and one at least some users share. On the other hand, I'm sure that other users will be happy to take GeneSys/Oregan on their word that there will be plenty of updates; there too, is basis for such belief.

I'm also aware that the release process for software (any software) can potentially be quite lengthy. Releasing a new version of Firefox can take at least an hour to make sure everything's ok. NetSurf developers have perhaps wisely avoided this by automating the process - something that's also done for many of my other programs. But in a commerical situation, many people have to be happy, and there may be lots of requirements to meet. It is potentially a costly and lengthy process (I'm not suggesting that it is or isn't in the case of Oregano, since I don't know); this may be part of Richard's concern to not release until it's "just right"; and the cost of orchestrating fix up releases may be considerable.

In conclusion, I think my concerns about the slipping dates of Oregano 3 are justified - and not just because I happen to be developing Firefox. Any financial model based upon such a small market (and I certainly include the UPP) is most certainly risky.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/07/05 09:03AM
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