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The Icon Bar: General: Current state of play
 
  Current state of play
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Michael Stubbs Message #124555, posted by arenaman at 23:44, 6/9/2019, in reply to message #124553
Member
Posts: 105
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?
That rings a bell, vaguely. Is that an ArtWorks module or something in the OS?

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.
Oh I entirely agree. I remember the Castle stands in the Kinetic RiscPC days. Proper printed displays, nice graphics and staff wearing branded apparel. They also had glossy brochures. That's what you need if the funds are there.

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
Oh I certainly don't dismiss it. It has clearly been brought up to date capability wise. The price is what it is, I suppose. I was more curious about its output capabilities compared to Vantage but you have addressed that.

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!
That puts ArtWorks 2 in the playing for proper publishing then, which is good news indeed.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124556, posted by arenaman at 11:47, 7/9/2019, in reply to message #124554
Member
Posts: 105
It is hard to imagine as a stable software, I guess this would be a major effort taking its assembler roots into account.
I wouldn't have any idea about this since I could not be described as a programmer.

But anyway, free or largely-free efforts on other platforms have a 20 year lead on features.
True to an extent, but you only have to look at what was produced by Cerilica using Vantage to see it has everything you need for professional use. As does ArtWorks 2, and probably more so based on features and of course stability.

Hard to image what a mythical Vantage version could bring to the table to make it a killer application.
I don't suppose there really are killer applications any more. Maybe Excel, maybe Dorico. But they are not really killer in that there is not viable competition, not like when Sibelius 7 was first released for Acorn.

But what apps like ArtWorks 2 and the theoretical Vantage bring is viability. Viability to use RISC OS seriously. Ovation Pro does that.

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.
It is also overpriced compared to some of its competition. There is also the overriding impression that Xara has given up on it, since they no longer sell or promote it directly. And designers still buy separate vector and bitmap software for a reason.

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.
If I could program I would be doing whatever I could to fix that problem but to be honest I do not understand why not having the latest development tools stops great programs being written in the first place. Ovation Pro, ArtWorks 2 and the Technwriter family were all written with what is already available. I interpret it to mean programmers on other platforms would not have the skill or inclination to code without the assistance of modern tools and that the problem therefore is attracting new coders with easier tools.

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".
Agreed. We must surely be at the point where commercial software should be around the £50 mark, since it is competing with software at that price point elsewhere. In some cases, as you say, it is competing with free, 'good enough' software.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124562, posted by arenaman at 22:27, 10/9/2019, in reply to message #124541
Member
Posts: 105
Andrew: I replied to your email (two or three times) several days ago. Yahoo! did go down and has been unstable. Please resend if you have replied. Apologies for the public posting on this... I'll delete this as soon as we've got email contact again!
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124564, posted by arawnsley at 10:27, 11/9/2019, in reply to message #124562
R-Comp chap
Posts: 537
Thanks Michael - my apologies, it is my fault. I've had a rough few days, and am getting behind on things. Will try and catch up today if pos!
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Michael Stubbs Message #124565, posted by arenaman at 12:24, 13/9/2019, in reply to message #124564
Member
Posts: 105
No problem. I shall await your email!
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124566, posted by arawnsley at 16:31, 13/9/2019, in reply to message #124565
R-Comp chap
Posts: 537
It gets worse - apprarently customer wanted the 3-4 machines he deposited with me at the weekend all updated/sorted in 3 days. I thought I had 10 days. I normally spend 2 days per machine. Maths doesn't work! ARGH!
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Michael Stubbs Message #124567, posted by arenaman at 17:37, 13/9/2019, in reply to message #124566
Member
Posts: 105
It gets worse - apprarently customer wanted the 3-4 machines he deposited with me at the weekend all updated/sorted in 3 days. I thought I had 10 days. I normally spend 2 days per machine. Maths doesn't work! ARGH!
Then I wish you all the best with that one! Drop me a line when you've recovered.
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Michael Stubbs Message #124578, posted by arenaman at 20:30, 26/9/2019, in reply to message #124524
Member
Posts: 105
Just wanted to post and say thanks to all who offered advice and insight. For various reasons, I've gone with the older Pi 2B v1.1, not least because at that price, I could easily run two machines.
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The Icon Bar: General: Current state of play