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Username: riscosboss
Realname: Paul Middleton
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

There are a number of points that have been made here and I'm going to deal with them in one message rather than replying to each individually.

Druck - you seem to have a very selective memory. You were a Select subscriber for 2001 and 2002. The ARM Club then paid for your subscription in 2003 and 2004. So you weren't a subscriber during the period that the 32 bit work was being done. The ARM Club were subscribers to the scheme for a further year in 2007, but you yourself haven't paid for a subscription since 2002.

VinceH, you state that you can't test your software if you were to use a Select feature. Is that because you don't have Select? I get the impression from a number of the similar comments from other people as well that you think that developers should get free access to copies of Select in order to test their software. There used to be around 1,200 registered developers with Acorn. Is it your submission that if we gave away free copies to developers then they would use Select features? The only problem here is that we would have everyone claiming to be a developer.

not_ginger_matt - I guess your are also not a Select subscriber. I am also confused as to why you are complaining that you had to re-implement a feature that Select has? Shouldn't your anger be directed at ROOL for not having a feature that you wanted in RISC OS 5? Your argument seems to run that unless a new feature is available to every version of RISC OS, then either developers shouldn't use it, or else they should spend the time re-inventing the wheel. My view is that unless users keep up to date with the latest OS then it will stagnate and die. That is a commercial reality. 64K screen modes are a benefit to users, and developers should try and support new OS features in their applications.

Consider this scenario. If there was no RISC OS Six, would you have held back on producing tinct and waited until RISC OS 5 had it, or would you still have gone ahead and written it anyway so that RISC OS 3.x users could use NetSurf?

Rjek. If every new feature was made freely available to all previous users, then where exactly is the income to pay for the development to come from? If users want the latest features then they need to have the latest version of the OS. Everyone gains in that scenario. If developers don't use new OS features because not enough people will be able to use it, then no new software will ever be developed.

 is a RISC OS Userriscosboss on 2/6/09 11:57PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

"And there was me thinking I remembered that there was a big issue about ROL, and some other companies, having to stop trading to the public for quite a while."

I can't speak for other companies, but RISCOS Ltd received numerous letters from Castle concerning lots of allegations. We NEVER stopped trading, though Castle clearly wished we had. Lots of people on this discussion continue to bring up so called "facts" that are nothing more than hearsay.

The simple truth is that the British legal system is very much split into two strands. Criminal Cases and Civil Cases. In a Criminal Case the law is usually quite clear, and someone who is guilty will usually be convicted. In a Civil Case there is no clear cut distinction between Right and Wrong. It is down to whoever has the deepest pockets to pay for lawyers! i.e you have to be able to pay for your legal costs plus any damages you might become liable for if you were to lose. e.g it makes it very hard for a local computer shop to take on PC World, as the losses that PC World might claim would be huge. However if a new business starts up, then it is a lot simpler and cheaper to take action against them if they are doing something wrong e.g if they start selling something without a licence that is your copyright.

Ten years ago RISCOS Ltd and Element14 entered into an agreement between the two parties. At various stages two further parties have become involved. The original parties are the ones who count in this situation, as the spirit of the agreement will have been determined by them. Castle made certain allegations against RISCOS Ltd based solely on their interpretation of the Agreement. They were not parties to the original Agreement, and hence were on very dodgy legal ground to try and stop our contract, to which they themselves were not an original party.

So the situation at present is that we are still operating under the terms of the original Head Licence, and that gave us very clear rights. The Head Licence Agreement is obviously written in legaleese, but was written following a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties, which gave the conditions in very plain English.

The Head Licence Agreement is however subject to confidentiality and Drobe is not the forum for discussing commercial contracts.

I am however looking to make the Memorandum of Understanding available on the web site, along with supporting documents.

We obvioulsy want to see innovation in RISC OS development, but if anyone starts to encroach on areas where we have exclusivity, or starts using software that is our copyright, then we will have to take action to protect our rights.

There is obviously scope for ROOL and RISCOS Ltd to co-exist and I hope that we can come to an agreement for co-operation, and with safeguards to protect the investment that has been made in RISC OS development over the past ten years.

 is a RISC OS Userriscosboss on 2/6/09 1:17PM
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On Recent developments have left me feeling...:

I have questioned the inclusion of Dave Holden on many occasions. Why do any of you think that anyone should be included on Drobe as a source of ridicule or as an hysteric running joke? How about acting as Adults. EVERYONE has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, even MPs. So I sincerely hope that Dave Holden's name will not be used in any future polls, that do not involve him directly.

 is a RISC OS Userriscosboss on 2/6/09 1:00PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Before we get into specifics about freely available softloadable updates for people who have never contributed to the Select scheme, perhaps we should ask those people who have contributed whether they think the contribution they have made to RISC OS development over the past ten years should be given away for free?

So if you are reading this discussion and are a current Select subscriber then please let us have your thoughts. PS. Please quote your Select Number to verify that you are a subscriber.

It seems that lots of you who are pushing for RISC OS to be freely available are those who have never paid for anything from RISCOS Ltd. Do you never pay for software, or is it just RISC OS that you don't want to pay for?

If I was a loyal Select subscriber then I would be questioning whether I should support RISCOS Ltd any more if they suddenly started giving away everything for free. I appreciate that some people don't use Select features in their applications because they choose to assume the lowest common denominator of Operating System in use rather than testing for the availability of features, and then gracefully telling the End User that a required feature is not available on their specific OS. This is one of the problems we have been discussing with ROOL, as too many applications simply check for the level of OS present or module version number, rather than explicit modules being present, with known capabilities. However if no-one uses the new features available in RISC OS Six for their own applications, then we will have a stagnant OS, where no-one puts in new features, because they want to make sure that a RISC OS 3.7 user can still use the application they have written. We obviously want developers to use the new features that are available, and the RISC OS Six web site details much of that information. We are not hiding it.

We have also discussed the possibility of certain RISC OS Six features being made available in 32 bit format, for use on the Iyonix, but other than for completely altruistic reasons, why should we give away our developments for free? If it had been commercially and technically viable to release Select 32 for the Iyonix, we would have done so. So why should we do so now for free?

 is a RISC OS Userriscosboss on 2/6/09 12:53PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Rob, I gave a simple question which you have still not answered. Please list the products (other than the Iyonix) which Pace (or anyone else) have produced which use a Castle developed RISC OS 5. Of course citations are needed if we are playing that game. You keep on claiming that Pace used it on lots of different hardware, but lets have a list and some evidence that it is RISC OS 5, and not a Pace branch.

 is a RISC OS Userriscosboss on 23/5/09 11:12AM
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