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I'm genuinely pleased about the news that RISC OS might be open source, but I hope that it is more than just a token gesture. To be able to attract the amount of contributors needed for the large amount of OS development which is needed, a license with sufficient freedom must to be chosen.

I also hope that whoever joins the development party is willing to co-operate. If the same silly attitudes which we've been putting up with for the last few years go on, Open Sourcing is only going to make things worse (writing replacements for proprietary modules which already exist and could be open sourced, for example).

Although you could say this is bad news for ROL, it could also be a godsend. If the time it has taken them to complete Select 4 is anything to go by, we are going to be waiting ten years until their next major release comes about. If they do choose to go down the line suggested by Peter Wild (developers of Premium Desktop Enhancements) and they incorporate developments from the Open Source community, then there should be more releases more quickly, since they wouldn't be doing *all* the work.

A suggestion on how they might continue to offer similar products: ROL develops Premium Extensions compatible with Open RO which are initially closed source. The Select scheme continues, allowing users access to bleeding-edge, premium updates. ROL sell ROMs of their latest stable Premium version in parallel to open-source ROMs. When next Premium version is due to be released, remaining proprietary features are open sourced. ROL could also offer Paid Support to other customers in addition to supporting Select subscribers and Premium ROM customers.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 16/08/06 09:41AM
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