ROOL bounty scheme
ROOL officially announced their bounty scheme, and then followed up that announcement by beginning a process of doubling-up the first £1000 worth of bounty payments - for every pound you contribute towards a bounty (except the ROOL admin bounty), ROOL will also contribute a pound.
Although none of the bounties are yet to reach their (hidden) donation targets, it's worth noting that the biggest bounty so far has over £300 allocated to it. So although the bounties aren't likely to come close to the average hourly wage of a professional programmer, they're certainly not going to go for chump change either.
Jim Lesurf has announced that he is offering a £300
bounty prize to the first person to add USB audio support to RISC OS.
BBC Domesday site
No more hunting down rare laserdisc players - the BBC have launched a new section of their website containing the content of the 1986 Domesday system.
More news sites emerge
In what's possibly an attempt to plug the gap left by our lack of updates, several new news sites have sprung up:
- Vince "One C or two" Hudd has turned RISCOSitory into a news site, which he looks to be updating on a fairly regular basis.
- For those who despise reading and just want a list of links, Martin Hansen has just the thing for you - he's added a section to the RISCOScode website that he's using for quickly linking to newsworthy things.
- And then there's the newest contender, riscos.blog.com, which seems to be updating at a faster rate than RISCOSitory but with shorter articles as a result.
GCC 4.1.2 crawls closer to release
With the first prerelease being over a year ago, you'd be forgiven for thinking that we'd all be using GCC 4.1.2 by now. But to prove that good things come to those who wait, it was only in April of this year that work began on the release preperations. The GCC team are still no doubt after your feedback, so if you're maintaining a RISC OS program that relies on GCC, please have a go with the latest version and report your findings.
RISC OS 5 development
Apart from the bounty announcement, plenty of other things have been happening with RISC OS 5 recently:
- Tom Walker has sneakily sneaked some sources into ROOL's CVS: A S3C2440 HAL and a S3C6410 HAL, targeting the Mini2440 and Mini6410 respectively. Although the ports are very rough around the edges, what's interesting is that (a) the S3C2440 is the same SoC as used in the A9home, and (b) the S3C6410 is the first ARMv6 device to natively run RISC OS.
- Not to be out-sneaked, Willi Theiss has recently announced that he's been working on a port of RISC OS to the PandaBoard, a development board closely related to the BeagleBoard but with a cutting-edge dual-core Cortex A9 processor instead of the BeagleBoard's ageing Cortex A8. Although the port is currently only using one core, early benchmark results suggest that the out-of-order execution and improved VFP hardware are enough to deliver a significant performance boost over current hardware.
- TBA software have been keeping themselves busy by releasing a test version of an updated BBC BASIC with VFP/NEON assembler support.
- Chris Wraight has released test version of his revamped Calc/SciCalc application.
- Rik Griffin has also been hard at work on an improved Filer_Action module.
- And finally the IOMD (i.e. RiscPC) version of RISC OS 5 has also seen a few improvements recently, making it much more usable on real hardware (although there's still plenty left to be done)