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The Icon Bar: News and features: An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things
 

An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things

Posted by Phil Mellor on 15:00, 23/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
 
In this article we look at some of the programs and projects - some obvious, others less so - that influenced the history of the RISC OS platform and its users. These are our suggestions, not a top ten and certainly not in any particular order. What other applications would you add to the list?

Impression

ImpressionImpression is often thought of as one of the most impressive and professional RISC OS applications of its time (at least by the publishers and Acorn enthusiasts who used it). It was competent and flexible enough to produce anything from school newsletters to Acorn User magazine to hefty scientific journals (the Journal of Physiology). But that's not why I consider it influential: it's all about the interface.
 
The 3D icons implemented by Computer Concepts, as well as the window and keyboard behaviours, later re-emerged almost unchanged in Acorn's RISC OS 3 style guide. Take Neil Hoggarth's comments posted in 1993 on comp.sys.acorn:

"If you want a good idea of the new look and feel then simply look at member of the Impression family. The whole new style is basically copied from the Computer Concepts house style. This includes the feel as well as the look. The "select a block, move or copy block" paradigm for manipulating text which has been with us since View on the BBC B is gone, replaced by "cut or copy block to clipboard, paste from clipboard" method used in Impression. When interacting with a dialogue box the RETURN key is now defined to activate the default action button (OK, PRINT or whatever) completing the dialogue, rather than taking you to the next field as was previously the case.
Admittedly it wasn't until RISC OS Select was released, almost 10 years later, that the standard Acorn applications (Draw, Edit, and Paint) implemented the style guide's clipboard recommendations, but most products followed it with care.
 
Computer Concepts took the user interface design seriously. In an interview in Acorn User in 1994, they explained the pains they went through to produce a clean menu system for Impression. Their contempt for ctrl-alt-leg-in-the-air-click operations, and large dialogue windows that opened within the menu structure only to disappear when the pointer was moved, was adopted by developers and users alike.
 
Links:
Impression family from Computer Concepts
Impression-X, under development by X-Ample

ArtWorks

ArtWorks applesHow could Computer Concepts follow the success of Impression? With a brilliant vector graphics application, that's how. ArtWorks was groundbreaking in terms of its speed and visual quality, and an essential tool for anyone using Acorn for DTP - even now. Impression was one of several proper DTP packages, PhotoDesk similarly just the best of many bitmap graphics packages, but ArtWorks is still the only fully-featured vector graphics package (rather than a hack based on Draw) for RISC OS users. If you want to do serious vector graphics, it's the one you have to have.
 
One example image, the ArtWorks Apple, was created by Computer Concepts' CEO (so easy, even the boss can use it!). Infamous for its lengthy rendering process, due to the number of blends involved, its presence on every RISC OS computer shipped since the Risc PC has made it a popular, almost standard, test of performance.
 
As to its influence, look how many magazine covers were designed in it (which are there to influence people - at least to buy the magazine). Following its release, all literature produced by Acorn users made gratuitous use of its graduated fills, text distortion tools and hundreds of bundled fonts. You could even tell which games used it to design things like title screens due to the way it did dithering.
 
It's also hugely important because ArtWorks is one of the few RISC OS applications with a user base and market still capable of supporting its development commercially. RISC OS isn't dead until ArtWorks stops moving - and with a new version set for release Q2 2007 providing advanced support for modern technologies like PDF, things look good.
 
Links:
ArtWorks 2, developed by MW Software
ArtWorks at Computer Concepts

ArcFS

ArcFSBefore ArcFS, compressed files were a problem. David Pilling wrote Spark, a commercial program, which archived files in a custom file format (not Zip). If you wanted to pass your archives to a friend who didn't own Spark they could use SparkPlug, which decompressed only. This was useful, but to a limited extent: applications had to be extracted before they could be used. Enter ArcFS.
 
ArcFS allowed Spark archives to be treated as a real filing system. Running an application from within an archive was no different to running an uncompressed version directly from the disk (albeit a read-only disk, as ArcFS could not write to an archive). The first version was rather slow and memory hungry, but the second version - ArcFS 2 was much faster.
 
The timing was impeccable; all this occurred just as cover disks were becoming popular additions to the Acorn magazines. Disk space was in high demand, with increasingly large application and game demos, public domain software, and programs accompanying printed articles all in contention for the 800k available. ArcFS saved the day.
 
David Pilling saw that this was a Good Thing and subsequently released SparkFS, which worked in a similar way and supported more compression formats such as Zip. Even today, it's hard to find a utility that integrates so seamlessly into any operating system. Windows users might have been impressed by the compressed file handling in Windows XP Explorer - but try accessing the zipped files in the same way from the command line. ArcFS and RISC OS did it better ten years earlier.
 
Links:
Robin Watts' brief history of Spark and ArcFS on comp.sys.acorn
ArcFS from The ARM Club
SparkFS from David Pilling

Sibelius

SibeliusWikipedia describes a killer application as "a computer program that is so useful that people will buy a particular computer hardware and/or an operating system simply to run that program." It's not difficult to argue that Sibelius was the killer app for Acorn computers.
 
The original Sibelius was written in ARM assembly language, making it incredibly fast when redrawing the screen and reformatting the score. The interface was intuitive, simple, and uncluttered; free from distracting menus and dialogue boxes. The manuscript and the notes upon it could be dragged around in real time, and the on-screen and printed manuscripts were of exceptional quality and detail. Musicians found the experience so compelling that they bought the entire computer system just to use it. Sibelius and Acorn gained massive exposure in the music community. It is suggested that Sibelius was responsible for selling almost 7% of all Acorn machines worldwide.
 
Unfortunately (there's always an unfortunately in these otherwise happy tales) Sibelius needed to stay ahead of the competition, and programming in pure ARM code wasn't a suitable choice for the long term. Far from an attempt to abandon the Acorn market, the developers opted to write the new version in C++ for reasons of maintainability and complexity, but Acorn's neglect of modern C++ compilers meant that the other benefit of high level programming languages - cross-platform compatibility - meant Windows and Mac OS were the only viable target platforms.
 
Links:
The Data Store, supporting the Acorn version of Sibelius
Acorn FAQ from Sibelius Software

NetSurf

NetSurfDisclaimer: I contributed to the NetSurf projects in the early days of its development. However, I can safely avoid taking credit for NetSurf being an influential application as the main influences I had on NetSurf were the initial design for the icon and probably a whole bunch of bugs.
 
Like Impression, NetSurf is influential beyond its function in becoming a new style guide. Various elements of the interface can be seen in other applications, such as the status bar in Avalanche, and the auto-completion text boxes and hotlists in the forthcoming version of DigitalCD.
 
NetSurf is a rare example in the RISC OS world of concepts such as open source, teamwork, communication, enthusiasm and goodwill not just succeeding but even existing at all. This winning formula has led to positive reaction from the community and a quality product that is rapidly approaching its 1.0 release. An attitude and model that other RISC OS projects would be wise to follow.
 
Links:
NetSurf home page

GCC/GCCSDK/UnixLib

I'm grouping these three developments together, even though GCCSDK runs on Unix-based operating systems and UnixLib is a programming library and not an application. These apps are great enablers: by bringing modern development tools, programs and techniques to RISC OS, they allowed utilities and applications that RISC OS lacked to be ported from other platforms (the Unix Porting Project), and eased the development of native applications like NetSurf. For example, NetSurf uses several open source libraries such as libxml and libcurl that were not written explicitly for RISC OS; porting them to the platform was simpler thanks to GCC and UnixLib.
 
A decade ago GCC was difficult to use on RISC OS. It required lots (lots!) of memory and was hard to use on a 4MB machine without virtual memory. Although it lacked the desktop interface, speed and frugality of the Norcroft compiler sold by Acorn, it had one obvious advantage: price (free, vs. 200). GCC has matured over the years and benefits greatly from the luxurious amounts of memory fitted in modern RISC OS computers. Without it, hobbyist developers unable or unwilling to purchase the commercial tools would be stuck with BBC Basic, and the range of software available for RISC OS would be much poorer.
 
Links:
GCC for RISC OS
GCCSDK
Using UnixLib by Graham Shaw
Castle C/C++ tools suite

Zap

ZapOr, to give it it's alternative title, "Dominic Symes' excellent Zap", as it was commonly referred to. Dominic was the initial developer of this powerful text editor and sole maintainer until 1996 before handing it over to several other developers.
 
Zap. Responsible for preserving the sanity of countless RISC OS application developers and causing some of the bloodiest flamewars in computing. (Its battlefield rival was - and still is - StrongED. Edit stayed at home with a cup of cocoa, for good reason: it was rubbish.)
 
Consider, for example, the team of NetSurf developers:
 
James Bursa - Zap user
John-Mark Bell - Zap user
Richard Wilison - Zap user
Rob Kendrick - Zap user (when using RISC OS)
Daniel Silverstone - Zap user token StrongED/Emacs user
 
As a StrongED user, I think that proves nothing, obviously. For StrongED gave us more than mere text editing: it gave us StrongHelp.
 
Links:
Zap
StrongED

StrongHelp

StrongHelpBefore the web browser, documentation meant hefty amounts of pulped ex-tree or, perhaps more often, nothing at all. Even when the first RISC OS web browsers were released they were large, slow and resource hungry, and considering the typical screen resolutions of the time, not particularly useful. It wasn't useful to keep a browser running alongside other development tools, nor was it practical for a user to run one just to read an application's readme file. StrongHelp filled the niche in providing a multi-windowed, multi-document hypertext reader with fast rendering, free text search.
 
StrongHelp manuals soon became a common and essential source of documentation for both users and developers. The RISC OS programming reference manuals were expensive (99) and, although they were comprehensive, the information was spread over five volumes. A volunteer effort (years before Wikis were invented) led to an abridged version in StrongHelp format being made freely available, providing instant API reference material with a single keystroke.
 
Today, we reach full circle, with the majority of the StrongHelp manuals now available on the Drobe website.
 
Links:
StrongHelp
StrongHelp manuals on Drobe

RISC OS application suite

RISC OS ROM applicationsThe first release of RISC OS 3 came with several built in applications - Edit, Paint, Draw, Calc, Configure, Alarm, Help and Chars. Why are these influential?
 
I've praised the ubiquity of Draw in an earlier article, yet condemned Edit for being rubbish in this one. Paint is fine for smaller bitmaps - it's the go-to program for designing icons. This kind of design is a completely different discipline to large 24 bit images: every pixel counts, use of colour is a challenge when you're trying to antialias from red to blue with only the default 16 colour palette, and so on. However, Paint doesn't really offer any help in the way of more advanced tools - what it does have is the ability to work in any colour depth, at almost any zoom level, and you can open multiple views of the same image with different zoom levels on the same image at the same time. You wouldn't want to use it for larger works unless you absolutely had to; you probably wish it was better at smaller images too; which means it's less a great tool for the job, more... just available.
 
That availability is what made the RISC OS applications so special. Edit might be a poor text editor, but when your hard disc is corrupt and you need to edit a file in the boot sequence, it's a life saver. Pulled out that old Archimedes from the loft and need to configure it? Configure is at hand, and interactive Help will remind you how to use the system.
 
The RISC OS applications weren't the most powerful or functional around - but their presence in ROM made the desktop much more fluid, especially on budget machines without hard drives. If you didn't have a hard drive (quite common in the early '90s) you could open and work with standard document formats without swapping discs. Written an application and needed to supply documentation or log files? Store it in text or draw format, and users could always read it without hassle.
 
The apps took an experimental vacation to the Risc PC's hard drive in RISC OS 3.5, but when 3.6 was released they were back in ROM, where they lived happily ever after.

Voyager

Disclaimers: ArgoNet webmaster and developer, Richard Goodwin, stuck his nose in a fledgling Acorn Arcade and became The Icon Bar's benevolent dictator. One of the side-effects of ArgoNet/Voyager is Orpheus Internet which hosts this server.

VoyagerBack in the mid-1990s, Andrew Foyle, boss man at VTi/Eclipse, found getting his Internet account from a certain demonic ISP working on a RISC OS machine nigh-on impossible. Tech support hadn't heard of RISC OS. The software available was scattered and hard to configure. Most people would have given up - Andrew went on to found an empire.
 
The ISP was ArgoNet, the software application Voyager. Voyager was a collection of all the best software available at the time - ArcWeb for web browsing, Posty for email, Freeterm for telnet - plus Jason Tribbeck's front end for holding it all together. He went on to add an FTP client, NewsAgent for Usenet news, and a replacement Telnet client, making him easily the single most influential programmer on the project. However, due in part to a before-its-time extension system a number of third-party add-ons could be added into the suite, including a number by a certain Mr. Goodwin.
 
Thus the legacy of Voyager is, arguably, twofold: it got people programming to a productive end that might otherwise not have bothered, by writing simple API-following hacks to expand upon (or sometimes, fix) this popular program. But the biggest legacy is that, helped by free offers in Acorn User, it got a heck of a lot of RISC OS users using the Internet for the first time. It's why some of us are here today.
 
Links:
Argonet
The Vigay's Voyager support pages

 


Contributions by Richard Goodwin and Michael Drake.
 
  An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Peter Young Message #100630, posted by pnyoung at 15:59, 23/3/2007
Member
Posts: 6
I hardly dare contribute to this, being as I am on the Ovation Pro and StrongED side of the two fences.

However, two apps I can't imagine doing without are Keystroke and TempDir. Font Directory Pro does pretty well,too.

Peter.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #100632, posted by tlsa at 16:14, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100630

Posts: 1088
However, two apps I can't imagine doing without are Keystroke and TempDir. Font Directory Pro does pretty well,too.
Would you describe them as influential?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Howkins Message #100635, posted by flibble at 16:21, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100630
flibble

Posts: 839
Star Fighter 3000 is one of the few (only?) RO games to escape the platform and be ported elsewhere, even if to not particularly great reviews.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #100637, posted by Phlamethrower at 16:24, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100635
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15032
Pushy (II) made it to the Playstation as well, IIRC.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Young Message #100641, posted by pnyoung at 16:26, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100632
Member
Posts: 6


Influencing at least me to stick with the OS. Perhaps others too?

Peter.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Message #100653, posted by Chris at 17:19, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100630
Member
Posts: 279
This is an excellent article! You're spot-on about CC applications: their interface was the key thing. They were powerful and feature-rich, but designed extremely elegantly, so that the many functions were accessible through a few simple methods. I use EasiWriter these days because its feature-set is now better in some ways (PDF export and Word export, etc.), but even though it's an excellent application, it's not quite as elegant as Impression or ArtWorks.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100656, posted by nunfetishist at 17:29, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100630
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 448
Rob Kendrick - Zap user
Daniel Silverstone - Zap user
*COUGH*. While it's true I was a Zap user when I used RISC OS daily (and I still use Zap for task windows and the odd edit when I use it occationally now) I'm a Vim user now. And Dan was never a Zap user - he was a StrongEd user. Don't worry - he's better now, although only a little, as he uses EMACS.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
ninjah Message #100662, posted by ninj at 18:49, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100656
Member
Posts: 288
How's the Vim port these days? I don't really care if it's not up to date - I'm still on 6.2 on other systems, and I didn't notice the difference from the version I was using before that. I remember the first RISC OS version I tried, back when it was still maintained by TAL, and it was scary, and crashed periodically.

I did try one of Andy Wingate's versions which was much more stable and pretty (thanks to using ZapRedraw). But it was still quite scary - I use Vim on other systems because it's small. The same app on RISC OS feels positively massive. Zap on the other hand is small and swift, but makes me pine for Vim every time I have to reach for the mouse.

Vim's absolutely essential for opening larger-than-memory files, though.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #100663, posted by tlsa at 18:49, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100656

Posts: 1088
And Dan was never a Zap user - he was a StrongEd user.
Sorry, my mistake.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #100664, posted by monkeyson2 at 18:54, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100663
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
And Dan was never a Zap user - he was a StrongEd user.
Sorry, my mistake.
Now corrected in the article. smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #100670, posted by VincceH at 20:00, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100630
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1558
(on Voyager)

it got people programming to a productive end that might otherwise not have bothered, by writing simple API-following hacks to expand upon (or sometimes, fix) this popular program.
It was arguably the second1 biggest factor in my doing almost no proper development work once I got online with it: I spent far too much time messing around inside Voyager, writing little fixes for this, patches for that, and wossnames for the other (not all of which ever got released2).

1. The biggest factor was spending far too much time on IRC. wink

2. After the extension thingummy became 'Vixen' I wrote a load more stuff, and rewrote a load of older stuff, and gave everything names that were based on the word Vix[en] - none of that ever got released3.

3. Thinking back, though, one of the unreleased items, while not its forerunner, per se, did contain initial code that eventually found its way into WebChange. (It was designed to make it easier for users to install and uninstall those patches that required modifications to Obey files - essentially it was a search and replace jobbie.) I'd quite forgotten about that.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #100671, posted by monkeyson2 at 20:27, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100635
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Star Fighter 3000 is one of the few (only?) RO games to escape the platform and be ported elsewhere, even if to not particularly great reviews.
Ankh did too.

http://www.ankh-game.com/

Did Iron Dignity ever get released?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #100674, posted by Phlamethrower at 21:41, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100671
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15032
Did Iron Dignity ever get released?
Yes, but not under the name Iron Dignity.

http://www.iconbar.com/forums/viewthread.php?threadid=8360
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #100677, posted by tribbles at 22:23, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100674
tribbles
Captain Helix

Posts: 919
I'm flattered to see Voyager in that list - although I'm not sure that I would've put it in the list. But then, I've always had a low opinion of anything I've done (probably because I've seen them from the start).

I don't know what I'd add to the list - I think that there should also be an influential hardware bit as well (although the main RISC OS machines would obviously be part of the list!)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #100680, posted by rich at 23:27, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100677
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6748
I'm flattered to see Voyager in that list - although I'm not sure that I would've put it in the list. But then, I've always had a low opinion of anything I've done (probably because I've seen them from the start).
I didn't pick it either (my initial vote was for ArtWorks smile), but once someone had mentioned it, I could see how there was a good case. You could make an argument that the Ant Suite was in some ways technically superior (or at least, had more complex options and a less buggy email client), and once some people had used Voyager for a while they "traded up". But the Ant Suite didn't really change the way people used their computer - i.e. get a large number of people on the Internet for the first time.

Plus, after a while they had exactly the same browser wink
________
RichGCheers,
Rich.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Message #100684, posted by andrew at 01:43, 24/3/2007, in reply to message #100680
HandbagHandbag Boi
Posts: 3439
Consider the name "Computer Concepts" and think about what is in common in everything good that Acorn and RISC OS brought to the world: innovative thinking and approaches. Is Xara still a current package?

Also, is Sibelius portable today?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Datawave Nederland Message #100686, posted by datawave at 05:43, 24/3/2007, in reply to message #100641
Member
Posts: 9
Indeed, Peter.
I also will stick to RISC OS forever.
And what i really do not understand from RISC OS Ltd,
that is why they do not have written a HDform program,
which can handle to initialise Harddrives up to 2 terrabyte.
I wonder, how long we RISC OS users have to stick upto 128Gb.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Hallas Message #100688, posted by Richard Hallas at 09:54, 24/3/2007, in reply to message #100686
Member
Posts: 12
Optima!

Don't forget the use of RISC OS machines in TV production by the BBC and others. Optima should certainly be in the list.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Kees Meijer Message #100691, posted by EasyKees at 11:31, 24/3/2007, in reply to message #100688
Member
Posts: 7
Best piece of hardware I ever had in my RPC:
VTX 2000 (Kurzweill MIDI card): incredible sound.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #100697, posted by arawnsley at 12:12, 24/3/2007, in reply to message #100691
R-Comp chap
Posts: 431
Yep, my VTX2000 is still going strong smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
George Greenfield Message #100744, posted by Bucksboy at 12:29, 25/3/2007, in reply to message #100697
Member
Posts: 45
If we're including hardware, I nominate ViewFinder.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100746, posted by nunfetishist at 14:55, 25/3/2007, in reply to message #100744
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 448
If we're including hardware, I nominate ViewFinder.
While a nice upgrade, it was hardly influential. It essentially let you use old PC video cards in a RiscPC. Not very ground-breaking in the scheme of all things computery. What did it go on to influence?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
George Greenfield Message #100752, posted by Bucksboy at 18:19, 25/3/2007, in reply to message #100746
Member
Posts: 45
In terms of available screen resolutions and colour depths, it gave a much-needed boost to the RPC before the Iyonix appeared. I for one would have struggled to carrry on with
2Mb displays.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100753, posted by nunfetishist at 19:15, 25/3/2007, in reply to message #100752
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 448
So what? It wasn't influential, just a nice upgrade.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Firth Message #100764, posted by Firthy2002 at 02:00, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100753
Member
Posts: 3
Impression Style was my first encounter with DTP and I enjoyed using it immensely. Coupled with it's nifty file handling plugins meant I could archive my documents that I created in MS Word 6 (saved as RTF) with ease.

Shame it wasn't ported elsewhere, it may still be around today if it was.
________
I haven't a clue
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
richard cheng Message #100777, posted by richcheng at 13:17, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100764

Posts: 647
Excellent article. smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon Challands Message #100787, posted by SimonC at 15:10, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100635
Elite
Right on, Commander!

Posts: 398
Star Fighter 3000 is one of the few (only?) RO games to escape the platform and be ported elsewhere, even if to not particularly great reviews.
It happened right from the start, with Zarch being ported to, IIRC, the Amiga and ST, albeit under the name Virus.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #100800, posted by tribbles at 19:32, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100764
tribbles
Captain Helix

Posts: 919
Impression Style was my first encounter with DTP and I enjoyed using it immensely. Coupled with it's nifty file handling plugins meant I could archive my documents that I created in MS Word 6 (saved as RTF) with ease.

Shame it wasn't ported elsewhere, it may still be around today if it was.
Xara have just implemented some of the same arbitrary frame text-flowing into Xara Xtreme Pro. It certainly looks very familiar to me!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #100804, posted by monkeyson2 at 20:56, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100800
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Impression Style was my first encounter with DTP and I enjoyed using it immensely. Coupled with it's nifty file handling plugins meant I could archive my documents that I created in MS Word 6 (saved as RTF) with ease.

Shame it wasn't ported elsewhere, it may still be around today if it was.
Xara have just implemented some of the same arbitrary frame text-flowing into Xara Xtreme Pro. It certainly looks very familiar to me!
I believe you have Martin Würthner to thank for that. shock
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #100816, posted by rich at 22:46, 26/3/2007, in reply to message #100804
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6748
Impression Style was my first encounter with DTP and I enjoyed using it immensely. Coupled with it's nifty file handling plugins meant I could archive my documents that I created in MS Word 6 (saved as RTF) with ease.

Shame it wasn't ported elsewhere, it may still be around today if it was.
Xara have just implemented some of the same arbitrary frame text-flowing into Xara Xtreme Pro. It certainly looks very familiar to me!
I believe you have Martin Würthner to thank for that. shock
I just looked at Xara Pro today, and then read about ArtWorks having multi-page support and master page type stuff coming in the next version. I'm guessing there's no coincidence there.

It's about 60 quid to upgrade Xara but nearly twice that to upgrade ArtWorks (for me). Xara has a lot more going for it... but I do tend to use ArtWorks a lot more...
________
RichGCheers,
Rich.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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