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Article archives

What is apache?

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:35, 7/12/2018 | ,
 
With RISC OS switching to the Apache licence, here is your brief intro to the world of Apache....

Apache the software program
Apache is a key building block of the Internet. It runs on many of the servers which make up the Internet and allows them to provide the websites you use every day. Its many features include the ability to host multiple websites on a sever, control access and provide security, execute scripts and commands when you access pages, log website activity, and a whole host of other features. You use Apache every day without realising it.

Apache the licence
All software has a licence which defines what rights you have and what use you can make of a piece of software. For example, most commercial software bans you from trying to dissect it and give it away to your friends.

The Apache licence is one of several Open Source licences. These generally come with free software (as in you do not have to pay for it) which includes the source code. The big difference in Open Source licences is that some are viral (with the GPL you have to release any software which uses it under the same licence so it 'infects' the software) and non-viral (you can use it with other software including commercial software so long as you respect the rules on the original software).

It is possible to release software under more than one licence. A nice example is the PDF library Itext, which you can use for free under the AGPL licence (requiring you to release your code for free as well with the source code), or buy a commercial version (identical except it comes with a commercial licence removing this requirement so you can use in commercial software).

If your aim is to encourage maximum update and usage, you would choose a non-viral licence such as the Apache licence which is what RISC OS now uses.

If you own the software, you can choose to change the licence (as RISC OS Developments has done having acquired RISC OS), but you cannot modify the licence on software belonging to someone else).

Apache the foundation

There is also an organisation called the Apache Software foundation which provides a home for a large number of software programs developed under the Apache licence. Most of these are technical and you might have heard of them if you are a software developer (ie Ant, Groovy, Hadoop, Maven, Perl) or runs on servers providing Internet services (ie SpamAssassin, Tomcat).

Apache is an organisation of individuals (no Company/Corporate membership option) and anyone can join. It also organises conferences and promotes software development.

Anyone can use the Apache licence in the software. This is perfectly acceptable and many other software projects have been doing the same for many years.

If you want your software to be an 'official' Apache project, you also need to follow the apache rules on how software is developed. This lays down a clear methodology and governance.

Many of the software projects which are Apache projects started life outside Apache and have joined by adopting the Apache rules. For the last 2 years, the Java IDE NetBeans has been transitioning to an Apache project (I have had a minor involvement in that giving me a very interesting viewpoint of the Apache foundation).

More details on Open Source licences at GNU website
Apache website
 
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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

RISC OS London Show 2018

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 08:00, 5/10/2018 | , ,
 
This year's London Show is due to take place on Saturday the 27th of October, at the usual location of the St. Giles Hotel in Feltham. The show runs from 11 AM to 5 PM, with tickets being 5 at the door (and under-16's free). Exhibitors this year are set to include:If that's not enough, there's also likely to be a full set of theatre presentations, from presenters including CJE, R-CompInfo, RISC OS Developments, and RISC OS Open.

Be sure to visit the show's website for up-to-the-minute news in the run-up to the show.
 
1 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

Orpheus launch crowdfunding campaign

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 19:40, 6/8/2018 | , ,
 
RISC OS friendly ISP and hosting provider Orpheus Internet have recently launched a crowd funding campaign, with the goal of helping to raise the funds needed to set up a second data centre in a new location. This new data centre will act as a mirror of their primary data centre, providing some much-needed redundancy for when things go wrong - like the incident early last month that left all of their servers unreachable for several hours, and left some systems down for a couple of days.
 
Setting up a second data centre is something that Orpheus have been planning for a while now, but have been struggling to find the funding for - the business doesn't have enough capital to spare, and despite recognising the plans as being sound, banks and other lenders have been unwilling to offer up any cash of their own. Last month's incident - Orpheus's only major outage in the past ten years - was enough to convince Richard that the plans for the second data centre should be kicked up a notch, hence the launch of the crowdfunding campaign.
 
So far the campaign has received donation pledges and long-term loan pledges totalling 3,950 out of the 15,000 goal. This is good progress, but that progress will only continue if new pledges continue to be received. If this is something you're interested in supporting, please contact Richard on 01702 462385 or via the email address crowdfunding@orpheusnet.co.uk.
 
5 comments in the forums

June News Round-up

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:28, 29/6/2018 |
 
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

DiscKnight has now been updated to 1.54 release.

RISC OS Awards 2017 results were announced

The RISC OS Blog has a post on Zero Page protection, explaining all about it.

CashBook 1.41 released by Steve Fryatt to fix potential corruption issue with cheque numbers.

Amcog Games releases Island of the Undead on !Store.

Titanium purchasers now receive a free copy of the newly updated RISC OS 5 User Guide
 
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May news round-up

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:51, 31/5/2018 |
 
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

A new version of RPCEmu was released.

RISC OS Blog ran some interesting articles on running RISC OS on Wandboard and Aemulor.

Big Ben Club organised the RISC OS eXperience in Amsterdam.

Chris Hall released version 2.0 of SatNav

RISC OS Blog also reviewed RISC OS 5.24 release
 
Adrian Lees asked what users would like to see in future Geminus releases.

RISCOSitory closed the RISC OS Awards poll.

A lots of emails as GDPR came into force,
 
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RISC OS 5.24 arrives

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:28, 4/5/2018 |
 
Wakefield saw the official release of RISC OS 5.24 - we saw 5.22 in 2015 so there have been just a few changes since then (total of 708 changes and 21 main ones). Several key bounties have delivered major new features.

The headline features see previously neglected areas of RISC OS dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with JPEG support, monitor EDID support, handling of larger hard drives, and the network stack being upgraded. The bounty system is delivering some really worthwhile enhancements into the software. USB and network stack improvements are a massive undertaking, and ROOL broke each into several stages to make them more manageable.

There are also some genuine improvements to user features such as clipboard improvements and new features in Paint. Lots of applications have received little tweaks such as unicode and fancy fonts in Chars, improved dialogs in Printers, tweaks to HForm, DosFS, Maestro, more secure LanmanFS which can connect to Windows 8 and 10, etc.

Users will no longer get the baffling Oflaoflaofla message which should be replaced with more clear messages.

Finally there is the return of several features which had previously gone AWOL (NFS client, Access+, Econet support on Omniclient, the Porterhouse font).

After 34 months, ZPP is now 'live'. In their Wakefield talk, ROOL said that they were trying to be more proactive in steering RISC OS with an eye to the future (in contrast to Acorn who knew about the demise of 26bit and did very little to anticipate and ensure a smooth transition plan).

ROOL are hoping to see RISC OS back in the NOOBS software for the RaspberryPi. This makes it very easy for Pi users to install Operating Systems to try.

The RISC OS 5.24 release also sees ROOL improving the release process. There is now a more formal set of criteria to verify each platform supported and a traffic light system with statuses of red, amber and green.

Backwards compatibility is very good, so I am struggling to see reasons why you would not want to migrate onto RISC OS 5.24 if you are able.

You can download RISC OS 5.24 for free directly from ROOL website and for purchase it on their SD cards, which run on virtually all RaspberryPi models. The ePic card has also been updated with RISC OS 5.24 and latest versions of SparkFS, PhotoDesk, DDE and Impact. If you have a system from Elesar, CJEmicro's or R-CompInfo you may want to contact them directly for the customised version for your machine.

The official nightly build for the 'adventurous' is now 5.25 and there are plenty of bounties still looking for your cash to make sure RISC OS 5.26 is another significant step forward.

A big congratulations to ROOL on this significant release and thank-you for continuing to take forward our favourite OS.
 
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April News Round-up

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March News Round-up

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February News Round-up

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January News Round-up

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December News round-up

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November News

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Recent discussions
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