Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st Oct 2011 12:59 UTC, submitted by Martin H Hansen
RISC OS Sometimes, on a rather boring and run-of-the-mill Monday, I get news in the submission queue which just puts a gigantic smile on my face. We've talked about the Raspberry Pi before on OSNews, and other than reporting that everything's on track for a Christmas launch, it has also been announced that the Raspberry Pi will be able to run... RISC OS. A British educational ARM board running RISC OS? We have come full circle. And I couldn't be happier. Update: Theo Markettos emailed me with two corrections - Markettos isn't actually a representative of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the quoted bits are transcribed, they're not Markettos' literal words. Thanks for clearing that up!
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RE: Ya
by zima on Mon 31st Oct 2011 14:06 UTC in reply to "Ya"
Member since:

Well, such computers were already used in education. In fact, wasn't this the biggest market for ...RISC OS? The model was probably even more apparent with earlier BBC Micro, or Apple II ...but I'm not certain if they resulted in widespread insights which you envision. Maybe/possibly a bit the contrary (and people with lasting skills chose such path[1])

Anyway, "well-integrated GUI paradigm" of RISC OS might be a bit frustrating, IMHO & possibly[2] - feels way too dependant on drag'n'drop (that's frustrating even now, with optical mouse and reliability of switches mostly worked out - it must have been a nightmare on the mouses from 2 decades ago, especially considering the "public" ones were, typically, permanently clogged)

1. You know, the whole idea of specialisation which gives us our modern world - ultimately, machines are just prostheses of our bodies, also minds ...and most of the fields of knowledge which you touch daily as a layperson (not knowing much about them, just using them) have some machines in the chain crucial to their efficient functioning, I guess. Interwoven into the working of our civilisation.

I even strongly suspect one machine tells you when to wake up, most of the mornings ;)

2. Judging from ROX Desktop (BTW, not requiring any cash), which supposedly does strive to imitate the core concepts of RISC OS GUI.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ya
by fretinator on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:16 in reply to "RE: Ya"
fretinator Member since:

I even strongly suspect one machine tells you when to wake up, most of the mornings

Of course, that's because I have programmed it to do that. The issue becomes more complex as the intelligence of the machine grows. Think of "Siri" from the iOS world.

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RE[3]: Ya
by zima on Mon 31st Oct 2011 19:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Ya"
zima Member since:

Ahh, but why did you allow this authority to the machine in the first place?! ;) Of course, because you (we) suck at it, because that particular machine has much better "timekeeping intelligence" ;)
And consider: if those machines (possibly synchronised with the network of other machines - where Skynet lurks ;) ), one time, were to be mistaken or manipulated... most likely you would still listen to them most of that morning :>
(now add up all other machines on which we depend, usually hardly realising it; that is the whole point of ~AI, mass production and distribution of expertise; and - how large part of "our" economy revolves around... building and maintaining machines, anyway? ;p )

Generally (and trying to drag the topic in a serious manner ;) ), I don't feel it changes much that we give away "control" more or less wilfully - after a while, we forget about the old ways of doing things, we push them aside (and, one could argue, it frees the limited capabilities of our minds to focus on other tasks long as we don't have super-intelligent machines able to outstrip us all in everything, that is ;) )

Traffic lights are a hilarious example:

1) We certainly are being told what to do by a machine.

2) "But, but, those who programmed the machine know what they are doing" ...well, I'm not quite sure about that. :>
Every single time new traffic lights show up in my neighbourhood, the flow of cars grinds to a halt, and half of the city (the jam "spills over" to other intersections) is paralysed during rush hours (or even outside them, whole day or two!), for a few days ;) (until "they" figure out, largely by trial and error it seems, which of the presets work decently; traffic & lights planning is largely done by specialised software anyway, so the group "in control" is very small - heck, I suspect large part of their models come from simulations, automated analyses of large sets of ~"traffic recordings", evolutionary algorithms, and such - in a way, quite depending on machines in the search for solutions ...and all this so we can efficiently operate machines which, by _their_ requirements, totally hijacked layouts of our cities and the style of life ;) )

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ya
by Dave_K on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:53 in reply to "RE: Ya"
Dave_K Member since:

Anyway, "well-integrated GUI paradigm" of RISC OS might be a bit frustrating, IMHO & possibly[2] - feels way too dependant on drag'n'drop

I think this was always a matter of taste more than anything. Back in its day RISC OS was very much mouse driven, even more so than Mac OS in some ways. In my opinion the advantages (e.g. the best window management and menu system in any GUI) more than made up for issues like that, but I can see how it could frustrate.

Through added features and 3rd party utilities RISC OS became much more keyboard friendly as time went on. Most modern RISC OS applications support a global clipboard rather than relying on drag and drop to move data between applications.

It's the underlying OS that looks primitive today, not the user interface.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Ya
by zima on Mon 31st Oct 2011 18:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Ya"
zima Member since:

Taste is certainly a part of it, but I also think it's a bad design - when the action is interrupted, not only you have to start it from the beginning, it can often bring unpredictable results (when dropping something where you didn't intend to).

From what I saw when mini-training few people over the years, in the use of ~WIMP UI & mouse - it's a bad idea expecting from an average person, right at the start, to routinely do a coordinated, complex (two things, while aiming at some different GUI element), continuous action with a mouse (and again, I shudder to think what the experience would be - even to experienced users - on a typically-always-clogged public ball mouse)

It's good they, as you say, added some alternatives over the years.

Back in those times (after not-quite-RiscOS Arthur), I think Workbench 2.0+ was also nice - and much more widespread, in a way (though I don't think most of Amigas ever ventured outside of the "gaming / toy computer" area)

Reply Parent Score: 3