log in | register | forums
Show:
Go:
Welcome
The Icon Bar is the longest running RISC OS portal. The sensibilities that Acorn instilled in us still influence our interests and writing.

Buy swag
Got news?
Let us know!
Influential?
Influential?
An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things
Subscriptions RSS Feeds
RSS 2.0 | 1.0 | 0.9
Atom 0.3
Misc RDF | CDF
Podcasts
Subscribe | iTunes | List
Latest MP3
Site Search
 
Article archives

PackMan in practice, part 2

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 16/11/2018 | , , ,
 
As mentioned at the end of part one, this article about creating PackMan packages is going to look at what's necessary to generate distribution index files, ROOL pointer files, and how these tasks can be automated. Towards the end I'll also be taking a look at some options for automating the uploading of the files to your website.
 
 
Continue reading "PackMan in practice, part 2" | 1 comment in the forums

RISC OS source code to be relicensed under the Apache open source license

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:40, 22/10/2018 | , , ,
 
Hot on the heals of the reveal that RISC OS Developments had acquired CastleInfo Technology and with it the rights to RISC OS 5, more news on the future of RISC OS has emerged this week: RISC OS Developments are working with RISC OS Open to relicense RISC OS under the Apache 2.0 License, a popular and fairly permissive open-source license.
 
Although some the OS's components were already available under permissive open-source licenses such as the BSD and CDDL licenses, ever since RISC OS Open's inception the primary license has been the Castle License, which came in commercial and non-commercial flavours, neither of which satisfied all of the requirements that the OSI deem necessary in order for the code released under that license to be considered "true" open source. So although the "shared source" Castle License was better than nothing and certainly played a big part in RISC OS's survival post-Iyonix, many people have also felt that it's been holding the platform back. ROOL and ROD hope that by relicensing the OS under this new license, developer and user interest in the OS will increase, and the OS will be kept free to grow and evolve into the next decade and beyond.
 
More information about what this means for RISC OS and what ROD's and ROOL's plans for the future of RISC OS are will be released at the London Show this weekend.
 
13 comments in the forums

PackMan in practice

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 08:00, 14/9/2018 | , , ,
 
For this first article looking at how to create PackMan/RiscPkg packages, I've decided to use my SunEd program as a guinea pig. Being a simple C application with no dependencies on other packages, it'll be one of the most straightforward things on my site to get working, and one of the easiest for other people to understand.
 
Read on to discover how to turn simple apps like SunEd into RiscPkg packages, and more importantly, how to automate the process.
 
 
Continue reading "PackMan in practice" | Comment in the forums

The state of PackMan in 2018

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:30, 20/8/2018 | , , , , ,
 
In a previous article we've looked at what software is available via !PackMan. But what if you're a developer who wants to get your software listed - where do you start?
 
 
Continue reading "The state of PackMan in 2018" | Comment in the forums

RISC OS software to download from !Store

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:47, 22/9/2017 | ,
 
In previous articles, we looked at package managers and some of the software available on !PackMan. In this article we are going to highlight some of the software available in !Store and ask for your suggestions.
 
When you run !Store, it offers you a long list of files and includes both free and commercial software (which you can buy via !Store). As with !Packman it gives you a front end to make it easy to search, provide more details and you can select categories.
 


 
If you are looking to run old software on a new machine, our old friend Aemulor is available as free download. There is also in interesting Atari ST emulator called Hatari if you want a real ‘GEM’ environment on your machine.
 


 
!Store is also the home for the latest version of !Impression. (although I would criticise the broken link which goes nowhere and looks bad. The pages like PMS Music scribe also include broken links).
 


 
Some very high quality software originally written by David Pilling is now freely available and you can find this on !Store.
 


 
!Store offers more than software, and you will also find fonts and copies of DraG’N’Drop (which we reviewed here).
 


 
What are you downloading from !Store?
 
2 comments in the forums

RISC OS on GitHub

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:49, 15/9/2017 | , ,
 
In a previous article, we mentioned Git and GitHub.
 
Git is a version control system which software developers use. Once you have used version control is is very hard to go back. In particular it:-
1. Allows you to have a full, documented history of all changes you have made and roll back to any point.
2. Label your official release versions.
3. See what you have changed easily.
4. Work with other developers (even large groups) in an orderly manner, see who has edited which bit of code, merge code changes together and handle conflicts where several people are editing the same code.
5. Have the security of lots of backups.
6. Never lose anything! (if you use it properly)
 
Version control solves a lot of complex problems. When I hire new developers, I always ask them about their experiences with Version control systems....
 
RISC OS itself is available on version control (it uses CVS) and you can explore it online at the ROOL website.
 
Part of the attraction of Git is that it also gives easy access to GitHub (a huge online repository of software source code). And (in theory) it means the source code will never be lost. There are some interesting RISC OS related projects hosted on there. Here is a sample to start your exploration...
 
https://github.com/risc-os-open contains some Ruby and JavaScript projects written by ROOL for their website.
 
https://github.com/TimothyEBaldwin/RO_cvs2git converts RISC OS CVS to git.
 
https://github.com/elesar-uk/titanium-build is the source code for Elesar's Debian Linux build.
 
https://github.com/TimothyEBaldwin/RISC_OS_DevTimothy Baldwin's port of RISC OS to run on Linux.
 
https://github.com/dpt/PrivateEye The source code for Private Eye
 
https://github.com/alanbu/packman Source code for Package manager
 
https://github.com/martenjj/drawview A draw file viewer for Linux.
 
https://github.com/jaylett/zap Source code for !Zap
 
2 comments in the forums

RISC OS software to download from !PackMan

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:00, 23/6/2017 | ,
 
In a previous article we looked at !PackMan and !Store. In this article we are going to highlight some of the software available in !PackMan and ask for your suggestions.
 
When you run !PackMan, it offers you a long list of files (with some nice category and filter options). You can see these in the screenshots below (click on the images for the full sized versions).
 
When you choose a program it brings up a window with lots of information, including more details, version numbers and dependencies (which it will generally handle for you automatically of tell you of any clashes. Here you can see I am installing the Povray ray tracing program which allows you to design and render 3D scenes.
 


 
!PackMan provides a home (and central repository) for many established RISC OS programs and, as a bonus, an easy way to update if new versions are released. !Nettle offers a terminal program for RISC OS, which is still (even in 2017) a very convenient way to access remote systems. You also have OpenSHH as an alternative option. You can also see a whole host of other applications available such as Rsync, FTPc and even other web browsers to try (I would recommend a really fast machine for those).
 


 
If you want to indulge in some nostalgia, there is a selection of emulators - upgrade your RISC OS machine to a Spectrum class machine today!
 


 
There are some good tools on other platforms which you may miss on RISC OS. My personal favourites of Bash and Grep are available as ports.
 


 
!PackMan is not just about software programs. You will find free fonts on to download including these excellent BitStream fonts.
 


 
That is a small selection of some of the gems you will find on !PackMan. In a future article, we will have a rummage around !Store. In the meantime, what are your favourite applications or recommendations on !PackMan?
 
Comment in the forums

Chris Gransdon tells ROUGOL about Otter browser and other ports

Posted by Mark Stephens on 21:22, 17/4/2017 | , ,
 
A good crowd braved the Bank Holiday public transport to attend the April ROUGOL meeting with Chris Gransden talking about porting !Otter and other software to RISC OS.
 
Before the main event, there were brief 'teasers' for 2 other events.
 
The ROUGOL organizer (Bryan Hogan), is also helping to organise the Acorn User Show in Cambridge and more details will be appearing in the next few weeks.
 
Richard Brown (Orpheus) was also there to announce his new venture RISC OS Developments. This has raised significant funds to do some development and he will be announcing more details at Wakefield on saturday...
 
Chris Gransden started investigating porting !Otter and other browsers onto RISC OS when he spotted that the QT5 library (which !Otter needs) had been been ported onto RISC OS by another developer. Rather than trying to develop a new browser from scratch, Chris is getting an existing Open Source browser written for the Linux platform to run on RISC OS. The attraction of !Otter is that it uses a version of the Webkit browser engine, which has been JavaScript support than any native RISC OS browser. Chris logged into GMail on !Otter which is impossible in any other RISC OS browser. It also includes https and ssl support in the browser.
 
As !Otter and !QupZilla use QT5, this enabled him to get these browsers to run on RISC OS - he has not had to extensively rewrite and hack the code as the QT5 and UnixLib libraries allow them to run on RISC OS. This also means it is really easy to update as these applications are altered by their developers.
 
Chris had his overclocked Pi running the software and was able to explain how the !Otter/!QupZilla browsers work on RISC OS. The software is effectively providing a sprite display inside a RISC OS window. RISC OS does not have compositing support (redrawing just the bits it needs) which would speed things up. This is also using shared memory, and memory is high.
 
Because the software was written for another OS, it is designed to make use of fatures like threads which are not available on RISC OS. This is why performance can be sluggish as RISC OS does not have the capability to offload work onto multiple threads - it is all done by the single, main RISC OS task. RISC OS is also not able to make use of additional hardware acceleration which also speeds things up considerably on Linux.
 
Switching off JavaScript at the start and putting the fonts into memory can speed up the browser. Chris has turned off by default file caching (which is actually slower in RISC OS) and customisations to Otter which can slow the software still further. Still, you really need a fast, modern machine to run Otter on).
 
One of Chris's future hopes it to make use of something like Kronsos on the Pi and have a much faster cusotmised versions for machines which can support it.
 
The !Otter browser itself is still being debugged and once 1.0 becomes available, Chris will make available a proper RISC OS release. At the moment, it can be a bit complex to setup.
 
Asked the difference between !QupZilla and !Otter, Chris explained that !QupZilla was currently more stable (less bugs and shared libraries) but Otter would be a better long-term bet.
 
The !Otter port has come a long way since Chris first started it 2 years ago. It is much faster and more stable although still crashes. It probably is not yet an alternative to browsers on Windows/Linux/Mac but there is not lots of scope to improve further and it opens up a lot of sites to access from RISC OS. We look forward to seeing how it develops, especially once Otter 1.0 officially comes out. Chris has done an amazing job so far!
 
Otter browser main page and builds for non-RISC OS platforms.
 
ROUGOL website
 
 
Comment in the forums

A tale of 2 package managers

Read article... | Comment in the forums

Running RISC OS under emulation with RPCEmu

Read article... | 9 comments in the forums

RISC OS 5.20 released, free Portsmouth show in planning

Read article... | 17 comments in the forums

Mail client Pluto updated, open-sourced

Read article... | Comment in the forums

Emulation roundup

Read article... | Comment in the forums

Newsround

Read article... | 18 comments in the forums
Recent discussions
- The Book of Arcade Games reviews (News:2)
- Iron Lord Soundtrack (Games:9)
- What is apache? (News:)
- The environmental cost of software (Prog:5)
- Support movember (Gen:3)
- November news (News:)
- Drag'n'Drop Summer 2018 edition reviewed (News:)
- GPS becomes Data Logger (News:2)
- Code GCC produces that makes you cry #12684 (Prog:29)
- PackMan in practice, part 2 (News:1)
Services
- Free ads
- Web hosting
Sites we like
- pagetable.com
- Daring Fireball
- Drobe
- Kotaku
- Ganymede & Titan