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The Icon Bar: News and features: Newsround
 

Newsround

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 18:30, 20/10/2012 | , , , , , , , ,
 
Here's a quick round up of some of the recent activities in the RISC OS world.

London Show reminder

Next weekend, Saturday the 27th of October, is the date for this years London show. The show is to be held at the usual location of the St Giles Hotel in Feltham, London, and will be open from 11AM to 5PM. Tickets cost 5 on the door.

Although the theatre presentation schedule isn't yet available, the exhibitor's list is. Apart from all the usual subjects you should also keep an eye out for ROOL's first official, stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi.

ROOL updates

As mentioned above, the first stable release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi is expected to be unveiled at this years London show. The port has come on a long way since it was first shown at last years show, and is now pretty much on par with the other platforms with regards to features and usability. The distribution is to be available in the form of an SD card complete with ROM image, !Boot sequence, and a selection of pre-installed software, based around the work Chris Hall and others have placed into the Pi alpha distro.

Other news from ROOL in recent months includes:

  • The release of SDFS, an SD card filing system for all the modern machines (BeagleBoard/ARMini, PandaBoard, Raspberry Pi)
  • The release of several 32bit compatible NIC drivers for the RiscPC/A7000 (previously the IOMD port of RISC OS 5 had no drivers available, except under emulation)
  • Work on step one of the multi-stage filing system improvements bounty has begun
  • There have also been several performance improvements over the past few months - faster remapping of memory and shorter drive mount times, resulting in significantly shorter boot times for modern machines, faster font plotting, and last but not least a SmartReflex driver to allow the BeagleBoard-xM/ARMini to run at its full speed of 1GHz instead of 800MHz.

GCC 4.1.2 release 2 released

Hot on the heels of release 1 of GCC 4.1.2, the RISC OS GCCSDK team have released release 2, with a focus on fixing the bugs that were found in the initial release.

Emulation news

  • Aemulor Pro now freely available for ARMv7 machines
    A new version of Aemulor Pro, compatible with all the modern ARMv7 machines (BeagleBoard, ARMini, PandaBoard, etc.) is now available to download free of charge from the Spellings website at http://buyit.spellings.net/. A Raspberry Pi compatible version is expected to appear in due course.
  • ArcEm 1.50 alpha available
    The ArcEm team are back with a new website and a new alpha release. Compared to the previous 1.00 release there have been many significant improvements. In particular the RISC OS version is now ARMv6/ARMv7 compatible, and fast enough to play most Arc games at full speed on an Iyonix. Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator, and several games to play on it, under the moniker !AcornMode.
  • Atari emulator Hatari ported to RISC OS
    In recent weeks Franck Martinaux has released a RISC OS port of version 1.6.2 of the Atari ST emulator Hatari. The emulator is reported to run at full speed on BB-xM, and is available from Franck's website at http://www.norisc-nofun.co.uk/software.html.

 
  Newsround
  ralph (10:38 21/10/2012)
  swirlythingy (11:14 21/10/2012)
    nunfetishist (11:23 21/10/2012)
    tlsa (16:12 21/10/2012)
      swirlythingy (23:36 21/10/2012)
        nunfetishist (09:45 22/10/2012)
          swirlythingy (10:43 22/10/2012)
            nunfetishist (11:33 22/10/2012)
            tialaramex (11:36 22/10/2012)
              tlsa (11:40 22/10/2012)
              arawnsley (12:22 22/10/2012)
                nunfetishist (13:20 22/10/2012)
                  swirlythingy (16:49 22/10/2012)
                ralph (11:47 23/10/2012)
                  tlsa (19:26 25/10/2012)
                    sirbod (19:52 25/10/2012)
                      tlsa (18:49 27/10/2012)
  nunfetishist (11:21 21/10/2012)
 
Ralph Corderoy Message #121270, posted by ralph at 10:38, 21/10/2012
Member
Posts: 6
Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator

Anyone know how RComp are complying with ArcEm's GNU GPL requirements? I looked briefly at http://www.rcomp.co.uk/ but didn't see an obvious means of contacting them to ask.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Martin Bazley Message #121271, posted by swirlythingy at 11:14, 21/10/2012, in reply to message #121270

Posts: 460
Anyone know how RComp are complying with ArcEm's GNU GPL requirements?
As far as I can see, this is limited to a line in the accompanying ReadMe:
The application contains documentation and info relating to ArcEm, and links to ArcEm development for sources etc.
And the last line in !AcornMode's !Help runs thus:
To contact the developers or access the source code, visit ArcEm's homepage at http://arcem.sf.net/
Meanwhile, the infamous section 3b) of GPLv2 (included as 'COPYING') states:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange.
I guess SourceForge is "a medium customarily used for software interchange", and probably isn't going to vanish within the next three years, and thanks to the magic that is version control the source you grab can be as 'corresponding' as you like.

The GPLv2 really shows its 1991 heritage at times...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #121272, posted by nunfetishist at 11:21, 21/10/2012, in reply to message #121270
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
Members of R-Comp's ARMini/BeagleBoard/PandaLand support schemes also have access to a more polished version of the emulator

Anyone know how RComp are complying with ArcEm's GNU GPL requirements? I looked briefly at http://www.rcomp.co.uk/ but didn't see an obvious means of contacting them to ask.
I was about to ask precisely this.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #121273, posted by nunfetishist at 11:23, 21/10/2012, in reply to message #121271
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
Meanwhile, the infamous section 3b) of GPLv2 (included as 'COPYING') states:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange.
I guess SourceForge is "a medium customarily used for software interchange", and probably isn't going to vanish within the next three years, and thanks to the magic that is version control the source you grab can be as 'corresponding' as you like.

The GPLv2 really shows its 1991 heritage at times...
Not good enough. They need to provide a written offer, or the sources themselves. They are not allowed to refer you to where they got it from unless they are both non-profit/non-commercial and they received a written offer themselves. I doubt Sourceforge provided R-Comp with such an offer.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #121279, posted by tlsa at 16:12, 21/10/2012, in reply to message #121271

Posts: 1093
and thanks to the magic that is version control the source you grab can be as 'corresponding' as you like.
So you're saying all RComp's changes were upstreamed?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Martin Bazley Message #121283, posted by swirlythingy at 23:36, 21/10/2012, in reply to message #121279

Posts: 460
and thanks to the magic that is version control the source you grab can be as 'corresponding' as you like.
So you're saying all RComp's changes were upstreamed?
AFAICT, they didn't alter the code in any way (doubt they'd know how to, TBH), which makes the most likely candidates for R-Comp's "modifications" the new sprites, the arrangement of the distribution itself, and a number of bundled old closed-source games to which they own the rights. Oh, and it also comes with a RISC OS ROM, which I don't think the original version does.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #121285, posted by nunfetishist at 09:45, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121283
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
AFAICT, they didn't alter the code in any way (doubt they'd know how to, TBH), which makes the most likely candidates for R-Comp's "modifications" the new sprites, the arrangement of the distribution itself, and a number of bundled old closed-source games to which they own the rights. Oh, and it also comes with a RISC OS ROM, which I don't think the original version does.
Distributing a GPL binary means the must distribute the complete sources to build that binary (ie, the program, all libraries, etc), or provide a written offer valid for 3 years to do so on request. Are they?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Martin Bazley Message #121287, posted by swirlythingy at 10:43, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121285

Posts: 460
Distributing a GPL binary means the must distribute the complete sources to build that binary (ie, the program, all libraries, etc), or provide a written offer valid for 3 years to do so on request. Are they?
If I say yes, will you shut up?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #121288, posted by nunfetishist at 11:33, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121287
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
If I say yes, will you shut up?
Possibly.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nick Lamb Message #121289, posted by tialaramex at 11:36, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121287
Member
Posts: 2
It's a depressingly familiar scene. You see it on all the also-ran retro-computing platforms. OS/2, BeOS, Amiga, and of course RISC OS.

Legally it's unacceptable to violate the easily fulfilled terms of the GPL. Ethically it's unacceptable. But what's really sad is that it's actively corrosive for the communities where it happens.

One "popular" OS site had binaries only for many GPL programs including some I'd contributed to. After repeated requests they responded by removing those I'd specifically worked on entirely, all rather than just offer their version of the source code. The others remained.

A few years later people tried to update the software to a newer OS. They asked for source code. But of course none of the working source code existed because people who got it working just uploaded binaries and threw away the source. So they had to begin again from scratch. Only a handful of people left and they're wasting time recreating someone else's work for the want of a few hundred kilobytes of source code.

It's stupid, like being so protective of your particularly delicious variant of chocolate marble cake that you destroy the recipe and no more is ever made rather than allow others to make their own. Stupid, wasteful.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #121290, posted by tlsa at 11:40, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121289

Posts: 1093
Anyway, thanks for the news roundup Jeffrey! smile

Looking forward to the ROOL Pi release.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #121291, posted by arawnsley at 12:22, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121289
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
The sad thing is that for all the hoo-hah that threads like this spill up, no GPL breach takes place.

The ARMini (and our support schemes) includes physical printed offers of source in the actual, physical written manual supplied therewith. I believe this fulfils both the spirit and the literal elements of the GPL. This manual is also part of our standard downloads site.

If you look back at previous threads, you'll find (somewhere) I actually confirmed this with Rob previously, so why any of this thread was necessary is quite beyond me. Indeed, I recall Rob being quite pleased at the time that we were taking a pro-active stance on GPL.

In this case, the version we use was supplied (with permission) by Jeffrey Lee (author of the article) who AFAIK was responsible for the majority of 1.50 changes, and upstreamed things.

To cap off a separate thread, our PlingStore has a particular download category (source code) for GPL software source availability. This has been present since the first GPL item was uploaded. Indeed, it need not be restricted to GPL source code, if developers wish us to host more source.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #121292, posted by nunfetishist at 13:20, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121291
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
The ARMini (and our support schemes) includes physical printed offers of source in the actual, physical written manual supplied therewith. I believe this fulfils both the spirit and the literal elements of the GPL. This manual is also part of our standard downloads site.
Good. Although you'd probably save yourself some bother if you just put all the relevant sources on your website smile
If you look back at previous threads, you'll find (somewhere) I actually confirmed this with Rob previously, so why any of this thread was necessary is quite beyond me. Indeed, I recall Rob being quite pleased at the time that we were taking a pro-active stance on GPL.
You've been changeable, but normally happy to right any wrongs you've mistakenly made, yes. This is vastly superior that most organisations.

The number of RISC OS companies or organisations distributing NetSurf, for example, is quite high. And hardly any of them get the licence right. (No, pointing at our website for the source, or just keeping a copy of the .zip of NetSurf source for three years is not enough.)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Martin Bazley Message #121298, posted by swirlythingy at 16:49, 22/10/2012, in reply to message #121292

Posts: 460
On a lighter note, 1.50 alpha has just been superseded by 1.50 alpha 2. And this one works even if your keyboard has only one Windows key. Hoorah!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Ralph Corderoy Message #121305, posted by ralph at 11:47, 23/10/2012, in reply to message #121291
Member
Posts: 6
Hi Andrew, thanks for responding. You can see when I got "first post" that I was trying to establish a means of contacting you privately so sorry if you find the thread's inevitable wandering a problem.

The ARMini (and our support schemes) includes physical printed offers of source in the actual, physical written manual supplied therewith. I believe this fulfils both the spirit and the literal elements of the GPL. This manual is also part of our standard downloads site.
So you're following 3(b) of GPLv2? So if my friend buys an ARMini and passes on the binary and written offer to me under 3(c) I can come to you and obtain the source? I don't need to be a registered owner or anything to access that part of the site? I had a look around, e.g. http://www.armini.co.uk/downloads.shtml and didn't find anything.

why any of this thread was necessary is quite beyond me
Sorry to be pedantic but GNU GPL compliance can be tricky to get right so I'm trying to understand and make sure it's OK. (Without any of the ranting or raving sometimes seen before the facts are established. :-)

To cap off a separate thread, our PlingStore has a particular download category (source code) for GPL software source availability.
I found http://www.plingstore.org.uk/cgi-bin/plingstore/download.cgi but I'm unsure if that's the right place?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #121331, posted by tlsa at 19:26, 25/10/2012, in reply to message #121305

Posts: 1093
Anyone planning on going to the London show?

The Centre for Computing History will have a stand where they'll be preserving old RISC OS software, and they want people to bring along their old games for imaging.

See also this thread on TIB.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jon Abbott Message #121332, posted by sirbod at 19:52, 25/10/2012, in reply to message #121331
Member
Posts: 563
I'll certainly be attending and hope that plenty of people bring their original discs along for imaging. Hopefully we'll get some of the more rarer titles that are hard to find.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Drake Message #121343, posted by tlsa at 18:49, 27/10/2012, in reply to message #121332

Posts: 1093
Any news from the show? How's the Raspberry Pi stuff looking? Hope there was some good progress with the software preservation project. smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Newsround