Linked by Gavin Wraith on Wed 5th Jul 2006 17:44 UTC
RISC OS So you thought you would find here an impartial, knowledgeable comparison of RISC OS with the more popular and better known operating systems? Think again; I have been so steeped in RISC OS, since even before its appearance two decades ago, were that possible, and I am so ignorant of other operating systems, that I cannot honestly deliver to you a balanced picture. Well, that is the modern usage of apology over with, so let us get on to the older sense. Note: This is the 2nd entry to our Alternative OS Contest which runs through 14th July!
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RE: A few problems...
by Tom5 on Thu 6th Jul 2006 09:21 UTC in reply to "A few problems..."
Tom5
Member since:
2005-09-17

"To save an object to a directory you must open the directory's window and drag the object's icon inside."

True, one of the most missed features of RO on other OSes for me.


Available on Linux too:

http://rox.sourceforge.net/desktop/about_rox

There's even a freedesktop.org spec for it:

http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Standards_2fdirect_2dsave

Now, if only more applications supported it...

Other RISC OS type features from the article available with ROX include:

- Application directories (except for !Boot, which is a security risk in today's networked / multi-user world).

- Popup menus without menu bars.

- Icon bar (not quite the same, but used in a similar way).

- Filetypes (MIME types stored in extended attributes).

One thing that really stands out in RISC OS though is the simplicity of the whole system. Everything about the way it works is simple to understand, and you really can know what every single file on your system does.

The knowledge that even if you wipe the entire drive, your system will still boot and be usage is great too, although that's more a feature of the way the OS is delivered (in ROM) than the OS itself.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: A few problems...
by flypig on Thu 6th Jul 2006 09:49 in reply to "RE: A few problems..."
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

"The knowledge that even if you wipe the entire drive, your system will still boot and be usage is great too, although that's more a feature of the way the OS is delivered (in ROM) than the OS itself."

I think it would be fair to say that this is also a feature of the OS. Writing an OS that loads from ROM is different from writing an OS that runs from ROM. The latter requires a clear separation between the code space and the memory that the code uses, along with an architecture that allows it. Perhaps I'm over emphasising this a little, but RISC OS certainly had to be designed specifically to allow it to run from ROM.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: A few problems...
by Tom5 on Thu 6th Jul 2006 10:21 in reply to "RE[2]: A few problems..."
Tom5 Member since:
2005-09-17

I think it would be fair to say that this is also a feature of the OS. Writing an OS that loads from ROM is different from writing an OS that runs from ROM. The latter requires a clear separation between the code space and the memory that the code uses, along with an architecture that allows it. Perhaps I'm over emphasising this a little, but RISC OS certainly had to be designed specifically to allow it to run from ROM.

I think all modern operating systems do that, though. Remember that most use disk caching to load programs: code pages are mapped directly to (read-only) pages in the disk cache. This saves memory, allows code to be shared between programs, and makes things faster. If you allow writing to code areas, everything gets much less efficient as the whole page of memory, including the unchanging code, has to be copied.

Still, you might want to code from ROM to a read-only RAM area anyway, depending on whether RAM access is faster and how much free RAM you have.

Reply Parent Score: 1