Nice to think that we're all so backward here in New Zealand that to an emigrating programmer he will have to abandon his development of RISC OS software, why? Oh, that's right we're all still using BBC micros in tents down here.
Stoppers, you hit the nail on the head. While the discussion has focused seriously on at least having a crack at RO on x86, there are many many 'obsolete' systems out there, I thought slipping under the radar with a port on something that can not be considered a threat to new ARM based hardware sales may be an option for those interested to see development of drivers or architecture improvements that existing ARM systems, or new ones, won't see for a few years. I just cut my post way to far down and it's a troll post. So now I'll go back to waffle mode.
One ancdote about Linux being ported from x86 to another architecture early on was the huge explosion to other systems once the lessons had been learnt... Now that there is PCIe support in the ARM architecture (XScale model whatever), what are the options of support in RO - not good until there is hardware supporting it? So how about hit the ground running by writing support under a x86 version that can be ported back to ARM when the hardware materialises, then the RO community hits the ground running with that new hardware? Of course I know absolutely nothing about porting between architectures, so I understand that we can learn nothing from software on one system before it arrives on the destination platform.
I like to check out www.linuxdevices.com to see ARM powered systems i'd drool over if RO ever made it onto them. There are plenty of options for exclusively developing RO for ARM, so the Castle/ROOL ideal of NOT porting to other CPU architectures is not too far fetched, there is a very fertile market out there. We do have to ask though, there is so much discussion from people who sound like they'd prefer to see RO on x86, can they be prevented by Castle/ROOL from giving it a crack?
Don't port for x86, port for POWER These are orphan now that Apple are in x86 world. Could be a number of people hanging onto these vintage systems that may want to "stick it to Apple" by using an alien OS
...or from the other side of the coin, the 'request' for users to use the most secure/up to date version of exploder has backfired, [link], and they now require the security of some obscure little OS/browser that nobody outside of this community has thougt of cracking. well, we can dream that RISC OS software should be the standard...