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Interesting points about RISC OS. I always found it an enjoyable experience. Drag and drop was never a problem for me. Being able to drag and drop between applications could be a real boon.
Despite the mass of resources that Adobe has, it can be real painful using Photoshop and Illustrator together in the way you could between !Draw and !Paint. Ages could be spent integrating Adobe files, without some careful planning, with for example, fonts and DPI settings.
Don't get me wrong, Adobe software is a world away from Acorn's applications in the design community. The quality of work one can produce is awe inspiring. But for me, and its a point raised in professional reviews of their software, their interfaces do take time to digest.
!Paint and !Draw are very raw in comparison, but - combined with drag and drop - that simplicity enabled and empowered its users, whether they were schoolchildren or adults, to create work quickly and efficiently. I had Artworks and Impression Publisher, which worked pretty nicely together. Artworks has gone from strength to strength under the stewardship of Martin Wuerthner.
RISC OS has fallen behind in terms of the usability features that now come as standard in modern OSes. And now we have touchscreens, which is an area I don't believe RISC OS has support for yet.
For a ROM based operating system, RISC OS did a lot in the confines of its 4mb (or thereabouts?) footprint, which is a mere fraction of the codebase used by modern OSes. And before the advent of SSD, patience could be sorely tested by the startup times of Windows or Mac OS. RISC OS start up time can be measured in seconds.
Perhaps its a lousy comparison, but Ruby on Rails was built upon Ruby, a language devised oevr 20 years ago. Python has been around a long time. My perception over the past couple of years is that these two languages have had a resurgence in usage. Perhaps the same can be said about RISC OS - an OS that may not threaten the big boys, but can certainly find a significant niche in this day and age, and more so on the Raspberry Pi.
RISC OS on the Pi would be great. My five year old son wants to use computers, but on a Windows machine, it's so easy for things to get screwed up. Such computers combined with preschool kids is surely asking for trouble. An embattled (and rattled) parent can do without the grief of a an abused computer. A Raspi can be switched off and reset without hassle. RISC OS was much harder to break in the classroom, surely the most demanding of computer environments!
I wish RISC OS all the best for the future :-)
Drag and drop is also quite extensively supported in more contemporary operating systems, you know... One can easily do many file operations with it in Windows, and at the very least dragging of files to applications works universally.
Thing is, hardly anybody does it. Perhaps it's just not such a good idea, with mouse - requires few highly coordinated separate actions which, if accidentally interrupted ("dropping" the icon while moving it, for example), give unpredictable results (who knows where it was dropped this time)
And if you really want it, there are less complex Windows gfx applications than those from Adobe.
Yeah, Ruby or Python are a lousy comparison - 2 decades ago they were in their cradle, not really practical but with concepts aiming for the future, and steadily expanding from there (not "resurgence"). RISC OS was in its prime time, with tech and approaches of the (then!) distant past, and declining.
The approaches which gave RISC OS its relative niceness (in its time), or snappiness, also meant it never did that much, and they severely limited its progress. Yeah, it was "much harder to break in the classroom" being contained in read-only ROM - which, again, limited the possibilities. And is something a limited account on modern OS does just as well... (but do you really want to, in educational setting? Perhaps it's better to allow for breakage, and in the worst case just restoring working state from image)
RISC OS has its place - as nostalgic toy or a hobby OS.