log in | register | forums
Show:
Go:
Forums
Username:

Password:

User accounts
Register new account
Forgot password
Forum stats
List of members
Search the forums

Advanced search
Recent discussions
- !DualHead puts 2 screens in one (News:)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 - Notes from the talks (News:6)
- November News (News:)
- !Organizer 2.28 reviewed (News:2)
- !OBrowse reviewed (News:10)
- Aemulor (Gen:16)
- DDE reaches release 28 and above (News:)
- Elesar quicks dispels stormy clouds (News:2)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 (News:)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 - Pictures (News:)
Related articles
- RISC OS South West Show 2005
- Wakefield 2003 - the preview
- RISC OS 5.20 released, free Portsmouth show in planning
- Newsround
- Newsround
- RISC OS on The Register
- Rounding Up February
- News from Wakefield [Updated]
- Wakefield Show Theatre Programme
- RISC OS Expo 2004
Latest postings RSS Feeds
RSS 2.0 | 1.0 | 0.9
Atom 0.3
Misc RDF | CDF
Site Search
 
Article archives
The Icon Bar: News and features: What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?
 

What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 19:00, 7/11/2009 | , , , , , , , ,
 
What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?After hearing the news that videos from the recent RISC OS London Show are now available online, I decided to take a look at what RISCOS Ltd had to say in their presentation. The results I found to be quite shocking...
 
Disclaimer: Although I've obviously been doing a lot of work for RISC OS Open recently, I am not a member of ROOL, nor am I speaking on behalf of ROOL (or The Icon Bar). The opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone, and any likeness or resemblence to any other person's opinions is entirely coincidental.
 

 
Firstly, despite the concerns of a couple of the more "distant" members of the TIB staff, it looks like ROL are still alive and are still running the Select scheme. Rather unsurprisingly, they say (at 16:25) that their cashflow isn't stable enough for them to commit to any timetable/roadmap for what's going into future releases. They also cite (at around 23:40) commercial confidentiality reasons for not being able to announce the Vpod-related graphics improvements ahead of time. All fair enough so far.
 
But then, at 38:50, when he talks about the lack of RISC OS 6 on the A9home, ROL big-wig Paul Middleton gives a rather shocking answer:
"The A9home, one of the problems there is simply, it's hit the point where things have got to be done, we just don't have the people who have got the skills to actually solve the problem."
And at 40:10:
"All we can practically do is the areas that we've got people that have got interest in. And I think you can probably guess, the areas that people have got an interest in are [...] graphics"
I.e. even though subscribing to the RISC OS Select scheme means that you'll be funding the development of RISC OS, there's no system in place to ensure that the money is being spent on areas that actually need development. If they come across a problem that's too complex for their skill set, or involves working on an area that doesn't hold any interest to the programmer in question, they'll just ignore it. Basically ROL have no direction and no commitments. They say that in the past they've always been sub-contracted to work on things (Omega, A9home, Vpod), but without an external company to give them a goal and a source of funding they're content with just sitting there free-wheeling and soaking up the cash of the Select scheme subscribers.
 
At least Castle were smart enough to realise that they didn't have enough money left to fund the development of the OS, and as a result they open(ish)-sourced it to allow the remaining desktop users to look after it themselves.
 
In fact, what is the point of ROL if they don't have any developers who are working on the code full-time?
 
They can't claim that the money from the Select scheme is putting food on the table of any of their employees (43:25 - "We don't have any programmers whose full time job is doing RISC OS"). And they can't claim that they're using the money to fix any of the real issues with the OS. They can't even claim that they're using it to improve the desktop experience, because they don't produce any roadmaps detailing what they're working on for the next version. Even after a release has been made there's no guarantee that they'll disclose any useful information as to what's changed (see the Select 5i2 changelist, for example). They're just using their subscribers money to provide an extra bit of income to fund the whims of the developers.
 
One thing is now clear to me - with Castle effectively dead and ROL lacking direction, the long-term future of the OS has been left entirely in the hands of its users. We've therefore got to ask ourselves how we want to proceed:

Continue as things are now

The ROOL supporters will continue to support ROOL, and the ROL supporters will continue to support ROL, even though neither can presently guarantee the long-term future of the OS. In the end one side will come out on top, but there's no telling how long that will take or how much the market will shrink in the meantime.

Convince ROL to work on the ROOL codebase

This would be a hard sell for ROL, as it would effectively involve them abandoning the last 10 years of their work. Their pride may also be a problem - could they bring themselves to work on "the enemy"'s code?
 
And also, if the ROL developers were to suddenly start getting paid to work on the ROOL codebase, how would the people currently doing work for free react? Would ROOL possibly lose momentum rather than gain it?

Convince ROOL to work on the ROL codebase

Of course convincing ROOL themselves to work on the ROL code is probably impossible, but if all the ROOL supporters were to throw their time and money at ROL, what would happen? Would ROL gain the funding and skill they need to rescue the OS, or would they still lack the determination and direction that's preventing them from getting RISC OS 6 working on the A9home? Or is there simply not enough money left in the market to guarantee the success of a commercial branch of the OS? (The last time ROL tried asking for money, for the Select on Iyonix scheme, they fell far short of the target they believed they needed to reach for the venture to be commercially viable, and thus the project was scrapped).
 
And there's also the question of how many ROOL supporters could be convinced to support ROL in the first place, considering ROL's current lack of direction, and the fact that ROOL are so close to having the full OS source released under the shared source license.
 
To mis-quote Paul Middleton (at 33:05, when he's talking about the open/shared source threat): "If you're doing a job, and you've got the skill to do it, you should get paid for it" - which is exactly why I'm not paying ROL, because they're not doing the job!

Links


 
  What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Robin Barnard Message #111886, posted by BernardRobin at 19:44, 9/11/2009, in reply to message #111867
Member
Posts: 3
Hi again

I do kind of wish that someone who was actually at the London show presentation would have a say - maybe it was one of you guys here already? If so let me know

As at the time I was very much in the (very) vocal minority, almost everyone else had little to say, in either direction i must add - possibly they where as thrown by the goings on as Paul

I suppose what i was saying in my last posting is I would have been happier if other people also started joining in with similar questions really

Here on the forum it is almost is a 180 degree inversion!

but nonetheless I absolutely respect peoples right to have an opinion in whatever form it takes especially if it is well thought out and the subject of some discussion as is clearly the case here

I do wish that there was some people who was willing to speak up for what they see as being good about RISCOS just so we can have a balanced discussion

I personally do not believe in being in a "camp" and just subscribing to one point of view i would like to hear from everyone here - as that is something i definitely did do wrong on the day it ended up being more about my opinion than anyone else who was there.

So anyone out there - what do you say?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tony Lizard Message #111899, posted by Mr Lizard at 06:07, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111885
Member
Posts: 24
I Believe a 'Limited' company is required to post accounts with 'Companies House' every year.
So anybody, for a nominal fee, can find out what their turnover was for the year.
Indeed, although the most recent publicly viewable accounts are for the year ending 31st January 2008. For some reason it doesn't include a breakdown of the company's profit and loss account (I thought that was a legal requirement - I've certainly always had to include it), but the total was £163,827 in the red.

Suffice it to say that, given how small the business is and that there does not appear to be much prospect of a turnaround in RISCOS Ltd's fortunes, the company is not in good financial standing.

Ultimately it all comes down to how bloody-minded Paul Middleton wants to be. It's possible he's had to personally guarantee one or more lines of credit, so he could be facing personal financial disaster if the company goes under, which might explain why the company's been struggling on even though the writing's been on the wall for years.

If I were a major shareholder I'd be calling for the company to be wound up, just in case a buyer could be found to take on the company's branch of RISC OS. As an MD of a company myself I don't say that lightly, and although I clearly disagree with the way PM has managed the business, I do feel for his predicament. Unless he's a robot or genuinely couldn't care less, behind closed doors he must be going spare.

Accounts for the year ending 31st January 2009 should be filed and available fairly soon, assuming PM's keeping up to date.

[Edited by Mr Lizard at 06:24, 10/11/2009]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tony Lizard Message #111900, posted by Mr Lizard at 06:12, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111877
Member
Posts: 24
@Tony, I'm not sure that would be the best way to go, given past experiences it would probably result in an another IP and licensing dispute. It would also be a lot like the original situation back in 1998/99 when E14 gave ROL a licence.
Sure thing! I was just putting it out there, and I certainly agree with you.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #111901, posted by filecore at 06:39, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111899

Posts: 3867
which might explain why the company's been struggling on even though the writing's been on the wall for years.
Getting slightly off-topic, that might explain PM's/ROL's actions, but not RISC OS as a whole, to which the phrase "struggling on even though the writing's been on the wall for years" seems to aptly apply.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Message #111902, posted by Chris at 11:00, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111899
Member
Posts: 283
Although I clearly disagree with the way PM has managed the business, I do feel for his predicament. Unless he's a robot or genuinely couldn't care less, behind closed doors he must be going spare.
This is a good point, and one worth remembering. Though I've been exasperated by the decisions ROL's taken over the years, PM and others have (presumably) made a heavy financial commitment to RISC OS and taken on a lot of risk. No doubt ROL would also point to the futile legal battles with Castle as a key drain on their resources.

Though I believe ROOL is the way forward, I still hope that some accommodation can be found with ROL.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #111905, posted by trevj at 14:48, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111885
Member
Posts: 660
I was at the show but decided to take some time out of the theatre and miss the RISCOS Ltd. presentation.

(This was because I'd already bought a copy of RO6 at the 2009 south west show and didn't anticipate personally subscribing to the Select scheme in the foreseeable future. I expect to be migrating to new hardware and had not heard anything about RO6 being ported to such equipment. This is not to say that developments in RISC OS through RO4 and RO6 haven't been useful and well intentioned, just that I couldn't see a personal need to enrol for further enhancements at that time.)

If riscosboss Paul Middleton risks to stand personal financial ruin then such a conclusion would be gravely unfortunate. But such a situation is probably avoidable due to the limited company status (unless the £163,827 figure quoted - and perhaps currently more - is secured on his personal assets). If ROL has revenue projections then the bank(s) will probably be asking how they will be achieved. And if any loan(s) are not personally secured then perhaps any creditor(s) should be calling for prompt action in order to minimise their losses.

What do ROL's accountants think? And what outstanding contractual obligations (if any) does ROL have with third parties?

For all the revealing aspects of the "hijacked" presentation, it's not easy to speculate about any possible direct negative effect on sales. What were sales figures on the day? How did they compare with those expected? Has ROL received any subsequent correspondence from Select subscribers in connection with events on the day or subsequent reports? Would ROL like the video removed from the web?

Let's also not forget Jeffrey's original question, which remains,
What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?
ROL has a stated inability to fund full-time development. Do ROL or RISC OS users envisage this changing by either securing an increase in ROL revenue or persuading benevolent developers to work for ROL rather than ROOL? Jeffrey's stated opinion, with which I agree is that,
[T]he long-term future of the OS has been left entirely in the hands of its users. We've therefore got to ask ourselves how we want to proceed
ROL should also be asking how it wants to proceed and what it wants from its users and the wider RISC OS community. The issue of a public statement by ROL would probably be welcome, although I expect the impending accountancy deadline may be more pressing at the moment.

[Edited by trevj at 14:39, 7/12/2009]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Naulls Message #111908, posted by pnaulls at 15:34, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111899
Member
Posts: 317

Indeed, although the most recent publicly viewable accounts are for the year ending 31st January 2008. For some reason it doesn't include a breakdown of the company's profit and loss account (I thought that was a legal requirement - I've certainly always had to include it), but the total was £163,827 in the red.
That's a lot of money, and I'm sure everyone will be looking closely at the reports in a month. What the break down of personal debts might be, as people have said, is open to speculation.

However, it's not impossible that a suitable sum could be raised to buy out ROL's IP if the end goal were suitable. In particular, open sourcing what they have. Ownership might pass to ROOL (not Castle) on certain understandings (although a suitable software license might be sufficient).

I say ROOL since they have already teased out the multitude of copyright claims on RISC OS source - that is, stuff that didn't come from Acorn, etc, and should know what ROL IP they could immediately release.

Even this kind of solution will be complex and time consuming, but it might allow ROL (and PM) to save face as well as ensuring some kind of future for Select.

As it stands, if I had bought an A9 (or Omega) I would be looking very hard at seeing what I could do to get RO5 running on it.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon Willcocks Message #111913, posted by Stoppers at 18:49, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111876
Member
Posts: 278
Alan Robertson:

[Castle] own the IP after all - why would they outsource it to another company and miss out on any potential profit.
The agreement to "outsource" desktop versions of RO to ROL was made before Castle bought the IP, so that agreement would have been one of the things Castle bought along with the OS. ROL paid a lot of money for that potential profit.

I couldn't chuck you out of a house that you'd just bought a 99 year lease on, just by buying the house, could I?

It's possible Castle have a right to cancel the agreement on some other basis, but that's never been tested in court (and probably won't be because nobody's got the cash to do it).

It would be an interesting case. smile

The RISC OS Open initiative has introduced quite a few new faces (and a few from the past) to RISC OS, and that is something that the ROL strategy was not able to do. It's another indicator that we're on the right track.

It's probably a much better model for the OS, but not one that ROL was ever in a position to offer under their licence. (Which is not to say that they couldn't have done a lot better, IMO.)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Robin Barnard Message #111914, posted by BernardRobin at 19:39, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111905
Member
Posts: 3
For all the revealing aspects of the "hijacked" presentation, it's not easy to speculate about any possible direct negative effect on sales. What were sales figures on the day? How did they compare with those expected? Has ROL received any subsequent correspondence from Select subscribers in connection with events on the day or subsequent reports? Would ROL like the video removed from the web?
Some very good points you made in all your post - not just the bit i quoted

It would be interesting to possibly hear the answers to the above

though I would (and do) really hope that the answers would be as follows

1) Sales on the day was possibly lower than expected overall, (which is what started the whole thing off - remember) not much impact from the presentation there as most people had put their cash down already - it is my hope that the presentation did not have any effect on sales afterwards as i was very much in the minority so i am allowing for most of the other people who was there as being subscribers already

2) That the correspondence that RISCOS Ltd got / has been getting if any to date was probably more focused on "who was that bloke" and offering support to Paul as a result of the presentation rather that anyone saying "i want my money back" or similar - my conclusion at the time the whole thing was going on for everyone was not what Jeffery has said, but then obviously my perspective is totally different, as i obviously see the event as a whole rather than the bits that have been quoted - having said that this thread is probably much more likely to possibly get people asking RISCOS ltd questions as this thread is focused on the points Jeffery mentioned

3) I would have very much hoped that ROL was asked before the video was posted - but possibly it was not looked through before posting, but i find that possibly a little difficult to see as i imagine there was probably a bit of a furore about it all on the day itself - but i suppose its more than possible

I too add that would very much want to see ROL continue in some shape and form and i really do hope that there was not much damage done as a result as obviously i do personally feel to be to some degree responsible for this
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Blind Moose Message #111915, posted by Acornut at 19:53, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111905
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 487


What do ROL's accountants think?
I think legally ROL would be instructed to make strigent efforts to improve the situation, as continued trading with such large losses, would be 'frowned upon' by the tax office, at the very least.

Of course if the 'directors' are running another profitable company, they can use ROL to 'offset' their profits. wink
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #111916, posted by VincceH at 20:26, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111908
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
For some reason it doesn't include a breakdown of the company's profit and loss account (I thought that was a legal requirement - I've certainly always had to include it),
Subject to certain provisions determining company size, a simpler ("abbreviated" - I don't like the term, but I don't make the rules) set of accounts can be submitted, which RISCOS Ltd's are.

The provisions are here, though that doesn't go into any detail about the nature of the abbreviated accounts. They can consist of a simple balance sheet and notes and an auditor's report (unless exempted from an audit).

but the total was £163,827 in the red.
It's worth putting that figure into context. It's not the bottom line on the balance sheet (the difference between the assets and liabilities), but the balance of the profit and loss account (that is, the total profits/losses to date). The balance sheet total shows a liability of just under £3,000.

Those total losses are significant - and the above clarification isn't to detract from that - but the figure isn't what it could be read as (and what I read it as until I checked for myself).

That's a lot of money, and I'm sure everyone will be looking closely at the reports in a month. What the break down of personal debts might be, as people have said, is open to speculation.
Or we could just look at the accounts. At least then, although assumptions have to be made and this is still speculative, they're assumptions based on something tangible, instead of figures quoted out of context on teh interwebs, which could be misinterpreted. smile

As I said above, the balance sheet total is a couple of hundred shy of £3,000 "in the red". The creditors, totalling a little under £13,000, has a note attached stating that the figure includes "an amount of £4,143 for which security has been given". That means if (which is a very big word) the company was wound up and all assets realised their recorded values, if that security was called upon for that particular value in the creditors, there would be enough in the coffers to cover the remaining liabilities with change left over. Perhaps enough for a nice lunch, which is always good.

Of course, that's just the picture as far as trading aspect of the business is concerned. That large accumulated loss figure wouldn't be nice for a potential investor to see - but I'm not aware that RISCOS Ltd are about to put in an appearance on Dragon's Den.

(Also, it's worth noting that based on the 2008 and comparitive 2007 figures, with no actual detail to go on, it looks as though they made a profit in the year to 31/1/08. £261, to be precise - but even that might not be what it seems.)

[snip rest; all valid and nothing to do with the accounts, which is what I'm commenting on.]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #111917, posted by VincceH at 20:47, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111915
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583


What do ROL's accountants think?
I think legally ROL would be instructed to make strigent efforts to improve the situation, as continued trading with such large losses, would be 'frowned upon' by the tax office, at the very least.
The tax office might "frown upon" it, but only because it affects the amount of money they can look forward to receiving.

Trading with a large accumulated loss isn't anything to get excited about (unless seeking investment, obviously) - and I wouldn't even call that figure particularly large, TBH. (Although I suppose in the RISC OS world, it's unimaginably high!)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Daniel Nesbitt Message #111922, posted by solsburian at 22:50, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111914
Member
Posts: 23
I too add that would very much want to see ROL continue in some shape and form and i really do hope that there was not much damage done as a result as obviously i do personally feel to be to some degree responsible for this
You have no responsibility at all, all you were doing were asking questions that were perfectly justified.

Paul could have declined to answer your questions if he didn't want to answer them. The truth would have came out sooner or later however, ever in the event of them going bust or someone else asking the same kind of questions.

The reality is that if you are paying for something and not getting what you expected in return, people are bound to want answers, and it just happens you were the first one to ask him directly! (on film at least!!)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Martin Bazley Message #111924, posted by swirlythingy at 23:08, 10/11/2009, in reply to message #111922

Posts: 460
This is obviously an point of some contention in the RISC OS world - I'm not sure I've seen an article produce quite so many new and lurking TIB users out of the woodwork.

Another thing which struck me is just how much opinion (mine among them) seems to be against ROL. Even in the RISC OS market, if there is this much ill-feeling and people really are beginning to feel they're not getting enough for their money, could ROL's revenue stream from Select subscriptions finally dry up?

It's a matter for some debate what might happen then...

Frankly, I think that the longer Paul takes to realise that RISC OS is not a profitable enterprise, and the more people who join the ROOL effort (some completely out of the blue, or the depths of the past - when was the last time that happened?), the sillier he'll end up looking.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Gavin Message #111926, posted by SparkY at 04:41, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111924
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 682
ROL has been largely irrelevent for years IMO. There was no route to grow their market, only a slow but inevitable decline in their customer base. It would take someone very stubborn (Paul?) to ignore the obvious and keep plodding on.

It's clear that ROOL have the intiative and support to carry the platform into a new era of healthy hobby OS with new hardware to choose from. If you want to spend money on RISC OS, you'd be better supporting MW, Archive or ROOL themselves for example - or buying a Beagleboard (or saving for a more consumer orientated version when it's available). Pumping money into a directionless company is perhaps more harmful than helpful.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Stewart Message #111935, posted by sa110_mk at 12:59, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111924
Member
Posts: 144

Another thing which struck me is just how much opinion (mine among them) seems to be against ROL. Even in the RISC OS market, if there is this much ill-feeling and people really are beginning to feel they're not getting enough for their money, could ROL's revenue stream from Select subscriptions finally dry up?
Don't forget people are often quick to criticize, but not so quick to speak up on behalf of someone. Because not many people have chosen to come forward and speak up in favour of ROL, does not mean everyone is anti ROL. Many people simply choose not to get involved in such discussions, most probably knowing how after a certain number of posts they tend to take on a life of their own.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Naulls Message #111938, posted by pnaulls at 14:56, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111935
Member
Posts: 317
Don't forget people are often quick to criticize, but not so quick to speak up on behalf of someone. Because not many people have chosen to come forward and speak up in favour of ROL, does not mean everyone is anti ROL.
I think this is slightly disingenuous. At least 1/2 the people in this thread, certainly myself, have spoken positively in some respect of ROL.

But no amount of good will, technical justification or whatever makes for a good business plan, or gives good reason for their continued existence. I note that you didn't give any reasons at all.

Elsewhere:

Or we could just look at the accounts. At least then, although assumptions have to be made and this is still speculative, they're assumptions based on something tangible, instead of figures quoted out of context on teh interwebs, which could be misinterpreted. smile
Agree, but even then without an accountant to hand to explain matters (I'm not aware any in the RISC OS world) such misunderstandings are still rife. I know how to read a balance sheet for a publicly traded US company, but that's where it ends.

For a possibly apocryphal, and certainly anecdotal example, I was present at this AGM:

http://www.riscworld.co.uk/volumes/volume3/issue3/rolagm/index.htm

This report does however exclude significant items, including the fact that Paul Richardson ranted for the best part of 1/2 hour (and only kept in check by Laurie) about an apparent 14K discrepancy in the ROL accounts (and therefore implicating PM). Of course, no one really took him seriously, and I expect the matter could have been trivially explained by an accountant (it may have been something to do with accounting period mismatches, I don't know).

That meeting was also notable for PM's later about face on the matter of emulation, presumably due to considerable pressure from the putative VirtualAcorn (who handed out flyers to shareholders).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #111939, posted by VincceH at 15:31, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111938
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
Or we could just look at the accounts. At least then, although assumptions have to be made and this is still speculative, they're assumptions based on something tangible, instead of figures quoted out of context on teh interwebs, which could be misinterpreted. smile
Agree, but even then without an accountant to hand to explain matters (I'm not aware any in the RISC OS world) such misunderstandings are still rife.
Cough. Cough.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Eric Rucker Message #111940, posted by bhtooefr at 17:05, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111935
Member
Posts: 336
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece that looks rather suspiciously like a passive-aggressive reply to this TIB article.

Said anonymous poster claims that we want everything for free, that we just want to start flamewars, and that we should just shut up and be good little Select subscribers and not say anything.

The first point that the author makes is that we apparently hate features that are in ROL's branch of the OS, until someone reimplements them on the Castle/ROOL branch. I can't speak for everyone, but in my case, that's not true at all. What we're complaining about is that ROL appears to have been spending too much time on simple fluff to try to keep selling an OS for hardware that was designed 15 years ago.

Yes, I'm aware ROL has claimed that their OS is very easy to port to other hardware. However, where are the other ports? All I see is an unfinished, outdated A9home port that ROL's supposedly been working on for 4 years, and have said that they don't have the resources to finish it. (After all, that's part of the point of this article.)

Meanwhile, one guy, in his spare time, has managed to do a lot of work on a BeagleBoard port of the Castle/ROOL branch of RISC OS, and while it's certainly not finished, he's never claimed that it was anything BUT rough around the edges, and it's continually making visible progress. Oh, and he started it under 10 months ago, and it's already becoming usable.

Oh, and another thing... some people did actually want the Select features on Iyonix, and felt that it would be worth paying for. It never happened, though. (Edit: I was informed that there was a prerelease version of Select on Iyonix, but despite meeting their pledge target for Iyonix interest, they never released even the partial Select implementation that they were claiming they would release.)

Also, part of the point of pointing out that ROL appears to have no future is that, right now, people are pumping money into a black hole, essentially. There's not very much money in RISC OS any more, and wasting it on an OS branch that appears to have no future isn't wise. If you want to support RISC OS, better to help fund stuff that does have a future, right?

If it weren't for Castle and ROOL, right now, we'd have a bunch of 10+ year old computers that were slow when they were brand new, a 4 year old computer that was also slow when it was brand new and has an OS with major bugs (and no prospects of them being fixed,) and emulators. Oh, and there wouldn't be any chance of improvements under the hood that RISC OS desperately needs, like better memory protection or preemptive multitasking. While they still may not happen, there's at least a chance of them happening with ROOL.

Oh, and one last thing. While I personally haven't seen any of the contracts in question, Pace themselves claim that they sold RISC OS to Castle. Why would Pace claim anything different from reality? Pace doesn't care about who controls the RISC OS market, they just cared about getting some value out of IP that wasn't really valuable to them any more, so there's no reason to not take them at their word. Really, this is a dead horse, and was completely irrelevant to the discussion. Can we stop beating it now?

[Edited by bhtooefr at 17:06, 11/11/2009]

[Edited by bhtooefr at 17:27, 11/11/2009]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Daniel Nesbitt Message #111943, posted by solsburian at 18:23, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111940
Member
Posts: 23
The rant over on My RISC OS is certainly amusing, I wondered how long it would before before someone would bring up the ownership issues for a cheap shot.

I'm not or ever will be a Select subscriber (though I do have VRPC Adjust for the Mac which I'm happy with). When I considered it, I felt that the cost didn't justify the additions.

Also, the people who post on forums etc. are skewed in one direction or the other (they would have to be in the first place to have the drive to post a message or write a article!). The fact that no one has came forward here with a strong case for ROL (so far) speaks for its self.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Howkins Message #111945, posted by flibble at 18:45, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111940
flibble

Posts: 864
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece that looks rather suspiciously like a passive-aggressive reply to this TIB article.
I also largely misses the fact that people's issues are with the video presentation by ROL, and the contents therein, including but not restricted too its inability to explain its situation or answer the questions of its existing customer base.

Luckily we don't have to "believe what we read", we're more than capable of watching a video and coming to our own conclusions.

[Edited by flibble at 18:47, 11/11/2009]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #111947, posted by VincceH at 18:57, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111940
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece
My money is on David Bradforth being the writer of that - but I fully reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Naulls Message #111949, posted by pnaulls at 19:07, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111947
Member
Posts: 317
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece
My money is on David Bradforth being the writer of that - but I fully reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong.
I don't think so. There's only a couple of people who'd post to MyRISCOS, who have a history of supporting ROL, etc, etc. One of them is Steve Potts, but I don't think it's his style. The other should be obvious.


Luckily we don't have to "believe what we read", we're more than capable of watching a video and coming to our own conclusions.
Yes, and the irony of the MR post is that it didn't have any references or specifics at all (but this discussion in contrast has many), so its point is a bit weak.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Stewart Message #111951, posted by sa110_mk at 19:17, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111947
Member
Posts: 144
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece
My money is on David Bradforth being the writer of that - but I fully reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong.
Could be Paul Middleton.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Duffell Message #111952, posted by ad at 19:24, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111951
ad

Posts: 3229
An anonymous poster on My RISC OS has posted an editorial piece
My money is on David Bradforth being the writer of that - but I fully reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong.
Could be Paul Middleton.
If whoever it is isn't prepared to stand by what they say then they are obviously not convinced of what they are saying. If they are so satisfied with the status quo, why are they hiding?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Eric Rucker Message #111954, posted by bhtooefr at 19:57, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111952
Member
Posts: 336
Or they just want to say they're not interested in flamewars, while at the same time intentionally stoking one.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #111955, posted by VincceH at 20:09, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111949
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
My money is on David Bradforth being the writer of that - but I fully reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong.
I don't think so. There's only a couple of people who'd post to MyRISCOS, who have a history of supporting ROL, etc, etc. One of them is Steve Potts, but I don't think it's his style. The other should be obvious.
I don't generally read MyRISCOS, so I'm not familiar with who posts there. A quick glance at the names appearing on those articles currently posted on the front page, though, and I can't see anyone I would believe wrote that piece based on what I've read from them elsewhere.

Note: I'm basing my guess on the writing style, rather than the subject matter.

(I don't know if David ever posts to that site, either contents or comments thereon).

Edit: Who is "Cobalt"?

[Edited by VincceH at 20:10, 11/11/2009]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Blind Moose Message #111957, posted by Acornut at 22:44, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111926
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 487
ROL has been largely irrelevent for years....
Maybe I am being naive,Angel
but surely Rol simply provides updates for the OS, and any new hardware.

Surely the most recent example being for use with Stuart's VPod.

Presumably this was to fill the gap between the RPC and the Iyonix, as 'basically' it was only the better video performance that the Iyonix offered. naughty (Hurridly ducks down below the parapet, to avoid the flak!) {quick re-read the first line - that's my excuse}

Hopefully, Stuart will now return to his A9home, and finish that, again with ROL's input? Kissy

There you go! Look, somebody sticking up for ROL! smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #111958, posted by filecore at 22:55, 11/11/2009, in reply to message #111957

Posts: 3867
Perhaps somebody should simply delete "Ltd" from the title of this thread, and we take it from there.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #111961, posted by moss at 07:16, 12/11/2009, in reply to message #111958

Posts: 9346
It's been a very, very long time since I've read such a piss-poor rebuttal. It's so bad that it actually strengthens this article by looking ridiculously weak and ill-thought-through in comparison.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Pages (7): |< < 2 > >|

The Icon Bar: News and features: What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?