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Profile for Jaffa

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Username: Jaffa
Realname: Andrew Flegg
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Homepage: http://www.bleb.org/
Comments posted:72 (show all)

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On ARM Cortex-A8 port of RISC OS 5: first screenshot:

@Mark7: the screenshot is in the "visit this news quickie" link, specifically here:


 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 25/2/09 10:29AM
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On Wakefield 2008 show photos:

The ARM upgrade for the Beeb is not a Kortink invention - it's a genuine Sprow.

Indeed, thought it was. Available to buy, too:


 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 30/4/08 1:11PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

I think the limitations that RISC OS has on desktops are just as problematic on portable devices.

One of the reasons Psion eventually died is because of the lack of a good Internet experience, poor interoperability, no toys like decent audio or video playback etc.

Portable devices these days already do much more than RISC OS desktops can. My Nokia N810 can:

* Use an iPod as external harddisk * Play high quality video from DivX or MP4 files. * Poke my friends through Facebook and other Web 2.0 apps with the Firefox browser * Go online through a wireless access point or Bluetooth mobile phone - where are the drivers and stacks for RISC OS to enable this? * Use "native" YouTube through its Flash plugin * Run Java applications (almost) through the in-progress Jalimo * Run NetSurf natively * Run ArcEm

It's just as programmable and hackable as RISC OS (if not more so) etc; runs on a 400MHz ARM processor with 128MB of RAM and has advanced power management.

RISC OS would be a cool distraction on such a device but it'd be useless for getting any real work done, and you'd lose so many of the features and gain very little. The expectations of a mobile device already exceed what RISC OS can do.

There is *no* consumer market for RISC OS, it's too old, too archaic and is supported as a hobby. It should be viewed - for most people - not as an investment, but as a hobby as much as a Hornby train set.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 4/1/08 9:59PM
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On Java and RISC OS:

Java would be most useful as a language, rather than a platform - or perhaps even Groovy now.

I did start playing with a Java-as-a-language-not-a-platform implementation of the Java Language Specification (targetted at the Beeb, but'd work on RISC OS too), but never got beyond the stage of being able to run [link]

The Java language would provide a much easier mechanism for programming applications than any other language - however, it's almost certainly past the point now of being worth attracting new developers, and all the existing ones can obviously develop already! ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 23/09/07 8:52PM
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On RISC OS-on-Linux project prepares live CD:

See also [link] - a ROX AppDir based Linux-kernel-running OS which I was starting it.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 12/9/07 9:57AM
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On Christmas 2007 show announced:

No, don't do that: that's the way I'm going - I don't want the country roads clogged up.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 13/8/07 2:10PM
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On RPCEmu author mulls future features:

Networking in RPCemu is a critical feature for me (as the article says), and improving the Linux (specifically x86_64 and ARM) support would be great for both my desktop and Nokia N800.

Mostly the Linux version works, but it just needs some polish.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 27/7/07 9:38AM
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On Select nets 1,000th subscriber:

Although "lack of interest from Castle" is blamed, these two statements seem entirely different in tone:

"[...] it has *only* heard from 130 Iyonix users who want Select on their Xscale-powered machines." (emphasis added)

"RISC OS 6 has far more advanced features than RISC OS 5, as has been shown by the number of users who want RISC OS Select features on their real Iyonix."


 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 16/7/07 10:06PM
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On June news in brief:

Getting RPCemu compiled on a Linux box - especially with the dynarec is an "interesting" experience.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 20/6/07 8:58AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

thegman: Sorry, RISC OS on a 770 (or my new N800, hopefully arriving tomorrow) would be a nice toy; but I'd rather have a Linux base for my day-to-day operations with Maemo than RISC OS.

Proper multitasking is *incredibly* important on a device like an Internet Tablet: I don't want to have to reboot it just because a single application crashed, or trample over someone else's memory.

Also, what would you use for Internet access on an N800-with-RISC OS? NetSurf for web browsing, I've already done a port of the Linux version, IM - Grapevine? That costs money. Messenger Pro/Pluto for email, would be a step up but you rapidly get to the point where there's a limit to how useful a pretty desktop UI is on such a high density screen.

After the iPhone demos, I'm already of the opinion that the Maemo desktop copies *too many* desktop metaphors blindly, without thinking of the optimal UI for the device's form factor and use cases.

Still, I like toys so I'd still like to see it ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 24/01/07 11:31PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

druck: with the greatest respect, who are you to say how someone should spend their spare time? The point of open source is that if someone wants to spend their time backporting RO5 to a RiscPC, good for them.

If you're that concerned about going "forward", consider that someone who scratches an itch by gaining experience (back)porting RO5 to their hardware will make it easier for them to contribute to whatever *you* consider valuable in future.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 24/01/07 1:59PM
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On Select chief coder leaves RISCOS Ltd:

markee174: that story's nothing to do with Ubuntu.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 19/12/06 2:07PM
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On RISC OS gets transparent windows:

cables: it is made clear:

"It doesn't actually make the windows transparent at all. But whilst it's not perfect - it doesn't allow you to see the windows beneath another window, for example [...]"

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 22/11/06 9:19AM
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On RISC OS Open needs your help:

jb: yes, that certainly explains the success of RISC OS compared with the dismal niche that the Linux kernel operates in.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 6/10/06 9:14AM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

Andrew Hodgkinson wrote: "The reason why a royalty is payable for commercial RISC OS [Open] users is partly because those users can keep their code or modifications to core RISC OS private. They pay for what amounts to exclusivity. It's about control in a way, as you said - but not Castle's control, as you indicated; I believe it's actually there to grant more control to the user of the code."

I agree that endless circular debate is unnecessary, however although the above is a laudable sentiment - and great from a marketing point of view - without the choice of dual licencing (which would require copyright assignment from community contributions, which may be unpalatable to some) commercial developers may have more *control*, but they have less *choice*. They can't not "pay for exclusivity" if they don't need it.

Still, I think ROOL's efforts on the whole are going to be better than nothing; it'll remain to be seen if it's revolutionary enough to revitalise the market, but at least it'll give people itching to fix bugs in Paint a chance to do so.

(If I was being cynical, I'd have subsituted "Paint" for "Edit" in there... ;-))

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 01/10/06 8:44PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

Andrew: sorry, I should've been more explicit. It's possible to put together a completely open source software stack machine and sell it *without paying any royalties*.

Doing the same with ROOL's shared source would, as you say, only be possible when paying Castle a royalty.

However, it's interesting you say "entirely possible to build a box using open RISC OS components and sell it." Is it the intention, then, that ROOL will eventually share enough to create a bootable system entirely from source?

RISC OS 6, free for end-users, running on RiscPCs is an appealing prospect, given the RPC still makes up the majority of current hardware.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 30/09/06 10:00PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

steelpillow: ROOL themselves freely admit it's very different to the open source licence KDE is under. The main, most obvious example being that any hardware manufacturer could put together a box with a completely open source software stack (from BIOS to office suite) and sell said hardware.

This isn't possible with ROOL's shared source licence (even assuming that eventually enough components are released to build a completely working system without any dependence on an existing underlying RISC OS)

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 30/09/06 8:28PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

markee174: "Haven't you just argued in favour of releasing the code under both a GPL and a non-GPL license?"

Not necessarily. Selling services around a wholly GPL product is perfectly possible. Dual licencing may make more sense if you want to value-add software, but you need copyright assignment.

"The GPL version encourages people to look at it and investigate the source code. The serious customers will want the non-GPL version and support - the GPL version just provides a better way to reach them."

Except the GPL doesn't allow you to distinguish based on usage, so commercial customers who don't want support can use it without paying a royalty.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 30/9/06 2:55PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

markee174: "Why not release it under GPL and also an alternative license as MySQL does?"

Because obviously they don't think they can sell services & support, or provide enough value-add on top of a truly open source product.

And in the commercial market that Castle's aiming at (embedded devices) the GPL - and other open source licences - have been very succesful. In those markets, the OS without the hardware is generally useless; but many commercial, embedded, hardware products use GPL software with no disadvantages (and sometimes advantages). Think of all those routers running Busybox, a Linux kernel etc. etc.

*Personally*, I'd've thought that an STB maker would want support for their OS, and so value-add services on top of an open source product would be viable. But presumably only if the customer trusts the supplier to be able to supply those services in a timely and efficient manner.

Anyway, I'll stick my 2p in too: it'll be interesting to see how much of a running system can be replaced. There's no mention of the kernel, or most of the core of the OS; so I'd imagine we're most likely to see developers picking up things like !Paint to improve them.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 30/9/06 8:39AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 01/09/06 00:05AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

4. Most software developers (myself included) still support RISC OS 3.7 as well!

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/08/06 11:58PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

markee174: "But is the Arm chip going to deliver what most people expect in terms of performance"

Ahh, if only there was some vague notion of a proposal to run RISC OS on faster, cheaper, more available kit?

"RISC OS should play to its strengths of a great UI with some good, innovative software with full support for cross-platform standards. But this needs to include a good browser and multi-media support."

A great UI's nothing without software, which is increasingly missing; so I agree entirely. It's just a question of how RISC OS gets there: ARMs are being left in the dust, the costs of bespoke hardware are great (in terms of time and money) and there's little to no commercial development.

I can't see how opening it all up and hoping/guiding a port to x86 - including a Rosetta-like compatibility layer for existing apps - can really be any worse than the dead-end road it's on at the moment... (from a desktop user point of view, I don't care about STBs - for all the talk of STBs funding desktop development, where's the real proof?)

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/08/06 5:05PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

markee174: "Java is used a lot less in Applets on the web now. Javascript in a broswer would be far more useful."

Indeed, I was careful to say that Java [in a browser] is something *people* claim is lacking.

Personally, I think Java on the desktop is much more important. People developing J2EE applications don't need anything on a platform above and beyond Java and a compiler: whatever's nicest to work in is best.

jess: yes, your analysis is spot-on.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/08/06 1:36PM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

Virtual PC for Mac doesn't "allow" only Windows, that might be the only supported OS (I can't be bothered to check TBH), but it quite happily runs Ubuntu and even my own nebulous WIMP OS.

However I agree with you on the rest of your points, however you say "is their[sic] any commercial viability for a software only ecosystem without the revenue from hardware sales driving new developement[sic]?" - the counterpoint to that is how much longer is revenue from hardware sales likely to be received? Is there really a viable business *there*, for an ever diminshing desktop market?

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/8/06 1:27PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

markee174: Yes, there's a proven interest from users in Firefox for RISC OS; however almost all of the people with the skill and inclination to continue the port (which now, let's face it are the boring bits of fixing bugs etc.) will have another machine available on which they do the majority of the web browsing. Indeed, they'll even need one to do the building with gccsdk as the current RISC OS hardware is inadequate.

Without the need to scratch their own itch, it's not particularly alluring.

Also, as has been made clear many times before, getting Firefox working won't magically bring with it Flash or Java - two of the things which people often criticise RISC OS for lacking.

timephoenix: "If they want to prevent RO become a hobby platform [...]"

Anyone who thinks RISC OS isn't already a hobby platform is living in a dream world (or living in the real world without much money).

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/08/06 08:43AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

markee174: "Which is going to be easier - porting Firefox versions to RISC OS (where Chockys tools/libraries provide an increasing degree of automation) or porting RISC OS to x86?"

It's also a question of which is going to garner more interest; port something which already runs faster and more reliably on better hardware to an obsolete platform, or move an obsolete platform to something which millions of people can run and try simply and easily.

A quick browse of LWN and OSNews comments shows there are lots of people out there willing to tinker with "toy" operating systems. Any of these people could be interested in porting RISC OS to x86; the number with the skill, time and interest to continue the Firefox port to RISC OS are slim.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 28/08/06 9:15PM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

To be pedantic, Mac OS X supports more than two-buttons - I've got 3 and I know of people with 5 or so, mapping some to Expose etc.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 28/8/06 9:08PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

I wrote: "The only thing I like about RISC OS is the UI and (some) of the applications. If these can be ported to another system, with more stability; better hardware compatibility and greater room for growth, why should I care?"

timephoenix wrote: "Perhaps because in such a case, Castle, current owners of the OS, would lose all their income from selling desktop ARM hardware, and desktop RISC OS itself would disappear."

That's why open sourcing RISC OS is a good idea for *users* - there's no dependency on Castle (or anyone else) maintaining a viable business and RISC OS being lumped in with other assets when administrators or bean counters sell off the bits.

markee174 wrote: "Unless RISC OS can use any Windows device driver, you are going to end up with lots of unimpressed people. Apple focuses on their own hardware and they seem to be doing rather well at the moment...."

Apple is a wonderful example here: they've moved to commodity hardware, but are still building it themselves. They can get the benefits of the speed on x86, and users are increasingly seeing the benefits of running on x86: proprietary drivers without porting, Windows running at full speed in a virtualised environment etc. etc.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 27/08/06 11:11AM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

AMS: "I can't see MS or Apple encouraging their users to do likewise [emulating platforms]"

You are aware, of course, of the *massive* take up of virtualisation technologies on other platforms at the moment?

Microsoft releasing "Virtual PC for Windows" for free - previously having sold "Virtual PC for Mac"; the growing use of Xen and VMware on servers and desktops; the massive take up of Parallels on new Intel Macs (and Apple's own advocation of both Parallels and their own Boot Camp dual boot solution) and the entry of VMware into the Mac market?

Virtualisation is now big business. Everyone is doing it.

The only reason the RISC OS market *should* be afraid of it[1] is that it shows up the massive deficiencies of RISC OS as an operating system; the lack of software under development and the limitations of native hardware.

[1] Apologies for the anthropomorphism of which I was moaning in another thread, but you get the gist.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 25/8/06 11:11PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

AMS: "I can understand that, but you do see how that might give some people a bad case of jitters. The phrase "get RISC OS applications running on another system using a compatibility layer" - how does that help RISC OS ? Does it simply give another OS the ability to run RISC OS programs (in a fashion) and further weaken RISC OS ?"

Why would that be a bad thing? The only thing I like about RISC OS is the UI and (some) of the applications. If these can be ported to another system, with more stability; better hardware compatibility and greater room for growth, why should I care?

RISC OS is an OS. It's a tool. It's not some idol to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped. Other systems can do almost everything RISC OS can do, but better and faster. Something radical needs to happen. If open sourcing RISC OS "infects" those other systems with RISC OS concepts which make them better/easier to use/more RISC OS-like, surely - as an end-user - that can only be a good thing?

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 25/08/06 6:37PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Most other anti-aliasing systems also offer sub-pixel rendering for LCDs, which are increasingly common and give a cleaner look in the same number of pixels.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 23/08/06 11:46AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

AMS: "(b). Not aid the competition"

I'd be very interested to know what you think RISC OS' competition is, and what they could/would "cherry pick" from it.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 23/08/06 09:08AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

mrtd: "Open source is copyright free in the sense that anyone can freely make copies of it and amend it for their own purposes."

No no no no no.

The code is copyright the author, this forbids you from making unauthorised copies. You are authorised to make copies if you adhere to the terms of the licence.

If you don't adhere to the terms of the licence, you are not authorised to make copies of the code. Therefore you are distributing copies without the permission of the author. Therefore you are violating the author's copyright.

Any lawsuit involving the non-compliance with an open source licence would be a copyright lawsuit.

Copyright is the *backbone* of open source and free software; not its enemy.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 22/08/06 5:41PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

mrtd: "If they want to continue to sell licences to their commercial customers, they will need to retain some sort of "Copyright", although in the usual Open Souce models the term "Copyright" is meaningless."

Entirely untrue - all Open Source (and Free Software) licences, including the GPL, *depend* on enforceable copyright.

"For Castle to remain profitable requires them to remain in control of thier[sic] product and be able to sell it to their customers."

The benefits of open source to a company like Castle is that they can concentrate on adding value on top of the open source product, whether that's embeddable components; contract work; documentation; services or support.

Remember Peter Wild's original comments: some of Castle's prospects have been turned off by the fact RISC OS isn't open source. If they use the same definition as everyone else (i.e. more or less the OSD) then open sourcing RISC OS with a licence as described above won't gain Castle many new customers, and won't do anything for the long term future of RISC OS on the desktop.

At best, it'll allow a few of the remaining die-hards to tinker round the edges; but won't gain any traction with a larger OS (both "open source" and "operating system") community.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 22/08/06 1:08PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

PeteWild: Interesting posts, thank you.

However, both (5) - "royalties"/"prohibition" - and (7) - "legally allowed" - would preclude it being considered "Open Source" in any accepted or meaningful sense of the term.

Whether Castle can be the *only* company to *ever* have a succesful shared source scheme remains to be seen, but the body of evidence isn't on their side. The licence you describe sounds like Castle getting the rewards without any of the risks - hardly likely to attract a legion of talented OS-tinkerers.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 21/08/06 3:28PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

JGZimmerle: Indeed, and I agree. My point was that AMS seemed to be advocating faster *ARM*-based hardware running RISC OS and/or more RISC OS/ARM native development (i.e. not ports).

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 20/08/06 7:54PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

AMS: "The best solutions IMHO are either (a). Faster RISC OS machines that would allow "slow complex" code like that to be run effectively or (b). More "native" RISC OS application development - that makes use of OSS where possible but is optimised for ARM RISC OS use where required."

And where on earth are either (a) or (b) going to come from? The trouble with them as "solutions" is that without any realistic chance of feasibility, they're at best pipedreams :-(

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 20/08/06 6:02PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

adrianl: I agree, despite the many technical challenges to it. An open source RISC OS would at least give that option with a couple of committed OS experts working on it.

jess: with the core OS running natively on a multi-GHz dual-core chip (a la the recent Apple line), I don't see any reason why applications couldn't run faster than native on some nebulous RISC OS/x86, using Rosetta-like emulation.

It's hard to believe exactly *how* much faster other chips are than current RISC OS hardware (even this 1.42GHz G4 in a 2 year old Mac mini), and what that gives in terms of capabilities of software. No, it's not needed for emails, but Java and Flash both enhance the web experience and faster's always better there. Ripping DVDs, whilst playing back smooth high resolution DivXs becomes possible, editing video on consumer hardware etc. etc. Desktop RISC OS on ARM has no future apart from absolutely tiny niches at best. Personally I don't care what software my STB runs, as long as it does the job.

The other *big* advantage to an x86 port of RISC OS would be the binary-only software which theoretically could be run in an appropriate container. This is done by mplayer on Linux (for example) to get full codec support by dropping the Windows DLLs in an appropriate folder.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 19/08/06 9:26PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

jess: "But the assumption in a lot of posts is that Open source = GPL or similar."

No, but the use of the term Open Source refers to something specific and (generally) well-understood.


I get the impression that large numbers of commenters both here (and, at other times, in csa.*) really don't quite *get* it, mainly due to the lack of understanding of a) what it means vs. "shared source"; and b) viable business models based around it.

In fact, many seem to be of the same opinion about OSS as Microsoft - ironic given the often vitriolic stance taken against their software ;-)



 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 19/08/06 8:09PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Personally, I don't care if there's another version of RISC OS to contend with. If it's regularly developed, openly; moving forward and easy/cheap for users to migrate to it'll become the "standard" version *very* quickly.

If the options are two stagnant branches, or two stagnant branches and a developed one; I know which choice I'd go for.

To prevent multiple forks, proper community and leadership which listens and responds constructively will be required. No, it won't be as big as Linux, but looking to see the problems and successes there will be helpful in setting up an open RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 15/8/06 3:05PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Support is also a motivator for taking a commercial licence: your open source licenced version will be only supported by the community, but by selling support alongside your commercial-licenced version[1] you can add value for your clients.

Copyright attribution becomes an important factor here, though: for Castle (say) to sell a closed source version and maintain an open source version, anyone submitting code to the open source one would in practice have to transfer the copyright to Castle for them to do with as they wish. Once it's open sourced, though, it can never be closed again: even if future development only happens in the closed branch, the open version can live on.

[1] Of course, you can still sell support and services without having a closed source version.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 15/8/06 2:46PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:

A decent OO structured program is harder to produce than any procedural version. And there's no reason OO-edness means more memory, the things you mention like garbage collection add overhead, not objects.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 14/08/06 1:03PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

AMS: "Thing is that there are faster ARM's on the way [...]"

But who's going to design and build the hardware to house such an ARM for a desktop computer likely to sell in the hundreds? No-one can *seriously* argue, surely, that hardware is what sets a RISC OS computer apart? Yes, they can be quiet and small because of the hardware; but so's a Mac Mini and that's got a dual core x86 chip in it.

If it's the software - whether applications or GUI - let's find a way of getting that to run on commodity hardware, so developers/users/interested parties have a) a lower barrier to entry to the platform; and b) can invest in furthering the software, not designing new low-end (in the real world) computers to run them on.

The fact that commodity hardware, being so much faster in terms of raw grunt, will also open up the possibility of doing all those things which no RISC OS computer can feasibly do - DVD ripping/playback; video editing; massive compiles etc. - is another reason it should appeal.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 28/07/06 8:59PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

SimonC: "It needs to find a niche, not be open sourced."

Unfortunately, that niche is unlikely to be any form of viable, long-term desktop market, AFAICS - and with commercial companies (quite rightly) focused on the embedded bits (or whatever) which make them the most money; any desktop development is most likely going to be an afterthought.

If *nothing* else, an open source RISC OS would allow the wider adoption of Select's new APIs and thus encouraging their use by more developers: making it easier to write new, funky, applications which attract the users.

But without a *radical* sea-change in terms of architecture (both software and hardware) and support, I can't personally see any viable desktop future for RISC OS. At least open sourcing it would mean it wouldn't have to be a successful *commercial* OS to continue, just be interesting to at least one developer and/or one user.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 28/07/06 8:53PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

timephoenix: use of the word "steal" is entirely unappropriate.

Surely if the RISC OS GUI is the best thing, getting it ported and available on other platforms would be a good thing.

If you're seriously concerned about Microsoft running off with it, there are numerous open source licences (e.g. the GPL) which would prevent that.

Open sourcing RISC OS isn't a magic bullet, unless it's an attractive and appealing proposition for OS tinkerers to get involved; without a GUI I imagine that set of people would be reduced further.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 27/07/06 09:08AM
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On Interview with a ROS Open shareholder:

PeteWild: thank you for that assessment.

Personally, I agree with your conclusions 100% and I'd add: if open sourcing RISC OS *doesn't* happen, and the only viable business is the embedded/STB market (as you outline), that's fine for companies such as Castle and Advantage6 - but the desktop side of the business will shrink further and further, meaning it's a nice success story people can point to, but there'll be no RISC OS on desktop computers.

I'd be very surprised (pleasantly), however, *if* the entire source tree were open sourced and an effort made to garner an enthusiastic development community around it.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 19/7/06 9:51AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

The only long-term solution IMHO to the problems besetting the platform is one of:

1) A very rich sugar daddy with deep pockets and a whim for niche computers.

2) A new, almost from scratch, RISC OS targetting *commodity hardware*.

Let's face it, Syllable/SkyOS et al all probably have more buzz and more active programmers than RISC OS at the moment; and these have been written by small teams in the last few years.

Capitalise on what's good (the GUI and the overall simplicity of the system), then start from scratch (possibly using an existing kernel, e.g. Linux). Throw out what's not working: the hardware.

Of course, you'd have to be mad to try and do this as a commercial venture: there's almost certainly no money in it (at least to start with) so you'd have to do it open source[1].

I give you... RISC OS Open ;-)

Just some idle late afternoon day dreaming.



[1] Of course, you might still want the aforementioned sugar daddy - look at Mark Shuttleworth's investment in Ubuntu: in less than 2 years it's become the de facto easy-to-use Linux distribution. Deep pockets indeed; but a quality product too.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 11/7/06 5:50PM
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On Euro 2006 show report:

The Nokia 770 runs ARM Linux and can run ArcEm (as I said before, RPCEmu hung at the start of booting), the port's really too initial to be useful due to me not spending any time on the absolute <-> relative mouse pointer conversion. Handy to have BBC Basic in your pocket though :-)

[link] [link] [link]

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 23/6/06 10:35PM
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On RISC OS found on Pocket PC PDA:

I tried compiling RPCemu on the Maemo SDK (for the Nokia 770 Linux-based Internet Tablet) but it just seems to hang before outputting "Acorn RISC OS".

However, ArcEm does run: [link] Obviously this is a first attempt, and without a numeric keypad to press "+" on, I can't capture mouse events. But BASIC works well :-)

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 29/5/06 12:05PM
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On A9home on sale from CJE Micros:

The annoying thing about the AIF header issue is not that it's been done, but that little to no communication has been made that this has changed. The first I heard of it was a user complaint coinciding with a comment from Theo Markettos on csa.*.

The fact that the application note which made them mandatory was ten years ago doesn't excuse making the change with no warning: in fact just the opposite!

Saying "developers should have been including the headers for the past X years" is all well and good, but changing the external behaviour of a system should *only* be done with sufficient advanced communication. Especially with a shrinking market meaning developers can't be expected to buy every new piece of kit (no matter how shiny) to test on.

...and I agree with Tony Haines: we've had to do a variety of round-trips with slightly different AIF headers to handle squeezed absolute-wrapped BASIC code as the documentation that exists on the AIF header is ambiguous at best with regards to exactly what should go in which field.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 09/05/06 2:38PM
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On RISC OS emu ported to games console:

Now if only there was a Nokia 770 port, although the speed might be even more of an issue :-(

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 27/2/06 9:38AM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

DS1: A bit of Googling through the csa.* groups shows that ROL said at launch that "UP TO 3" may technically allow zero, but they'll guarantee at least one:


 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 26/10/05 2:39PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

Has anyone tried installing the MenuX extension to move the menu bar to a context menu?


Integrates nicely on ROX, so should instantly make !Firefox more RISC OS-ey.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 21/6/05 8:32AM
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On Nick Burrett quits GCCSDK project:

From [link]

"As for future administration of the project, ideally, I didn't really want to take that on (even though I've done the last few releases), but I'm not sure there's anyone else who knows the compiler and all the tools as well. Of course, as you probably now know, I too after summer will no longer be able to spend as much time on the project, after a move to the US, but intend to remain involved as much as practical."

The quote in the article doesn't, to my mind, completely misrepresent what you said.

 is a RISC OS UserJaffa on 12/6/05 8:10PM
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