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September software news

By Chris Williams. Published: 23rd Sep 2003, 20:47:57 | Permalink | Printable

Ready! Aim! Fire! Rapid roundup

Round up motifWell now, hasn't the software news pile built up and this leaves the awkward question: where do we start? How about Artworks 2 news? MW Software has released Artworks 2.07 to users. This new version introduces page rulers, JPEG and text export and more.

John Bell has ported Doxygen to RISC OS, a utility which generates HTML based documentation from source code. John ported the utility for producing Netsurf docs - download the Doxygen port from here.

Richard Windley has updated his ODBC libraries and applications. These are now 32bit compatible, feature an updated PostgreSQL driver, a port of SQLite and an ODBC driver for SQLite.

Director 0.36 is also out and now considered stable. The Fortran Friends have reminded us that they've updated their webpages with new models and updated software. Alex Macfarlane Smith has put together a patch for Monopoly 2.06 for RISC OS Select users. Desktop enhancer Minidisc 0.60 is also now available.

Don't forget AntiSpam 1.17, new HP Deskjet 9300 driver, NetChess 1.05, new TaskCheck and CCres 1.06.

Finally, Melotech are on the look out for software developers, hoping to provide software publisher duties to interested programmers.


News? Comments?

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When are NetSurf going to do a 'proper' release? From what I've seen of their screenshots the browser has come a long way since it's first inception. How much work is needed before it's 'done'?

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 24/9/03 12:06PM
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Last time I tried Netsurf, it needed a bit of work to get it up to a usable level of stability, I thought. There are also quite a lot of features missing, though I imagine it would already be quite a step up for people using arcweb.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 24/9/03 12:34PM
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If you are using ArcWeb you need shot.

Simple as that. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 24/9/03 2:55PM
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In my opinion, NetSurf is better than Oregano2 in a number of senses already.

1) It looks RISC OSy. 2) It responds to the users clicks.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 24/9/03 3:34PM
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It's still got some way to go before being really useful, but it's got the major advantage of showing obvious signs of being continually developed.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 24/9/03 5:36PM
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Full form implementation, and cookies would probably make me use it as my main browser. Frames would also be an advantage, because some silly webmasters use them :|

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 24/9/03 6:24PM
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I have javascript turned off usually, but it'd be useful if NS had it available. I understand that it isn't planned which is a shame. I dunno how simple it is though, there must be "helper" libraries to do the boring bits like parsing and whatyemenot. It does seem nice from a standards POV, and a RISC OSy point of view, but I feel that a web browser has to be a mess to work. Heck, even writing a shoutcast player is hard if you like standards :) Anyway the netsurf people have done a good job, good luck to them!

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 24/9/03 7:03PM
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If they could atleast add the more commonly used javascript things such as redirects, confirm and alert boxes that would be good. So many sites use javascript now it is becoming kinda essential. Talking of javascript: could drobe add a submit moderations button at the bottom of all the comments so that people with javascript off can also submit their moderations.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 24/9/03 7:06PM
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There are a few JavaScript libraries out there which you can easily use. Gerph even ported on of them to RISC OS, from what I remember. The tricky bit is *not* the implementation of the lanugage, but implementing the DOM, and letting scripts change stuff, and then have the whole document reflowed to compensate for the change. This is similar in difficulty to getting CSS to work correctly (ie, having the size of the typeface change when you hover over a link, etc.)

I hope they plan on implementing JavaScript at least at somepoint in the future. Having an initial release lack it is acceptable, but to say they'll never do it is laughable if they want to be taken seriously. It's also an utterly required componant for Dynamic HTML to work nicely. And if they don't want it to work nicely, then they've an excuse to skimp on getting the CSS and HTML working properly, too...

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 24/9/03 7:09PM
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Getting the Mozilla JavaScript library running is one thing. You're spot on in saying that making it work inside the browser is the more difficult bit. Fortunately, the DOM is well structured so a lot of the work can be automated but that doesn't help you if the browser isn't designed for those sorts of operations.

NetSurf is designed (from what I remember) as a parse once system - you can't easily got and modify the tree once it's been created. I could be wrong on that though :-)

In any case, using JavaScript isn't /too/ hard and you could end up seeing it in the strangest of places on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 24/9/03 10:44PM
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Any browser that doesn't change text size on rollover has a good selling point.

Anything new and useful in Director?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 24/9/03 11:37PM
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Of course a very major selling point for NS it its open sourceness. I like being able to control my browser and the ultimate control over removing (small) annoying features from web sites etc is just to hack the browser :)

So far (as of about a week ago at least) NS doesn't start rendering the page before it's all come in, but presumably it's all been structured to be able to change stuff on the fly. I have no idea how the code is structured though, I'll take an interest eventually :)

We could even make netsurf into a plugin and make ourselves an active desktop (ok, joke, but think about a web site that appeared as you typed in the HTML)

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 25/9/03 12:23AM
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a free html plugin/renderer would be very useful, apparently WXL can be used as a plugin, and ROL are producing a renderer for Select, but it's always the same problem of who's going to use it in their applications if it's not free.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 25/9/03 9:32AM
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But if sofware authors started using such features as in their programs, then people would purchase them. -- Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/9/03 10:39AM
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I doubt people would use them unless they were pretty sure everyone had them, especially in products which are free themselves. If it uses a generic protocol then it doesn't matter, people can write programs without having to care which particular plugin they;re using, so people will write programs which use them. I presume the "standard" plugin protocol won't have any trouble so no reason not to use it. -- [link]

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 25/9/03 11:31AM
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The latest 32 bit build of NetSurf can use Select to display PNGs with alpha transparency. :)

As I understand it, the NetSurf developers want to release a stable and fairly complete HTML4 / CSS browser before they consider adding JavaScript support. -- Michael Drake (tlsa) www.smoothartist.com

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 25/9/03 11:48AM
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