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The Icon Bar: News and features: What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS

What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:46, 2/6/2017 |
In a previous article, I talked about software updates we would like to see at the next show.
The critical ingredient for software development (whether you are writing something for your own use, developing free or commercial software for wider distribution, or trying to port something from another platform) is the toolset available.
In some ways, we have been lucky with RISC OS, which from the first release has included its own built-in development language (BBC BASIC). There is additional free software such as Dr Wimp or AppBasic to provide a really nice way to write desktop applications more easily.
For more advanced development have both the free C GCCSDK compiler and ROOL offers the commercial Desktop Development Environment.
But are there still some tools which would make RISC OS a better platform for development, make it easier to port software written using these tools across and possibly encourage developers who use these tools to try RISC OS? In an ideal world (with unlimited time and resources) we would obviously like Java, Mono, Ruby, etc along with Eclipse, Visual Studio and Maven,etc.... But that is not unfortunately where we live.
So here are 2 suggestions of tools I would like us to see on RISC OS which would be viable and make a positive impact.
Git is the leading Version Control system. It has replaced older systems such as CVS (which is all we have on RISC OS natively) for many uses. It also makes it easier to access GitHub, a huge central repository of free software or other systems such as Bitbucket. Some RISC OS code is uploaded to GitHub but it would be much easier to have Git on RISC OS.
Python 3 Python is a highly popular language for starting program development and heavily pushed by the RaspberryPi foundation and others. We have Python on RISC OS but it is only the much older Python 2 release. Python 3 is a significant improvement on the previous version and the one most new programmmers would want to use.
What do you think we need to see on RISC OS?
  What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS
  nunfetishist (12:22 2/6/2017)
  hubersn (14:05 2/6/2017)
    markee174 (16:37 2/6/2017)
Rob Kendrick Message #124097, posted by nunfetishist at 12:22, 2/6/2017
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 488
Erm, we have Subversion too.

Git won't happen really, it is too dependant on modern operating system features (such as mmap and other file system technologies from the 70s).

I've always found it best to have a Linux machine to do all the development on with a RISC OS machine mounting my dev area via NFS; you can use Zap/StrongEd if you like (or some of the nicer tools available elsewhere). Works nicely and GCCSDK is way faster on the most modest x86 machine than the fastest RISC OS ARM box.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Steffen Huber Message #124098, posted by hubersn at 14:05, 2/6/2017, in reply to message #124097
Posts: 77
Having Java available would solve a lot of problems, including Git, because you could just use JGit. And Netbeans, which uses JGit. There's also a pure Java implementation of CVS, SVN and Mercurial, so all bases would be covered.

Of course, porting Java is a mammoth task in itself, if you aim for a complete port with AWT, Swing and Java2D, nio2 and so on. The virtual machine is no longer the problem - there is JamVM, Zero and Oracle's ARM Hotspot JVM.

I agree that having a Linux machine as dev slave is currently the only serious option. Or doing everything by hand on RISC OS (version control via ZIP...).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Stephens Message #124099, posted by markee174 at 16:37, 2/6/2017, in reply to message #124098
Posts: 38
Pace of Java development has also slowed (unfortunately) so more of a stable target.

NetBeans is currently moving to Apache, which will make it much more open to the Community and easy to customise.

The Community testing for NetBeans 9.0 is just about to start (which is a really good way to learn how NetBeans works)

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David Boddie Message #124100, posted by davidb at 13:48, 3/6/2017
Posts: 124
Since Python 2.7.2 is built using the GCCSDK autobuilder and available from http://www.riscosports.co.uk/downloads.html perhaps something like that can be done for Python 3. One problem is that support for RISC OS was dropped for Python 3 when version 3.0 was released, so the support code would have to be ported from Python 2.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Bryan Hogan Message #124101, posted by helpful at 02:34, 4/6/2017, in reply to message #124100
Posts: 198
Not just the porting of Python, need some of the add on libraries too, such of PyGame and whatever is used under Raspbian on the Pi to control the GPIO. Then Python programs for robotics would be portable to RISC OS.
Running them under e.g. RO Pico could be useful due to its very fast startup/shutdown and low SD card usage.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew McCarthy Message #124102, posted by mac9 at 20:18, 4/6/2017, in reply to message #124101
Posts: 13
For Data scientists - the R programming language -> https://www.r-project.org/
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Simon Wilson Message #124112, posted by ksattic at 19:53, 11/7/2017, in reply to message #124102
Finally, an avatar!

Posts: 1288
I ported git to RISC OS about three years ago but hardly anything works properly, including git log. I keep meaning to get back to it and probably will at some point, but I've just been really busy!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS