RISC World

PD World

Paul Brett with the latest freeware and PD releases for RISC OS.

Once again I return with a new box of delights to tempt your iconbar. Last issue, as I am quite sure you recall, the PD column metamorphosed, in a Kafkaish way, into GamesWorld. This issue everything will return to normal and I will covering the latest "serious" RISC OS freeware, shareware, GPL and public domain releases.

Sitematch 2.36b - Richard Porter

This is a new development version of the popular site matching utility. SiteMatch is a freeware utility which compares web sites stored on the filing system in your computer with the version that is stored on a server. It can also automatically upload any changes to the website design, including modified and deleted pages, graphics etc, to your web server using FTPc or sFTP.


This new Beta release provides the following new features:

  • A new menu option to compare each site in turn until it finds any changes or has compared all the sites. The option is disabled if you have fewer than 2 sites.
  • The site name icon has been removed from the main pane as it is now on the title bar.
  • An icon has been added to remind you when excluded objects are hidden.
  • A new button to go to next site or scan sites.
  • WimpSlot and config files are saved in Choices:SiteMatch.
  • Interactive help has been added as a configurable library.
  • Some issues when first site added or only one site removed have been addressed.
  • "Add site.." instead of "(none)" on sites menu when no sites present.
  • Some unused DrWimp functions and procedures removed (e.g. for slidebars and colour picker).

Sitematch is an exceptionally useful application. How often have you made changes to the local copy of your website, but neglected to upload all of the changes as you had forgotten that a particular item had been changed? (Several times - ED). With Sitematch this will never happen again.

DrWimp V 5.00 - Ray Favre

The ever popular DrWimp programming environment, as used by Sitematch, has now been updated to version 5.00. DrWimp has now been in continuous development for 14 years and as such must be one of the longest lasting "freeware" projects running on RISC OS. This new version has the following changes over the previous version 4.91 release:

  • An additional parameter has been added to the existing wimp-function 'PROCwimp_print()' to allow, for instance, alternate pages to be printed from a multi-page print run.
  • An additional global variable has been created to hold the full path of any file used to start-up an application. (This is added for convenience only and does not affect the existing automatic arrangements for staring applications from a file.)
  • A bug in 'FNwimp_renameobject()' has been fixed which wrongly prevented files from being re-named across hard-disc/media boundaries.
  • The Manual now has an extended description of how to save directories/applications using the existing facilities for file saving.
  • Coding has been tidied up in several places.
  • Updated documentation to reflect the latest changes.

The core of the Package comprises the 'DrWimp' library and a closely-linked skeleton !RunImage. This pairing enables Wimp programs - simple or complex - to be authored whilst keeping all the tedious and detailed stuff behind-the-scenes, leaving you to concentrate on the creative side.

DrWimp's Fabricate application

One of DrWimps's main advantages, for both newcomers and experienced users alike, is the ease and speed with which it gets you started with something actually on the screen. Or, using the supplied !Fabricate utility, you can get a customised new starter application prepared in a few seconds, ready for you to develop your latest project further.

Apart from holding the fundamental 'engine' powering all Dr Wimp applications, the 'DrWimp' library contains over 200 functions which give the programmer simple access to all the things necessary to build up Wimp applications. If there is something you want which is not already provided then the Package does not stop the user from creating their own library and then sharing that with other DrWimp users.

Searchy 1.80 - Andrew Poole

Searchy is a very useful application that allows you to launch different internet searches, using your chosen search engine, from your RISC OS desktop.  It display it's result using a RISC OS browser and is compatible with almost all RISC OS browsers. There may be some issues when using the latest ports of Firefox as Andrew himself admits that he has not been able to test Searchy with Firefox. Searchy should work on any RISC OS machine running RISC OS 3.50 upwards.

This new version of Searchy includes the following changes:

  • Dialogues tweaked to cope with Select's rounded buttons and RISC OS 6's default font choices
  • Sprites used in the application are no longer stored in the WIMP sprite pool
  • Rewritten !Help document


I find it rather amusing that a number of more "modern" operating systems have only recently added the sort of facilities that Searchy provides under RISC OS. If you ever need to do research on the Internet then Searchy could be ideal as it can always be present on the RISC OS desktop and takes up very little room.

sSync 0.03- Carlos Michael Santillan

sSync is a backup tool designed to synchronise the contents of two directories. sSync works only in one direction and tries to minimise the amount of data transferred between the two directories by only looking for any differences that exist.


sSync looks on the name, the file type, the size and the time stamp of both files and directories to compare the source directory and the destination directory. sSync understands a range of image files and also how to handle correctly. After running sSync the source and destination directories will contain identical contents. If the user wishes then certain specific files and or directories can be excluded from the synchronisation process.

As well as working on local storage, such as ADFS harddiscs, sSync can also compare directories over a range of networking systems, including NFS.

sSync is designed to be used from the command line, or to be called using a suitable Obey file. This is to ensure that the synchronisation process is as fast as possible and to prevent any changes being bade to either the source or destination folders while sSync is working. This new version includes the following improvements:

  • Abort problems by copying directories at first synchronisation is now solved.
  • Automatic creation of the destination directory if required.
  • Report configuration variables on screen.
  • Fix for a small time stamp bug plus several little internal changes.

If you need to produce regular backups, and you should be doing so, then sSysnc is well worth a try. Full instructions are supplied in the archive.

Coming next time...

I am not sure why I decided to write the above heading. After all I have no way of knowing what I will be featuring in the next issue, because I simply don't know which projects that are being worked on will reach fruition. We shall all find out together in the next issue.

Paul Brett