Before we get into specifics about freely available softloadable updates for people who have never contributed to the Select scheme, perhaps we should ask those people who have contributed whether they think the contribution they have made to RISC OS development over the past ten years should be given away for free?
So if you are reading this discussion and are a current Select subscriber then please let us have your thoughts. PS. Please quote your Select Number to verify that you are a subscriber.
It seems that lots of you who are pushing for RISC OS to be freely available are those who have never paid for anything from RISCOS Ltd. Do you never pay for software, or is it just RISC OS that you don't want to pay for?
If I was a loyal Select subscriber then I would be questioning whether I should support RISCOS Ltd any more if they suddenly started giving away everything for free. I appreciate that some people don't use Select features in their applications because they choose to assume the lowest common denominator of Operating System in use rather than testing for the availability of features, and then gracefully telling the End User that a required feature is not available on their specific OS. This is one of the problems we have been discussing with ROOL, as too many applications simply check for the level of OS present or module version number, rather than explicit modules being present, with known capabilities. However if no-one uses the new features available in RISC OS Six for their own applications, then we will have a stagnant OS, where no-one puts in new features, because they want to make sure that a RISC OS 3.7 user can still use the application they have written. We obviously want developers to use the new features that are available, and the RISC OS Six web site details much of that information. We are not hiding it.
We have also discussed the possibility of certain RISC OS Six features being made available in 32 bit format, for use on the Iyonix, but other than for completely altruistic reasons, why should we give away our developments for free? If it had been commercially and technically viable to release Select 32 for the Iyonix, we would have done so. So why should we do so now for free?