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Username: davidb
Realname: David Boddie
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Homepage: http://www.boddie.org.uk/david/
Comments posted:58 (show all)

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On Techie docs for mystery Acorn CAD workstation surface:

Well, I was really just being flippant, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was no longer possible to distribute RISC iX legally. I imagine it depends largely on the kinds of agreements Acorn had and who took on its obligations when it was sold off - perhaps their license to distribute it had already lapsed or was non-transferable, anyway.

A mini-Groklaw for RISC OS and other Acorn stuff would be useful, if only we could get hold of the relevant contracts and agreements.

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 12/12/08 8:16PM
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On Techie docs for mystery Acorn CAD workstation surface:

Maybe if you ask RISCOS Ltd. nicely, they'll sell you a license for use with ArcEm. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 12/12/08 12:14AM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

hubersn wrote:

"I don't see Linux succeeding in any major way in the market where RISC OS once was a viable solution (desktop). It is surely usable if you want to arbitrarily limit what you want to do - reminds me of RISC OS. And I can't see Microsoft losing market share in any meaningful way."

I think RISC OS had a cosy niche at a time when the market was a lot more open to competition. I think that the opportunities for Linux are improving, as long as people don't just give in and use Windows.

"So what does this mean for RISC OS? We have to "free" it from the ARM platform. The only meaningful way to do this is to use emulation - the apps we all use and love won't get rewritten, and it would be silly to try. The same goes for large parts of RISC OS. What we need is a powerful "Acorn-style hardware" emulator (partly already available - VRPC and RPCemu) and a lot of extensions that allow usage of parts of the host system (partly already available - see HostFS and networking in VRPC and RPCemu, the ATAPI extensions for VRPC)."

Although this is probably the way to go, there are a couple of problems. Firstly, there's no officially-endorsed distribution of RISC OS available for use under emulation on open platforms, though there are products for Windows that can use existing ROMs. Secondly, does the RISC OS Open license forbid or allow use of RISC OS on emulators and non-ARM hardware?

"In other words: the ARM code will act like Java's bytecode, and the host OS will act as the hardware abstraction layer. The opinions I hold of the virtues of Windows, Linux, MacOS or different processors are not really important, because the concept just works everywhere."

Sure, you're left with a virtual environment for running legacy applications, unless you want to target RISC OS APIs when writing new ones. Maybe this could form the basis of a compatibility layer for RISC OS X, or whatever you'd want to call a RISC OS environment that runs on top of Linux or a BSD derivative. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 03/04/08 6:54PM
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On Click right on with RISC OS:

Agreed. The first time I saw those mutant scroll buttons, I thought it was a dreadful bodge. Maybe one day I'll get round to writing a patch for KDE to do decent scrollbar handling.

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 26/3/08 1:24PM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

AMS wrote:

"Hopping from arguably an OS in decline (RISC OS) to one that is a Microsoft target like Linux is silly, IMHO."

All other platforms are Microsoft targets, whether they target them deliberately or just trample them underfoot. Why not move to one which is seeing increasing use?

"If you're going to abandon RISC OS go to windows - you'll probably wind up there anyway once the difficiencies of Linux become apparent (that's not to say that Linux is a bad OS but simply that too many content providers and hardware providers supporting Windows and that always means - at best - Linux is playing catch-up more often it can't compete)."

We both know that Linux only has to play catch up when dealing with proprietary formats and hardware, yet support for some kinds of hardware is actually better under Linux:


Apart from vendor tie-ins, content providers push proprietary formats at you because they don't care about the delivery mechanism, and they buy into some solution that doesn't cater for all platforms. They can justify this by saying that they support 90-something percent of their (potential) users. By switching to Windows you are actually making the situation worse.

 is a RISC OS Userdavidb on 24/3/08 5:04PM
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