RISC World


The latest news to land on the RISCWorld editorial desk...

RISCWorld's pick of the news from the last couple of months...

Proposed Developer Conference

RISC OS Connect are pleased to announce the proposed reinstatement of the Developer Conference (a developer is classed as a person or persons writing software for the RISC OS platform). The conference is aimed at both those developers returning to the platform and those with many years of experience. To that end we are seeking to gauge the level of interest in such a conference. We are looking to ascertain:

The number of developers interested
  • Whereabouts in the country they live (to enable a centralised venue to be chosen)
  • Topics delegates would like on the floor for discussion/demonstration/training

    It is expected this will take place on a Saturday. The actual format of the conference is still to be decided, however the suggested topics may largely dictate this.

    If you are interested in attending the developer conference, please visit the "Expression of interest" page and register both your interest and the type of topics you would like to be covered: Please note this form has been tested and shown to be working in Netsurf, Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 6 and Opera 9).

    In addition to completing the "Expression of interest" form, if you have further comments on any aspect of this please join the RISC OS Connect mailing list and open up discussion on these.

    If there is enough interest in this an you would like to become more involved in either it's organisation or as a participant (we are open to ideas on both), please get in touch with your thoughts.

    RISC OS Connect

    RISCOS Open release 4th batch of code

    One year on from the first shared source code release, Castle Technology Ltd (Castle) and RISC OS Open Ltd (ROOL) were pleased to release Batch Four of the RISC OS source code on CD at the Wakefield RISC OS show. Batch 4 includes long-awaited low level components such as the RISC OS kernel, hardware abstraction layer and the Shared C Library. Batch 4 will be released on the RISC OS Open Limited web site soon.

    The release follows on from the three previous batches:

    • Batch 1
    • Batch 2
    • Batch 3

    The Batch 4 CD release consists of a self-contained source archive which, for the first time ever, can be used to build a RISC OS ROM image entirely from shared source. Due to missing components such as a graphics driver or complete Risc PC HAL the ROM has no practical use, but is landmark proof of concept achievement.

    In addition, in order to make the results of the shared source project more accessible to end users, ROOL has updated the downloads pages to include categorised ZIP files holding individual applications, modules or other such discrete components. ROOL is consulting with the RISC OS Packaging Project to find other ways of making binary components more accessible to end users, particularly when complex external dependencies are involved. More information will be released on the ROOL web site in due course.

    RISC OS Open

    SELECT4i4 featuring RISC OS 6.10 released at the Wakefield Show 2008

    RISCOS Ltd are delighted to announce that the latest version of RISC OS 6 will be launched at the Wakefield Show 2008.

    RISC OS 6 is available to members of the RISC OS Select scheme and this release is the fourth in the series. Currently RISC OS 6 is suitable for A7000 , A7000+, RiscPC, Kinetic and VirtualRPC products.

    Visitors to the Wakefield show will be able to see the new version of the OS being demonstrated on a range of machines, including Risc PC with Viewfinder running on 22" LCD monitor at 1680 x 1050 x 16M. Virtual Risc PC running on PC with output to 32" LCD via HDMI at 1360 x 768 x 16M. Virtual Risc PC running on Apple Intel Duo-Core 24" iMac at 1920 x 1200 x 16M and Virtual Risc PC running on Apple Intel Mac-Mini at 1440 x 900 x 16M.

    Existing Select subscribers who visit the show will be able to take home a Select 4i4 CD at no charge. New subscribers will also be able to take home a copy of Select 4i4 on CD.

    A downloadable version of Select4i4 will be available as soon as possible after the show.

    The RISC OS developers have made over three thousand changes and improvements since the RISC OS 6.06 ROM was released at Wakefield 2007. The key improvements and changes in this release are:

    • Tunable automatic switching between standard and thumbnail filer views.
    • Support for 8MB of VRAM when running on VirtualRPC.
    • New filer layout options: vertical display and reverse sort order.
    • A number of WIMP optimisations to speed up the desktop.
    • Faster filer thumbnailing with optimised image generation.
    • Improved bandwidth for the RISC OS video system.
    • Enhanced keyboard shortcut support in Filer windows.
    • Improved Filer configuration options.
    • Support for  DrawWorks XL and DrawWorks Select.
    • Search filer windows using the keyboard.
    • Option to enable Filer view inheritance.
    • Massive speed improvements to Pinboard.
    • Powerful new rename/copy/move features in Filer.
    • Optional and configurable 'lazy' thumbnailing.
    • Improved and configurable focus handling in Filer.
    • Many bug fixes to FontEd.
    • Image number indicators on thumbnail icon display for files with more than one image.
    • Updated FontEd user interface.
    • Filer user interface update, e.g. new filetype menu.
    • Thumbnail cache now configurable.
    • Improved support for font file variants and preserving additional data such as kerning.
    • New state indicators on thumbnail icon display (processing etc.)
    • User selectable font for the Alarm iconbar time display.
    • Updated User Guide.
    • Improved 'working week' handling within Alarm.
    • Iconbar, Filer and Pinboard cooperate on exchanging pinned items.
    • Video Welcome Guide to Select 4i4.
    • Faster filer viewer redraws and improved formatting.
    • Pinboard includes support for removable media.
    • Improved alpha-sprite support in thumbnails.
    • Mouse scroll support in filer viewers has been improved.
    • Configurable drag onto sub-directories to copy/move/save.
    • Alarm notification position now configurable.
    • Dynamic selections on Pinboard.
    • Filer status (sort order etc.) indicated in title bars.
    • Improved multi-user support in Alarm.
    • Updated configuration plugins to support all these new features.
    • Improved SVG export from Draw.
    • Increased accuracy when scaling objects in Draw.
    • Smoother mouse scroll wheel.
    • Updated Toolbox components.
    • Numerous other improvements to the Application suite (Paint, Draw...)

    A years subscription to the Select scheme costs from ukp99. Full details can be found on the RISC OS  Select website at:

    Details on RISC OS Six itself can be found on the RISC OS Six website at:

    RISCOS Ltd


    R-Comp announce PDF Suite

    Time and again we hear people saying that they use Windows machines for making/viewing PDF files (electronic documents), in the belief that RISC OS is fundamentally deficient in this area.  To counter this, we're launching PDFsuite - an affordable CD containing everything you need to view, print and create PDF files on RISC OS machines (RISC OS 3.5+).

    PDF files have become the standard for cross-platform "DTP-style" documents (ie. with all your fonts, pictures and formatting retained). They are ideal for sending to colleagues or friends running on different platforms, and for distributing documents on the web. PDF is, in many ways, essential for RISC OS users, because we use programs like Ovation Pro or Impression, which have their own file formats, not recognised in the world at large.  If you could go directly from Impression, Ovation, Draw, FireWorkz, or any number of other programs, straight into PDF, then your documents would be accessible on any other platform.

    Enter PDFmaker, a major part of the Suite, developed in-house here at R-Comp.  This software allows you to create PDF files from almost any application in just a couple of clicks.  Attractively presented, and a doddle to use, PDFmaker lets you drag a PDF straight out to your hard disc, or fine tune quality settings if you wish.

    The Suite also includes PDF viewing software, capable of running on all machines 3.5+ without the need for updated C libraries or any other hassles.  You can quickly proof your PDF files, or view/print downloaded documents.

    But surely setting all this is complicated?  Amazingly, PDFsuite (including PDFmaker) can be installed in just four clicks... Click on the CD icon on the iconbar, 2 clicks on the installation program, and finally one click on "Install".  Your computer will be set up to view and create PDFs.

    PDFsuite combines software developed in-house here at R-Comp with products from Colin Granville (author of our popular Messenger Pro) and Martin Wuerthner, with permission.

    The software costs just 19ukp on CD including a printed instruction booklet.  It will be available at the show this weekend, and orders are being accepted now (it will be posted next week to postal customers). Screenshots and a sample at