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The Icon Bar: General: Current state of play
 
  Current state of play
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Michael Stubbs Message #124524, posted by arenaman at 19:53, 20/8/2019
Member
Posts: 104
Hi all,

I asked this question a while back but now with Raspberry Pi and the like there is a very cheap way to get back into RISC OS, so...

What is the state of play with software?

Let's say I want to get a Raspberry Pi 4 once RISC OS has been ported to it. Or even a Pi 3. What options do I have for:

- Vector graphics apart from Art Works 2 which is less actively developed right now than it once was
- DTP/word processing
- Bitmap manipulation
- Accounting
- Spreadsheets
- Databases

And does anyone know if Ray Favre's coding books are still being sold new? I emailed Archive but did not get a response (but then I do not know if Archive is still going either, although the Web site is two years out of date).

Oh yeah, and that wonderful software Cerilica used to sell, Insignia; did that disappear with the company?

I'm totally out of the loop. I was out of the loop before Castle disappeared, so sorry if any of this is obvious.

Edit: I'm asking in terms of software that runs on Pi, and/or that is being supported by a coder at the present time

[Edited by arenaman at 19:54, 20/8/2019]
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VinceH Message #124526, posted by VincceH at 08:29, 21/8/2019, in reply to message #124524
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1598
Hi all,

I asked this question a while back but now with Raspberry Pi and the like there is a very cheap way to get back into RISC OS, so...

What is the state of play with software?
That depends on what you want... (he says, non-commitally)

Let's say I want to get a Raspberry Pi 4 once RISC OS has been ported to it. Or even a Pi 3. What options do I have for:

- Vector graphics apart from Art Works 2 which is less actively developed right now than it once was
AFAIK, it's either Draw or ArtWorks2. It may not be as actively developed these days as it once was, but that doesn't take away from what it can do.

- DTP/word processing
Ovation Pro and non-pro, Fireworkz Pro and non-pro, Easi/Techwriter.

- Bitmap manipulation
Paint and PhotoDesk. (I'm pretty sure the latter works on modern kit).

- Accounting
CashBook for home accounts, Prophet for business accounts.

- Spreadsheets
I believe only Fireworkz pro or non-pro.

- Databases
Fireworkz Pro, Impact.

Note: There may be other options in some categories, but the answers I've given are what spring immediately to mind - in most cases that's probably because they've come up at some point in the last couple of years on RISCOSitory.com, which suggests either active development, or at least some recent work.

And does anyone know if Ray Favre's coding books are still being sold new? I emailed Archive but did not get a response (but then I do not know if Archive is still going either, although the Web site is two years out of date).
Archive is still going, though the magazine is published very infrequently - I think Jim tends to be busy with other work (like many of us). Last I was aware, he's still dealing with the books.

Oh yeah, and that wonderful software Cerilica used to sell, Insignia; did that disappear with the company?
Pass. Nemo (Simon from Cerilica) is probably the best person to answer that - he's active on the forum at riscosopen.org
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RISCOS Bits Message #124527, posted by riscosbits at 08:42, 21/8/2019, in reply to message #124526
Member
Posts: 12

Oh yeah, and that wonderful software Cerilica used to sell, Insignia; did that disappear with the company?
Pass. Nemo (Simon from Cerilica) is probably the best person to answer that - he's active on the forum at riscosopen.org
Didn't it get "freewared" as TextEffx? I think it was actually written by John Whitington, rather than Cerilica themselves.

It seems version 1.51 is available to download from https://web.archive.org/web/20071029111850/http://www.a4com.de/riscos/down/TextEffX151.zip

[Edited by riscosbits at 08:51, 21/8/2019]
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Rob Kendrick Message #124528, posted by nunfetishist at 10:29, 21/8/2019, in reply to message #124526
nunfetishist
Today's phish is trout a la creme.

Posts: 502
Oh yeah, and that wonderful software Cerilica used to sell, Insignia; did that disappear with the company?
Pass. Nemo (Simon from Cerilica) is probably the best person to answer that - he's active on the forum at riscosopen.org
Insignia was written by John Whittington, who now runs Coherent Graphics Ltd: https://www.coherentpdf.com/
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Michael Stubbs Message #124529, posted by arenaman at 09:03, 23/8/2019, in reply to message #124524
Member
Posts: 104
Many thanks for your replies. I'm just going to sit tight for them to finish porting RISC OS to the new Pi then hopefully take the plunge.

I've got tons of old floppy disks from the era when there were RISC OS viruses. From what I can gather, there are no longer RISC OS virus checkers. How does one handle that problem?
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124530, posted by arawnsley at 10:03, 23/8/2019, in reply to message #124529
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
Someone contacted us last week about this (RISC OS Developments). We're looking into it at the moment. We rescued Alan Glover's hard drive (the author) a couple of years ago for the ABC, and AFAIK the Killer sources are on there too.

I'd be able to answer more definitively, but I don't have a copy of the data here, but "enquiries have been made". smile

Alternatively, since it is pretty unlikely you'll be reading those floppies on a Pi of any description, you could image them (which you'll be doing in some form) on a machine running Vprotect/Killer. This should prevent the virused files ever getting copied.

Several RISC OS dealers/companies will copy floppies to USB stick for you quite cheaply (myself included).

Also, if you're wanting to run older RISC OS stuff like you mention, you'd probably be best advised looking for a Pi1 or Pi2 rather than waiting for a Pi4. Pi4 will be great, but it's very different to its predecessors, and the older Pis were definitely more compatible. Indeed, the Pi1 could effectively pretend to be an Iyonix.

[Edited by arawnsley at 10:07, 23/8/2019]
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VinceH Message #124531, posted by VincceH at 10:51, 23/8/2019, in reply to message #124530
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1598
To clarify something Andrew said:

it is pretty unlikely you'll be reading those floppies on a Pi of any description
What Andrew is referring to is that our native floppy disc format can't be read by USB floppy drives - so it's not possible, at all, to simply plug in a USB drive and read those old discs that way. You'd have no choice but to go via an alternative route, as Andrew suggested, to get access to their contents.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124532, posted by arenaman at 23:12, 23/8/2019, in reply to message #124531
Member
Posts: 104
Well, that only goes to show how ignorant I am. I thought I could plug a USB floppy drive in and it would be RISC OS and/or drivers that would enable reading of the RISC OS format.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124533, posted by arenaman at 23:15, 23/8/2019, in reply to message #124530
Member
Posts: 104
Thanks for the information.

My files are mostly pain, draw, and ovation. I might have a CD from my RiscPC days with Ovation Pro and EasiWriter files, too. Oh and Maestro files.

In light of that information, would you still say look at earlier Pis?
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124534, posted by arawnsley at 16:37, 26/8/2019, in reply to message #124533
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
I'd certainly rule out Pi v1 given your software choices, as all are "current" applications in the sense that they should run on all hardware.

Pi2 is ARMv7, Pi3 is ARMv8 (slightly less compatible) but noticeably faster.

I'd probably suggest Pi3, again on the basis of those programs listed. They're all Acorn-C programs, which generally don't have any issues on ARMv8. Some of the older GCC-compiled applications had issues on ARMv8 although there are usually workarounds.

That being said, both Pi2 and Pi3 will run those programs like grease lightning compared to what they were originally designed for. I *think* Pi2 had lower power requirements, so may be more flexible from that respect. IIRC Pi3 generally needs a full 3A supply to work reliably whereas old Pis could be run off USB ports and other fun tricks! wink

I honestly can't see what Pi4 would bring to the table for any of the uses mentioned, beyond delaying things and waiting for features that may never arrive (or take years).

[Edited by arawnsley at 16:39, 26/8/2019]
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Steffen Huber Message #124535, posted by hubersn at 22:08, 26/8/2019, in reply to message #124534
Member
Posts: 86

Pi2 is ARMv7, Pi3 is ARMv8 (slightly less compatible) but noticeably faster.
This is not correct. The early Pi2 was ARMv7 (BCM2836), but the later Pi2 (v1.2 and later, around since roughly Septermber 2016) is ARMv8 (BCM2837).

So if you want to take advantage of the better compatibility, you need to make sure to get a Pi2 v1.1 or earlier (although I am not sure if 1.0 ever was on sale).

Very unfortunate for us RISC OS users, that whole situation.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124536, posted by arenaman at 21:33, 27/8/2019, in reply to message #124534
Member
Posts: 104
I'd probably suggest Pi3, again on the basis of those programs listed. They're all Acorn-C programs, which generally don't have any issues on ARMv8. Some of the older GCC-compiled applications had issues on ARMv8 although there are usually workarounds.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'd rather get this faster Pi 3 to be honest.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124537, posted by arenaman at 21:38, 27/8/2019, in reply to message #124535
Member
Posts: 104

Pi2 is ARMv7, Pi3 is ARMv8 (slightly less compatible) but noticeably faster.
This is not correct. The early Pi2 was ARMv7 (BCM2836), but the later Pi2 (v1.2 and later, around since roughly Septermber 2016) is ARMv8 (BCM2837).

So if you want to take advantage of the better compatibility, you need to make sure to get a Pi2 v1.1 or earlier (although I am not sure if 1.0 ever was on sale).

Very unfortunate for us RISC OS users, that whole situation.
Thanks for the clarification.

Since I am not tied to legacy software, I think I will go for the Pi 3, as Mr Rawnsley suggested.

What is fortunate for RISC OS users is the sudden availability of dirt cheap RISC OS computers in the form of the Raspberry Pi range. Faster than the RiscPC and 1/28th of the price.

The only problem I see is the previously-discussed inability to plug in a USB floppy disk reader and read old ADFS disks.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124538, posted by arawnsley at 22:21, 27/8/2019, in reply to message #124537
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
Yep - floppy problem fairly easily solved if you *have* an older machine - just network and do a *share ADFS::0.$ on the RiscPC. It'll then be accessible via "Discs" icon on Pi iconbar.
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Bryan Hogan Message #124539, posted by helpful at 01:24, 28/8/2019, in reply to message #124532
Member
Posts: 203
I thought I could plug a USB floppy drive in and it would be RISC OS and/or drivers that would enable reading of the RISC OS format.
Just for avoidance of doubt, note that this is a limitation of USB floppy drives. They are hard wired in their firmware for FAT format, so there's nothing RISC OS can do to make them read ADFS discs :-(

Going back to your original question:

For vector graphics there is OpenVector or DrawPlus - http://www.users.on.net/~belles/software/openvector/

Databases - surprised Andrew didn't mention Datapower given he sells it!

See if there's a user group or show near you and pop along for more answers - https://www.riscository.com/calendar/
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Rob Kendrick Message #124540, posted by nunfetishist at 09:27, 28/8/2019, in reply to message #124529
nunfetishist
Today's phish is trout a la creme.

Posts: 502
I've got tons of old floppy disks from the era when there were RISC OS viruses. From what I can gather, there are no longer RISC OS virus checkers. How does one handle that problem?
I got Slayer building and running again a few months ago, although on RISC OS 3.7. Sadly there is an *awful* lot of 32 bit unclean code in there, but I am gradually either fixing code or removing redundant features - for example, there are huge amounts of hack in there to trap floppy disc mounts and pre-authenticate specific discs that can all just go.

But it's slow, unpaid, work and most evenings I'd rather be in a pub than in a text editor navigating a megabyte of BBC Basic and ARM assembler.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124541, posted by arawnsley at 11:00, 28/8/2019, in reply to message #124539
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
Oops, yes, for some reason I thought the early posts were part of an older thread, so only read the later ones. Totally missed the original questions.

And yes, I don't see how you could really miss DataPower Home or DataPower 3 from a list of RISC OS databases - DataPower family is up there with Artworks, PhotoDesk, Impression, Ovation Pro, ProCad and Sibelius in the pantheon of RISC OS apps.

There is also crossover between Fireworkz Pro and DataPower such that there's an upgrade path. Fireworkz Pro gives you a level of XLS (Excel) compatibility (read/write) but also gives you word processor, charts/graphs and database using the DataPower engine/file format.

You can then upgrade to DP Home or 3 to add more and more functionality whilst retaining file compatibility.

DP family is highly visual - like using a DTP package to lay out your database. Fields are like frames, you have headers/footers, foreground/background colours and borders etc.

That friendly UI sits on top of a powerful database engine which can be anything from simple, flat file to fully relatinal with SQL queries and scripting etc. Whatever you need.


Anyway, most of the mentioned software is on !Store and/or PackMan, so you can browse online and grab things. I'll try and preserve TextEffx since wayback machine seems to be gradually digesting it - it's part of our standard disc image so I have current versions etc.


Also, Impression family is still around, although progress on that front has been rather muted of late. Hopefully more news at London?


You don't mention CAD/Design, but Draw, ProCAD and RiscCAD are all still in active use. Even had one customer who still swears by ApoloniusPDT which I managed to get up and running on an ARMX6 (or was it a Ti?).


For spreadsheets, there's also Schema 2. One of the Bazley family did a patch/update for that, although getting hold of the full program is tied up in APDL/3QD/VirtualAcorn etc. I think it is intended to be free, but a lot of the APDL/clares stuff hasn't been formally re-released.


Also, no RISC OS software thread is complete without a mention of RiscOSM which seems to be considered a new "killer app". I don't really do any non-google-maps mapping (/shame), but RiscOSM's detailed, vector mapping (like draw files) seems to be really well received. It has received repeated "best commercial application" awards.


Ray Favre's books are online AFAIK. I quite often refer to his BASIC Wimp one when checking how to do things the "non-RISC_OSlib" way! wink Ach, never mind, I think I may be confusing them with Martyn Fox's guides. But I'm *sure* I saw Ray's too. I suspect Jim at Archive mag may be able to help with Ray's stuff - may even be on the Archive CD.

There's also some guides in our Wimp Programmer's Suite (Alan Wrigley's Wimp Programming for All published by amongst others).

So, there's quite a lot of documentation still around if you're looking to get back into programming.

[Edited by arawnsley at 11:34, 28/8/2019]
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Steffen Huber Message #124542, posted by hubersn at 18:56, 28/8/2019, in reply to message #124541
Member
Posts: 86
For spreadsheets, there's also Schema 2. One of the Bazley family did a patch/update for that, although getting hold of the full program is tied up in APDL/3QD/VirtualAcorn etc. I think it is intended to be free, but a lot of the APDL/clares stuff hasn't been formally re-released.
I think that the whole Schema2 application updated to 32bit compatibility (but unknown ARMv7/v8 compatibility) can now be downloaded from Chris Bazley's site:

http://www.starfighter.acornarcade.com/mysite/apdl.html
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Dave Lawton Message #124543, posted by justice at 21:16, 29/8/2019, in reply to message #124542
Member
Posts: 40
Hi all.
When it comes to spreadsheets, I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Pipedream 4, maintained by Stuart Swales.
https://croftnuisk.co.uk/coltsoft/pipedream/
32-bit, and still used here (when I can see what I'm doing).
Also !ViewXLS from Anton Reiser
http://home.allgaeu.org/areiser/riscos/software/viewxls/index.html
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Michael Stubbs Message #124544, posted by arenaman at 10:48, 1/9/2019, in reply to message #124543
Member
Posts: 104
Hi all.
When it comes to spreadsheets, I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Pipedream 4, maintained by Stuart Swales.
https://croftnuisk.co.uk/coltsoft/pipedream/
32-bit, and still used here (when I can see what I'm doing).
Also !ViewXLS from Anton Reiser
http://home.allgaeu.org/areiser/riscos/software/viewxls/index.html
We used to use that at school. Good to know it is being maintained.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124545, posted by arenaman at 10:54, 1/9/2019, in reply to message #124541
Member
Posts: 104
Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

Looks like there's still plenty of software being developed.

I'll re-email the Archive editor.

Any idea what happened to Vantage? Was it just withdrawn from general availability? It was awesome software.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124546, posted by arawnsley at 21:18, 1/9/2019, in reply to message #124545
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
The author, Simon Birtwhistle (sp?), posts as "nemo" on the ROOL forums. He's quite active. Sadly he doesn't seem to release many of his programs any more. He often posts screenshots of what he's up to, and it always looks amazing (his desktop, his utilities, his modifications etc). But, for the most part, he doesn't release (with the odd exception).

I would dearly love for him to code for public-RISC OS, rather than just in private, but do not know what to do to encourage this.

As a result, we see Vantage on his iconbar on a regular basis, but AFAIK there's been no release since about 2003.

I find it all a bit confusing, to be honest. I see so much talent, so much skill. Just what RISC OS needs!

The ridiculous thing is that we're (as a community) probably better-placed to fund work like that now than ever before (well, since the early 90s). That's been the bugbear - when you don't have the money, there's plenty of talent, and when you *do* have funds, there's no programmers available!

[Edited by arawnsley at 21:22, 1/9/2019]
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Michael Stubbs Message #124547, posted by arenaman at 00:26, 2/9/2019, in reply to message #124546
Member
Posts: 104


[snip]

I would dearly love for him to code for public-RISC OS, rather than just in private, but do not know what to do to encourage this.

[snip]
I would imagine that, regardless of being freeware or commercial, the problem with software like Vantage would be a support structure for users.

A support forum and/or support email setup that allowed the author to dip in as and when, but was manned by others on a day to day basis, would probably be more encouraging than the thought of being swamped with support messages and demands for features.

I've always enjoyed creating user guides and things like that, so I'd put myself forward for that kind of thing if it meant Vantage being re-released.

I seem to remember Vantage could have done with some more work on stability, and talk of it being rock solid on RISC OS 3.7 but unstable on certain other setups. Perhaps there is a lot of work to do to eradicate that instability and the author has yet to be persuaded that it is worth it. Could this be a good candidate for a RISC OS Open-style bounty?

[Edited by arenaman at 00:28, 2/9/2019]
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Michael Stubbs Message #124548, posted by arenaman at 00:56, 2/9/2019, in reply to message #124546
Member
Posts: 104
Just found a comment from the author, last year, on RISC OS Open's forums where he states he'd like to sort Vantage out but it is way down the list of priorities. That's a start... Alternatively, if this indicates a lack of interest in Vantage, perhaps some form of open-sourcing could be suggested. Vantage is pretty damn awesome and the Cerilica adverts alone showed the quality achievable using it. It's one of those apps that makes the difference between RISC OS being a hobby OS and an OS that can be used professionally.

[Edited by arenaman at 01:03, 2/9/2019]

[Edited by arenaman at 01:03, 2/9/2019]
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Richard Walker Message #124549, posted by richw at 11:29, 5/9/2019, in reply to message #124548
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Posts: 43
I'm quite enjoying this thread.

One thing it has highlighted for me is that there doesn't seem to be a simple and discover-able 'getting started' place. Wouldn't it be cute if there was a section, say, on the ROOL or ROD web site, which explained all this? Maybe there is, and no-one realises?

It would be jolly nice to have a brief summary of the hardware options, major suppliers, active applications etc.

Michael is a returning user, so I expect he was knew and was willing to come here and ask... but what about those casual potential first-timers? Would they have made the effort?

I'm sort-of a returning user myself, and some of this thread is news to me. Maybe it's just me, but it seems hard to keep on top of all this. No idea how genuine newbies are supposed to do it! Is it just me?

Of course, instead of moaning about it, I should probably make a start on a page on the ROOL wiki...
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Steffen Huber Message #124550, posted by hubersn at 16:35, 5/9/2019, in reply to message #124547
Member
Posts: 86

I seem to remember Vantage could have done with some more work on stability, and talk of it being rock solid on RISC OS 3.7 but unstable on certain other setups.
There was never a released version of Vantage that had any kind of stability on any version of RISC OS. Just using random feature could reliably crash it within 5 minutes, often taking the whole machine with it. The only user I have ever seen that was able for a meaningful length of time without suffering from crashes was the author himself.

AFAIK, there was not even a trial 32bit version available, so that's just another big todo.

And the promised DrawFile-based renderer to enable all applications that can render Draw files also to render Vantage files never surfaced, which made the whole package a lot less useful.

And after ArtWorks got transparency as its major new feature (along with all the stuff Martin added after that - e.g. PDF import), the only selling point of Vantage that remained was its colour management.

Just my opinion of course, but I am still a slight bit angry about me buying Vantage on the strength of Cerilica's reputation and knowing the people involved. I even consider the Omega a better buy than Vantage in my long RISC OS-related-products-customer history.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124551, posted by arenaman at 23:39, 5/9/2019, in reply to message #124549
Member
Posts: 104
I'm quite enjoying this thread.

One thing it has highlighted for me is that there doesn't seem to be a simple and discover-able 'getting started' place. Wouldn't it be cute if there was a section, say, on the ROOL or ROD web site, which explained all this? Maybe there is, and no-one realises?

It would be jolly nice to have a brief summary of the hardware options, major suppliers, active applications etc.
Good point. And I would say the fact you can set up a Raspberry Pi RISC OS system for thirty to fifty quid is a point worth making. The pre-built machines are brilliant for those who want a new main machine, but for a lot of us RISC OS will have to be a second machine, at least for now.

Michael is a returning user, so I expect he was knew and was willing to come here and ask... but what about those casual potential first-timers? Would they have made the effort?

I'm sort-of a returning user myself, and some of this thread is news to me. Maybe it's just me, but it seems hard to keep on top of all this. No idea how genuine newbies are supposed to do it! Is it just me?

Of course, instead of moaning about it, I should probably make a start on a page on the ROOL wiki...
I did know to come here, although it seems pretty dead until you start a new thread. The ROOL forums are very active but very much based around programming from what I can see, which is great for programmer types, but not so great for the more casual user or creative user.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124552, posted by arenaman at 23:59, 5/9/2019, in reply to message #124550
Member
Posts: 104
There was never a released version of Vantage that had any kind of stability on any version of RISC OS. Just using random feature could reliably crash it within 5 minutes, often taking the whole machine with it. The only user I have ever seen that was able for a meaningful length of time without suffering from crashes was the author himself.
That's rather disappointing to hear. I thought I was one of the more unlucky ones. Certainly, since my whole RiscPC was unstable, despite being brand new from Castle, I had assumed it was something to do with that to some extent.

AFAIK, there was not even a trial 32bit version available, so that's just another big todo.
Apparently the main program has always been 32 bit neutral (I think that's the correct term) but supporting modules need work doing.

And the promised DrawFile-based renderer to enable all applications that can render Draw files also to render Vantage files never surfaced, which made the whole package a lot less useful.
I remember thinking that was an exciting development at the time. It's a real shame that never transpired.

And after ArtWorks got transparency as its major new feature (along with all the stuff Martin added after that - e.g. PDF import), the only selling point of Vantage that remained was its colour management.
Mr Wuerthner's fixes and features additions to ArtWorks aside, does ArtWorks 2 still output using the original rendering engine?

I noticed that stuff created in Vantage, notably Nicholas Van der Walle's creations in the RISC OS press, was crisp and clear with great colour. It could easily have been created in Illustrator or Photohop. I do not recall seeing anything output from ArtWorks that matched that rendering.

I recognise that those differences may be down to who has produced what in which application rather than one being better than the other.

If ArtWorks 2 can output the quality Illustrator or Vantage can, then it is certainly the best bet for vector graphics.

Current development and the asking price are another discussion!

Just my opinion of course, but I am still a slight bit angry about me buying Vantage on the strength of Cerilica's reputation and knowing the people involved. I even consider the Omega a better buy than Vantage in my long RISC OS-related-products-customer history.
I would be hacked off, too.

I cannot help thinking, though, that Vantage could yet be turned into a unique selling point for RISC OS as a platform. For example, can you imagine it being open source, made stable, and available for free? Even made stable and sold for a reasonable price would be attractive.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124553, posted by arawnsley at 10:44, 6/9/2019, in reply to message #124552
R-Comp chap
Posts: 525
I think that rendering quality is likely not to be too much of an issue in either case. Especially with !Switch allowing up to about 64 levels of anti-aliasing or something crazy?

Most likely it was a combination of Certilica knowing how to generate eye-catching demo material, and having good quality displays. I can't stress enough how much having a nice display makes a huge difference.

With IPS panel monitors now very affordable (almost no price premium), highly accurate colour rendering is within the grasp of anyone that wants it. I don't sell anything else, because, well, why would you!

The main area where Vantage had the edge in terms of colour (for me) was in its ink/print simulation. However, it relied on screen calibration that at the time really didn't seem to work as intended (for me). I remember following the instructions carefully, and my monitor ended up looking awful (I forget how... I think all washed out) but that probably had more to do with the gamma calibration tool.

Also, don't dismiss AW2 too quickly. I know it is expensive, but look at the kind of things Martin has added:

* Transparencies
* Multi-page documents
* Text areas that work like mini-dtp/wp frames
* Freehand tools
* fine alignment/layout facilities
* PDF import and export for compatibility with other platform artwork
* Comprehensive bitmap output in many formats
* Named Styles
* Clipping paths
* Transparent shadows
...

Note that I'm not really much of an AW user (I'm not artistic in that way) so I'm just going on things that I remember or have used. For me, AW is a lovely program that I wish I could get into more. I just "fit" better with Impression and OvPro as production tools for what I do.


Edit, oh, and according to Martin's website, CMYK ink simulation was added in v2.3 with code provided by none other than David Pilling!

[Edited by arawnsley at 10:57, 6/9/2019]
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Steffen Huber Message #124554, posted by hubersn at 20:21, 6/9/2019, in reply to message #124552
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Posts: 86
I cannot help thinking, though, that Vantage could yet be turned into a unique selling point for RISC OS as a platform. For example, can you imagine it being open source, made stable, and available for free?
It is hard to imagine as a stable software, I guess this would be a major effort taking its assembler roots into account.

But anyway, free or largely-free efforts on other platforms have a 20 year lead on features. Hard to image what a mythical Vantage version could bring to the table to make it a killer application.


Even made stable and sold for a reasonable price would be attractive.
Xara Designer Pro X currently sells for 159. It is infinitely more powerful, it is basically Impression, Artworks and Photodesk in one application along with many more features. Vantage would even have to catch up to Artworks first.

Unless with "reasonable" you think of perhaps 5. Then: see above.

It is very unfortunate that RISC OS commercial software mostly stopped to be a viable proposition compared to other OSes free offerings. But standing still for 20 to 30 years, along with all the other well-known problems (e.g. lack of development tools), makes it very unlikely that this will change.

The closest thing to a killer app that is still maintained and available for modern RISC OS is probably TechWriter - mostly because word processors on other platforms are still really really bad. But it is still a hard sell for 124 UKP if OpenOffice and LibreOffice are freely available and "good enough".
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