Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Dec 2008 22:52 UTC, submitted by teigetje
RISC OS And it seems as if another minor, barely-alive operating system will become encumbered by legal bickering between two small companies. The RISC OS scene, which is already a tangled and complicated mess of companies, version number teasing and incompatible versions, might be torn apart even further because RISCOS Ltd might take legal action trying to prevent RISC OS Open Ltd from releasing a RiscPC compatible ROM from the RISC OS 5 shared source project. Should you feel confused, you needn't worry: so does everyone else.
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by poundsmack on Wed 10th Dec 2008 23:03 UTC
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"can't we all jsut get along?"

honestly this is just silly. let RiscOS get a little more exposure, god knows it needs it to stay alive.

Reply Score: 3

by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Dec 2008 23:04 UTC
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Seeing such an already small community fall prey to legal bickering and infighting just makes me cringe

In my younger days, I was involved with a number of small volunteer organizations. I learned early that the serious bickering and infighting always started shortly after it was decided, for practical reasons, to open a bank account, and a checkbook appeared on the scene. These organizations were not large enough to have competing organizations to battle, however. So I guess this is a little different. All of our infighting was unambiguously internal.

Reply Score: 4

by memson on Wed 10th Dec 2008 23:27 UTC
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Has anyone else seen the episode of South Park where Stan's dad does the worlds biggest crap and Bono from U2 tries to beat him by doing a bigger one? Sort of reminds me of the entire RISC OS scene. I own an A7000, I used RISC OS 2 a *lot* back in the day. I used to write demos and stuff in basic 5. But, RISC OS is probably the most pointless OS in the world. Give me Amiga over Acorn Archies any day :-)

Something the article didn't seem to explain... RISC OS always ran on 32 bit ARM processors, but before PACE worked their 32bit mojo, it actually ran in 26bit mode, (though earlier versions might have actually ran on 26bit ARM processors.. I forget, and really don't care enough to find out :-))

Reply Score: 4

RE: Futility
by steve_s on Thu 11th Dec 2008 11:59 UTC in reply to "Futility"
steve_s Member since:

This 26bit and 32bit is all about memory addressing and processor status flags.

Old ARM chips (ARM2, ARM3, and their bretheren) only supported 26bit addressing which severely limited how much memory they could support. There was a transition period when ARM chips supported both 26bit and 32bit addressing. Current ARM chips only support 32bit addressing.

The two addressing modes aren't entirely code compatible, since the original "26bit" ARM chips used bits in the program counter register (R15) as processor status flags. Those status flags were moved out of R15 when 32bit addressing was introduced, although the first chips supporting 32bit addressing would support a 26bit addressing mode which would ensure the status bits were still present in R15.

Some parts of RISC OS (and other code) relied on the presence of the status bits in R15, and thus that code was not 32bit-safe.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Futility
by memson on Thu 11th Dec 2008 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Futility"
memson Member since:

Memory addressing!! That's it!! I knew it was something silly like that.

Mind you, the Acrchies were always billed (to us students who used them by our teachers/professors) as being "32bit", as I guess the actual processor ran in a 32bit mode.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Futility
by Earl Colby pottinger on Thu 11th Dec 2008 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Futility"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:

Remember 26 bits = 64 million addresses. At that time Amiga was limited to 16 million, Atari for some odd hardware reason to even less. Mac were still at 16 million if I remember right.

And Intel machines were using all sorts of incompatible addressing scheme to break 1 million bytes.

Acorn and ARM users must have thought they had it made in the shade.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Futility
by Stoppers on Fri 12th Dec 2008 09:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Futility"
Stoppers Member since:

The 26-bit addressing limitation was only on code; data could be anywhere in a 32-bit address space (4GB), hardware permitting.

So, you'd have to "limit" your code (per process) to the lowest 64MB in memory. That's still quite a lot of code.

Reply Score: 1

Maybe this is why they...
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 11th Dec 2008 10:03 UTC
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Maybe this is why they released that "virtually free" ROM image. To get some quick cash to be able to declare legal war on Castle.

This whole thing sounds retarded. I don't know either company (or the OS) that well, but I'm hoping for Castle to win this one (assuming RISC Ltd. continues on). If Castle *bought* the RISC OS code from Pace (who apparently RISC Ltd. did also), how the hell can RISC Ltd. complain about they do with it? They both own it, and both should be free to do whatever the hell they feel like. I don't think either one has something similar to the Intel/Microsoft duopoly, so what the hell are the bitching about?

RISC Ltd. is sounding like a bunch of arrogant assholes right now, kind of like another company I know all too well.

Reply Score: 2

Tabloid Journalism
by Col Cartmell-Browne on Thu 11th Dec 2008 11:24 UTC
Col Cartmell-Browne
Member since:

Don't believe everything you read!

Both parties have commented on Drobe's forum that there is no dispute.

From ROOL:
RISC OS Open and RISCOS Ltd are not waving their fists at each other. We've enjoyed open and clear communications from the outset and are continuing to talk. Finding the best way for all parties to co-operate for the good of RISC OS has always been one of our aims.

From ROL:
there is no problem, disagreement or conflict between RISCOS Ltd. and ROOL. RISCOS Ltd. are happy with what ROOL are doing and have made offers to them to ensure that their work can continue.

Whilst Drobe generally does a good job of being the most up to date source of information with regards RISC OS news it does like to lapse into sensationalist journalism every now and again- this seems to be one of those times.

Reply Score: 7

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So some have wondered what was so special about the OS.
Okay... it booted in 5 secs from ROM. :-)
I has OS filesystems. Not sure of the tech here but the essence is you can write an app and allow the imageFS in the OS to handle the image filetype in the app. EG the word processor that could read and write Word files came on a floppy and was 800k. Compare that to the major OS bloatware.

When I first used it in 1994, you could embed a graphic in a document and resize it, rotate it etc in real time. WOW.

But here is the best thing for me. The writable window/application (where the cursor is) does not have to be the active window/application (wher the mouse clicks are entered. BIG DEAL you may say.

Well lets assume ther is an application eg a word processor. it lacks some function or formatting. We you can use an external app (with that function) to write the output to your wordprocessor. EG !ZAP html, Richard Goodwins web design app etc etc etc. Indeed you could even use the Pluto !speak (speaks your email to you) module to talk other apps content to you.

Ohhh how I miss it.

Bob on Mandrive

Reply Score: 4