I agree absolutely. Currently my only real involvement in the RISC OS world is in reading drobe et al in the hope that something positive starts to happen to the platform-I stopped using real hardware years ago and since Windows is not an adequate OS for the sort of work I do, I am not even able to run an emulator. An Open Source RISC OS would lead to myriad possibilities for using the platform in new ways. I believe that there's a substantial number of untapped RISC OS programmers who aren't employed by any of the OS's licensees but who would happily contribute if they could. I admit that I'm ideologically drawn to the FOSS model but from a practical perspective the case has been proved again and again. As an grid computing software engineer the entire suite of software on which I and the entire community develop is open source and though I agree that not all projects succeed in the long term, consideration should be given to what happens when a project dies. In the closed source world when development stops or gets grindingly slow, that's it - finished. With open source software the source code is available for anyone else to give it a go, whenever they feel like it. This really works! The transformation from XFree86 to X.org is a recent example. (Okay, so XFree86 isn't actually dead but development was pathetically slow). If this is even a vague possibility, it is the best news I have heard regarding RISC OS for many many years.
Gulli & Julian: For switching keyboard layout I'm pretty sure there's a very quick way holding down a key combination (can't remember which) and typing the international dialing code of the country you want into the numerical keypad. I remember this from RISC OS 2 days but I'd be surprised if it's been removed.