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Profile for tlsa

ContactAbout me
Username: tlsa
Realname: Michael Drake
About me:
Homepage: http://www.smoothartist.com/
Comments posted:49 (show all)
Quickies posted:2

Recent comments

On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

> That comes across as a real slap in the face for every one that has supported NetSurf, both by reporting bugs and financially, since it's inception on RISC OS.

I doubt it was intended. Bug reports are always useful. The developer's can't visit every page on the web and bug reports have been good especially for highlighting layout issues.

With the recent change to LibCSS, I don't think we'd really said anywhere (that would be seen by users) that the CSS parser and selection engine had changed, and what issues to expect. So we got a bunch of reports about stuff we expected and also a couple of reports of stuff we didn't know about on the bug tracker, iirc.

Anyway, yes, losing the RISC OS users as testers is one of the sad sides of having to drop RISC OS support.

> Other platforms came in relatively recently, and now you can't wait to bin RISC OS off.

This is just complete rubbish. Noone wants to "bin RISC OS off". The reason we can't maintain the RISC OS front end has been stated several times. I'll state it again.

+ There are nolonger any NetSurf developers who have WIMP knowledge and RISC OS hardware or time to invest in it.

This has been the case for the last two and a half years. We've mentioned before that there was noone developing the RISC OS front end, but to my knowledge noone approached us to help.

It is precisely because we don't want to drop RISC OS support that we made this urgent appeal, asking for developers to help. We've also spent time recently simplifying the RISC OS build instructions and making it far easier for a RISC OS developer to get NetSurf built. For example now, to build and install all our libraries (like Hubbub, LibCSS, etc) you just need to type *make install.

As for the other platforms and how recently they came in, it really has nothing to do with the problem the RISC OS front end faces. The AmigaOS front end has an Amiga developer to work on it, the BeOS front end has a BeOS developer. The GTK front end has mostly been developed by GSoC students lately. The difference is that there are people to develop those front ends, while for the RISC OS front end there is noone.

This is sad, but other than asking for a developer to help maintain the RISC OS front end, what else can we do?

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 14/8/09 9:48AM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

It's the CSS vertical-align property, handled in layout_line() in render/layout.c.

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 7/8/09 9:06PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

> Just to clarify, will the existing frontend work with future core coding?

No, not without a maintainer for the RISC OS front end. jmb clarified this in his comment.

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 7/8/09 11:25AM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

AW: Read the development plan page linked from the mailing list post.

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 6/8/09 9:01PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

"That Licence (as was clearly stated in the original Press Release from RISCOS Ltd/Acorn - copy at [link] ) was exclusive to us and was primarily targetted at the desktop market."

Actually, the press release just says that the licence granted RISC OS Ltd "an exclusive license to complete the development of RISC OS 4". Then it goes on to say ROL intend to flog it for desktop machines, although it says nothing about which companies are licenced to sell in which markets. I don't doubt that there is more to the licence than was stated in the press release, but still it says nothing about anything except that ROL could exclusively complete RISC OS 4.

Out of interest, is that why when ROL leapfrogged RISC OS 5, it was called "RISC OS Six" instead of "RISC OS 6"?

"In the event Castle didn't have the expense of developing RISC OS 5 for the Iyonix. They just nicked it from Pace."

There were press releases on both the Pace site and the Castle site that Castle had licensed RISC OS and then ultimately bought it, iirc. Why do you claim Castle stole it from Pace?

"I would finally point out that RISCOS Ltd never promised an OS for the Iyonix."

Actually, we (my Dad and I) were convinced by yourself at two successive Wakefield shows to part with the Select subscription fee for a product we wouldn't use on the basis of that promise.

"I would suggest that Castle would have expected to make far more profit out of increased sales of the Iyonix, if the far superior Select had been available for it, than we would have made from selling a couple of hundred Select subscriptions."

Of course this overlooks the customers who had already been convinced to subscribe on the basis that their subscription would pay for the work to be done.

As for which version is superior, I guess it depends on which features users find useful. ROLs version has more in the way of decorative trinkets and baubles, as well as some useful stuff like text selection and cut&paste in writable icons. Castle's has the Unicode font manager and a USB stack that seems to have comparatively good device support. Personally, I just think it's a shame that there isn't just one version, with all the good stuff in.

"If everyone expects RISC OS to be given away for free then who is going to make any money to support new development? How will RComp or CJE or Martin Wuerthner make any money to develop new products, if everyone expects everything RISC OS related to be given away for free?"

By offering great products? I help develop NetSurf, which is available for free and I am excited by the prospect of a freely available ROMs from RISC OS open. However, I am always glad to buy an ArtWorks upgrade because I think it's an excellent program which I find very useful and a joy to use.

"We put a tagline on our new web site to say that it was best viewed by Netsurf, as a clear sign of support for people who may not have heard of Netsurf to give it a try"

Thanks for the link.

"but you just complained."

I haven't read the whole thread closely, so I'm not sure what the complaint was. Anyway, I can think of two things worth mentioning:

1. There's a typo in the tagline -- it's "NetSurf", not "Netsurf".

2. The site is not designed to be laid out by the browser in the normal way. Instead of saying "now write render this paragraph of text, wrapping it to fit the width of the container", it says "plot this line of text at x/y coordinate A and then plot this next line at x/y coordinate B". This means that in order to avoid text appearing to overlap out of it's space, the text must be rendered with a font that has no greater width for a particular pt size than the font that the page was designed with. Also RISC OS uses 90 dpi and other OSes use other values like 96 dpi. So such a site design makes it difficult for NetSurf to support on RISC OS, while we continue to use RISC OS fonts and the RISC OS font manager.

"You don't include any links to RISCOS Ltd on the Netsurf pages, as if to try and make out that we don't exist."

Not really. When I made the welcome page, I just anted to include a few useful links for people to try when they first run NetSurf. It was never the intention to make it a comprehensive links database! The four columns of links are roughly: News, IT, Information and RISC OS. I included RISC OS, because I wanted to give the platform some exposure beyond the RISC OS scene (NetSurf is used on other platforms).

Since I didn't want to have vast lists of links which would just put people off looking at them, and I wanted the page to look quite nice and balanced (in terms of layout), I had to be selective. There are three RISC OS links, one to a purveyor of RISC OS, one to a RISC OS news site and one to a site with information useful to people using RISC OS.

I also had some rules on what stuff I did not think should be linked to:

1. No links to sites where the service involves spending (like Amazon or Play)

2. No links to sites where the service requires a login (like Hotmail or Gmail)

As for the reason I chose to link to RISC OS Open's site rather than RISC OS Ltds it was partly reason 1, partly because RISC OS Open's site looked better, was easier to navigate and had a nice straightforward intro to RISC OS on the homepage, and finally because RISC OS Open's purpose and way of working are least different from NetSurf's.

Obviously linking to both is more confusing to people who are new to RISC OS and only serves to highlight the fact the platform is split down the middle and in a bit of a mess!

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 22/5/09 11:19AM
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Recent articles and quickies

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