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Realname: Nigel Willmott
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Recent comments

On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

I'm not a lawyer and didn't study contract law as part of my degree - but I am a journalist who deals daily with potentially defamatory and libellous material - and this post would have our night lwayers moving across the office faster than Usain Bolt ...

Serioulsy, people should be think more carefully about what they post on what is a public forum

Perhaps Drobe as the publisher also needs to take some care.

Maybe time for everyone to taker a step back ...

Nigel

 is a RISC OS Usernw on 22/12/08 1:21AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

A little edge seems to be creeping into what has been a good discussion,so before it does break up in dissension ...

Two reasonable propostions have been put.

1) That Peter Naulls is the best one to take on further FF development.

2) As Peter quite reasonably counters, why should there be an expectation that he should do it, after he has already delivered so much.

So the obvious question is: is there another programmer out there with the right skill set willing to consider continuing the FF work?

 is a RISC OS Usernw on 26/10/06 01:25AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

A very interesting discussion on the browser issue - lots of interest and strong feelings, and ideas.

Is there any way that this can be formulated into some plan of action - before the discussion, as normally happens, just tails off into the void (until the next outburst of frustration)?

Answers on an ecard to Drobe ...

 is a RISC OS Usernw on 25/10/06 01:27AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

So, it was a good show ... sorry to rain on the parade

Yes heartening that those who went found the atmosphere friendly and helpful - that is one of the great pluses of the platform - when it's not sniping and and descending into abuse or worse on the newsgroups .

I didn't go (for the first time in 14 or 15 years!), mainly because of a heavy cold. But if I had decided to make the drive from north London to Guildford, what actually would it have been for? The presentations revealed nothing new in terms of announcements or even any new information on how the ROL/ROOL developments are actually going to work. In terms of new product, the only significant things were Uniscan (to help you to make even more use of the PC) and Risc Os Now ... a brave effort which everybody wishes well. But how does that help the most pressing problem of the platform - certainly of the much-maligned "ordinary user".

I'm sure improvements through ROL/ROOL of the operating system are much needed. But people don't buy computers for the operating system (at least if it doesn't include web browser, media player etc). They buy it to do things - with applications programs. And all the OS, compiler, porting projects and other programming tools don't in the end seem to be delivering more of what sells computers - those applications. And of course the most important of all - a competent browser.

It seems to me that the best thing that could have happened at Guildford is that everyone who still earns a living - or part of a living - from Risc Os had taken a couple of hours off to talk to each other about a browser strategy. And then agreed to stop their own development work for two months to all work together to deliver it, whether it's an acceptable Firefox 6, Netsurf with Javascript, or Oregano 3. (I, as would other users, would be willing to pre-buy, donate, whatever).

The user base is still shrinking - mainly because people can't do what is now the most basic function on a computer. Plenty of "ordinary users" have said this before - usually to be abused for their "ignorance" about what they want to use a computer for.

A case in point. I use an Iyonix almost exclusively at home (while working on a Mac at work and maintaining several PCs for the household). More than half of what I do at home is on the web. My kids occasionally use the Iyonix to pick up hotmail or browse - until if freezes, crashes (not generally that long), at which point they shrug and wonder why I use a Mickey Mouse machine. If I can't get it on FF5 (however inelegantly) - I go to Iyonix Linux. But even that is no longer being developed (it would be lovely to have Debian Sarge).

If there were a fully working browser, I would be able to justify buying a new RO machine for the household - and I might even buy an A9 for portability. As is is, instead of buying two more machines - and all the related software for them - I am currently wondering if it is worth bothering to continue with the Iyonix. A possible net loss of one, instead of a net gain of two. I can't be the only user making these calculations. (And forget about new users).

Much has been made of the RO4 (sorry 6) / RO5 split. I suspect, as several programmers have said, this makes little difference in practice. On the other hand the split of resources in browser development really is crippling the market (in my opinion).

Sorry, but here is one user who up to now has continued to spend money on the platform who is very close to the tipping point ...

(PS many thanks to all those who do still work hard to keep the platform going ... it's much appreciated, even if, at present, it seems like a losing battle ...)

 is a RISC OS Usernw on 24/10/06 00:55AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

The problem with most discussions on the future is that they go round in circles and the positive suggestions get lost. Two points seem worth reiterating: 1 there are still people who like using a Risc Os machine as their machine of choice 2 there is little point in putting what few resources the platform has into hardware at the moment (unless it is for the embedded market), because we currently have no software advanced enough to make use of it.

So is there a desk-top market left to work on, that can be consolidated and expanded, even in terms of hundreds or thousands - given the size of the market just imagine the difference 1,500 new users would make? One problem with having a hard core user base of developers is that they tend to be power users and want exactly the things RO can't do. But millions of users out there are not power users - they word process, do basic spreadsheets, play mp3s or CDs, listen to podcasts maybe, occasionally burn data, look at digital pictures, keep an address book and diary, browse the web.

The Iyonix/A9 can do all these, albeit not always elegantly. So make it it more elegant. Integrate Music Man, !stream, Shoutcast; update Organiser and link it to Messenger; make the CD-burn interface a bit more user friendly, etc ... but most of all provide one browser which works for most of the basic tasks our ordinary users want to do (FF5 actually has most of the functionality, but too many glitches). Surely all that is within the capability and resources the platform has collectively now. Then it could pitch at a niche sector of these users.

What would be the selling points if we had this full basic functionality? How about a machine which is (in no particular order): not your bog-standard PC; not American; not Microsoft; not from a big faceless corporation; very quiet; fast and easy to reboot; low-power (one for the Cameroons); has a transparent and friendly GUI (when you get to know it); you don't have to upgrade every 18 months; or worry about viruses; or masses of spam etc; and perhaps, most of all, has a small, helpful, accessible (and mostly friendly) community of users and developers to support you. Is it impossible to conceive of say 10-20,000 individualist, anti-corporate, ecologically conscious "entry-level" computer users out there?

How to get there? Instead of just suggesting what others might do, how about users themselves taking the lead? How about a "national user conference", ie a room somewhere, a number of committed developers and users willing to support them, a handful of people to kick off four or five sessions (eg browser, (basic) multimedia, peripheral drivers etc) ... See if agreement can be reached to consolidate development on one browser (or whatever), whether Netsurf-like teams can be set up to fill the key gaps, work out how non-programming users can help fund these things.

Must be better than returning to the same old arguments on Drobe and in the newsgroups in two month's time.

 is a RISC OS Usernw on 13/07/06 01:14AM
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