Ovation Pro on Windows overtakes RISC OS originalBy Chris Williams. Published: 26th Jan 2006, 18:25:26 | Permalink | Printable
Author 'could've been a contender', adds features to Windows portSome six months after shipping the first CDs of Ovation Pro for Windows, lone programmer David Pilling has described his progress as slow going but gradually rewarding. You could be forgiven for not being aware that the DTP package is now available on general release; there has been no big announcement or widespread coverage of David's crossing of the platform boundary, although about a couple of hundred upgrades have been sold to date.
"My feeling is that if you've used Ovation Pro on RISC OS, or other RISC OS software whose files it handles like Impression and Draw, then it is pretty good," enthused David.
"I was happy recently to be able to open Ovation documents from 10 or more years ago on Windows, and all the graphics be right and so on. However for people with no past link to Acorn it is still missing features. So work goes on."
He continued: "Another aspect is that the Windows version is now moving past the RISC OS one. For example it can generate its own PostScript. It can use ICC colour profiles. Next week I will announce Unicode support. It is a pity, all these would be so nice on RISC OS, but I'd be mad to expend the time. I tried to drum up some support for ICC on RISC OS - because OvationPro on Windows uses the RISC OS file formats - but failed."
Originally published by Beebug, the application started out life in 1989 as Ovation for Acorn's early RISC OS kit. Work on Ovation Pro began in 1993 and the application was finally released in 1996. The development of the Microsoft Windows port kicked off in 2002, and in July last year, David began posting CDs of the software. Users can alternatively download everything they need, from program files to documentation and tutorials, from the Internet, but will need to purchase a registration to use the software beyond a time limited trial period.
Ovation Pro now joins the ranks of other applications that have successfully migrated to pastures hopefully greener, which includes Messenger Pro in the guise of Gemini, Sibelius, Graham Jones' OCR software for music, educational and classroom software such as Text Ease, and so on. The DTP application manages to retain the same appearance on the Windows desktop as the RISC OS original, including the design of the toolbars, tool icons, dialog windows and error boxes.
Quoting the Marlon Brando 'I could've been a contender' speech, David then joked: "You know, I regret not doing Ovation Pro for Windows in 1993, or maybe 1989, or perhaps if I'd never got involved with RISC OS."
He added, "Frankly if I'd departed the scene in 1989 and just done Spark and nothing else on the Mac and Windows platforms I'd have been made."
Ovation Pro updates for RISC OS - and other news
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