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Episode VI - Return of the JFPatch

Posted by George Lucas on 00:00, 1/4/2020 | , ,
 
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
 
*cue Star Wars theme*
Finally, it's here[1] - the cloud service that absolutely nobody asked
for, nobody wanted, and nobody will ever need!
 
JFPatch-as-a-service is now available at https://jfpatch.riscos.online/.
 
Harnessing the awesome power of cloud computing to provide the astounding
ability to build ARM assembly in a format that hardly anyone but the
author ever used. In the cloud. Did I mention that it's cloud based?
Because that makes it cool. Marvel at the astounding ability to create
26bit RISC OS modules that no modern hardware can run. Be shocked by the
complete lack of speed of building.
 
[1] For a short period.

*cut to C-3PO and R2-D2 making their way across Tatooine's surface*
 
R2-D2: Bleep bloop bleep
 
C-3PO: What do you mean you've never heard of JFPatch? It was written last century by one of the greatest RISC OS programmers of the time, gerph, who also went by the name -
 
R2-D2: Bleep bloop bleep
 
C-3PO: - yes, that's right. It allowed him to create many software patches and utilities which he then shared for free with people over the Internet. A true hero of his time! Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse when -
 
R2-D2: Bleep bloop bleep
 
C-3PO: - yes, that's right. For many years nothing was heard from him, and much of his software was lost from the Internet. But now he's back, and he's brought JFPatch with him! How marvellous!
 
R2-D2: Bleep bloop bleep
 
C-3PO: Yes, I know that he hasn't said how long he's back for or what his future plans are, but in these hard times we need to be thankful for every good thing that comes our way.
 
R2-D2: Bleep bloop bleep
 
C-3PO: *stops walking* Wait, it's just a "trendy" closed-source cloud service which could vanish at any moment, and doesn't work when accessed using NetSurf? Well, f -
 
*hard cut to next scene*
 

2 comments in the forums

Wakefield show postponed due to COVID-19

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 22:38, 17/3/2020 | , ,
 
The Wakefield show organisers have announced that this year's show has been postponed, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic:
"Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club regrets to announce that, in the light of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
outbreak, the 25th Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Computer Show will NOT go ahead on the 18th April 2020, and
will have to be postponed. We will endeavour to contact all exhibitors directly in the coming days, and
further announcements regarding the event will be made in due course, once the situation becomes
clearer."
Anyone know a good virus killer?
 
Comment in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2019

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 4/10/2019 | ,
 
This year's London Show is due to take place on Saturday the 26th 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:Currently the theatre presentations are expected to include R-CompInfo, RISC OS Developments, RISC OS Open, the University of Cantabria, and WiFi Sheep - but make sure to check the show website for any future additions.
 
As usual we plan to have a roving reporter at the Show so remember to visit The Icon Bar for our show report and pictures.
 
Comment in the forums

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
 
Comment in the forums

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

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:40, 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 09:00, 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 21:30, 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 20:40, 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

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May news round-up

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RISC OS 5.24 arrives

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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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