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RISC OS Open to run allocations service

Published: 3rd Mar 2007, 00:30:30 | Permalink | Printable

Alan Glover thanked, hands baton to ROOL


The database is used by developers to officially reserve resources for new products and software, such as filetypes and system variable names. Castle boss Jack Lillingston said ROOL were this week "officially authorised" to take over the allocations system from Alan.

Jack said: "There is one central list for allocations, now run by ROOL. It is open to all, and that is the way it should be.

"Those wishing for an official RISC OS allocation should visit the ROOL website where there is more information and where allocations can be initiated."

How does it work?
All new applications and modules must have their various details registered, so as to avoid conflicts with existing software. For example, a new filetype must have a new filetype number allocated, and a new OS extension module should be granted a new SWI number block. Programmers are urged to register these details during the development of products and software so that they are ready to use when the finish package is released.

In days of old, when developers could sensibly compete against each other, the list of registerations would therefore include details of as yet unreleased products - so the database was kept neutral and confidential by Acorn. The responsibility for this list was then passed to the independent Pineapple Software, and later Pineapple's Alan Glover on behalf of RISCOS Ltd after the break up of Acorn.

Requests sent to two iyonix.com and riscos.com allocation email addresses were routed directly to Alan - who has now stepped down and been replaced by ROOL.
RISCOS Ltd's Paul Middleton backed the move, and said the email address, riscosallocations {at} riscos (dot) com, will forward allocation requests to RISC OS Open, which will ideally be processed within 48 hours of receipt. Requests can also be sent to allocate [at] riscosopen (dot) org.

He said: "Alan has now decided that he no longer wants to maintain the list and handle requests. It was important to find a replacement in a timely manner so that there would be no interruption.

"As such we are delighted that RISC OS Open Ltd have offered to assist RISCOS Ltd by stepping in to handle things on a trial basis. We are in the process of finalising the paperwork that's required.

"We do not at present know who will be the person responsible for the administration at RISC OS Open Ltd, so it is possible that allocations may be delayed slightly for a short period.

"Finally I would like to thank Alan for his voluntary work looking after the allocations for many years."

It's hoped in future, allocations can be through the RISC OS Open website directly, rather than using the !Allocate tool.

• Jack also confirmed that progress on the RISC OS Open shared source licence was "getting there, slowly."

Links

RISC OS Open allocations webpage

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Discussion

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Nice to see steps being taken to ensure a smooth transition - as well as Castle and RISC OS LTD being in agreement.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 3/3/07 8:47AM
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Good to see agreement and publically so. Also thanks to Alan Glover for his work in this important area.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 3/3/07 8:51AM
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Good news - especially the cooperation between the two OS developers. Hope this might presage some cooperation in other areas too - I'm sure there's plenty ROOL and ROL could do together, if they wanted.

Slightly worried about the 'getting there, slowly' comment. I feel quite strongly that time is of the essence: if an open-source RISC OS is to work, it needs to be released while there are still developers working on key third-party products like NetSurf, Firefox, ArtWorks and EasiWriter. If the market continues to atrophy, by the time it emerges it could be too late.

However, I'm still fairly optimistic. Should a decent batch of code get released any time soon, I'll donate, and also see if there's any programming I can contribute.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 3/3/07 10:13AM
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The team at ROOL are a very competent and technically able group of people, so I would hope they'll not only just 'take over' the allocations process, but also improve it slightly. By that, I mean setting up a form for allocation requests on the website.

This wouldn't be to automate the process - it would still need a human to look at each request and approve it - but the process as it stands is subject to email problems, which we have witnessed in the past; a form on their server which puts the requests directly into their email system (in addition to the existing set up, not as a direct replacement to it) would help avoid such things.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/3/07 12:12PM
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In reply to Lym I don't think time is necessarily of the essence. Whatever legal framework is developed needs to be watertight so that we don't get into the mess we had a couple of years ago. I doubt many developers that are still interested are going to suddenly jump ship (or stay) just because RO becomes open. Best that there is a delay and Castle/ROOl get it right now than everything grind to a halt in two years time because of legal problems. It's frustrating but anything involving the legal system is!

 is a RISC OS User2307 on 4/3/07 8:53PM
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Whoops forgot to say a thank you to Alan. So much of the RO work is now done on a voluntary basis. Without such stalwarts RO would have been dead and buried long ago

 is a RISC OS User2307 on 4/3/07 8:55PM
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Reply to 2307, I'm not a developer of RISC OS wares at the moment, but the open sourcing of RISC OS has made it much more likely that I'll stick around as a user, and more likely that I may write something for RISC OS one day. I'm not an advocate of open source or anything like that, frankly, I can't think of very many products which are 'best of class' which have been created in the 'bazaar' rather than the 'cathedral', but the fact is RISC OS has barely been developed at all for years, and ROOL might just change that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 4/3/07 11:11PM
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Good to see a bit of cooperation between ROL and ROOL. And just to reiterate everyone elses comments - many thanks to Alan for all his time and effort he gave for free.

nx

 is a RISC OS Usernx on 5/3/07 4:43PM
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Out of interest, is there a list available online of the current allocations and details about them? I had a look at the allocations website but could not find anything

 is a RISC OS Userpolas on 8/3/07 12:01PM
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"Out of interest, is there a list available online of the current allocations and details about them?"

I suspect not, as I think the details are confidential. If you're working on a project you might want to keep it under wraps until it's released.

 is a RISC OS Usercmj on 8/3/07 12:33PM
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Well, all seems to be going swimmingly :) Just got an allocation request confirmed.

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 11/3/07 9:05PM
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