RISC World


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

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

NetSurf in Google Summer of Code 2008

Google Summer of Code is an annual program which offers stipends to students for completing open-source projects over the summer.

NetSurf is participating as a mentoring organisation this year. If you are a student and would like to work on NetSurf this summer, take a look at at the NetSurf project ideas page at Note that these are only ideas and students are free to propose their own plans.

If you would like to take part, you need to apply on Google's Summer of Code site before the end of March. NetSurf is a free web browser, available from: Further details are available on the following Drobe article.

The NetSurf Developers

Job Opportunity at Knightsfield School

Knightsfield School has a vacancy for a Humanities teacher. We are looking to recruit a Humanities (Geography, History and RE) teacher for September 2008. We are hoping that there is someone out there who is both a Humanities teacher and RISC OS friendly who would like to join the staff of our outstanding (Ofsted said so) school.

It is a lovely place to teach, with nice (well usually) pupils and a great team of staff. The school has an extensive network of RPCs and all teachers have VRPC laptops.  We also use Macs, especially for digital video and music activities.

Further details of the post can be found at

Mrs S.E. Pointeer (Deputy head)

VirtualRPC for Mac Technical Support Area

Whilst VirtualAcorn prepare the next release of  VirtualRPC-AdjustSA for the Mac we have taken the opportunity to update the technical support section of our website. Following feedback from our  beta testers we have now opened a Mac specific section of the site to run  alongside the existing Windows section.

The new part of the site can  be reached using the Support button on our main index page. This leads  through to the main support page. Clicking on Knowledge Base will open up the main article index. From here there are options to view both the existing Windows articles and the new Mac OS X articles. VirtualAcorn aim to include further technical articles in this resource as and when appropriate.

VirtualAcorn would like to extend their thanks to those  testers who have contributed to this resource whilst it's been prepared. The intention is to gradually extend the Mac Knowledge Base to contain a similar range of articles to the Windows version.

More information can be found at

Aaron (VirtualAcorn)


RISC OS Connect website launched

After much prevarication RISC OS Connect goes live today (2nd February 2008). RISC OS Connect is a web based initiative to connect the as yet unexploited people of the RISC OS community to each other. The people we are hoping to attract are both programmers and non-programmers. People who want to contribute to the ongoing developments in some way.

Initially the main focus of the website will be around the Skills Database. This is a collection of people who have added themselves and described what function they are able to perform.

The main site can be found at / From here you will find more information about RISC OS Connect, related news, links and the Skills Database.

The Skills database is open to all.  From here, if you wish, you can create an account and input the areas you feel you are best suited to be able to render your services.  Or you can simply view the database to see who is available and what they can do.

A mailing list is also available.  This is open for anyone to join and to be used to discuss related matters.  This is also the place to submit your ideas for further development of both the site and the RISC OS Connect initiative.

The basic idea behind the RISC OS Connect website is to indicate what resources are still available within the community.  Knowing what resources are available is very useful to developers, who perhaps have time to do the programming, but not time write user manuals and other non-programming related activities.  The developer would then be able to use the RISC OS Connect site to locate people who are able/willing to write user guides or other tasks they need performing, thus allowing the developer to concentrate on their program.

Alternatively the Skills Database could be used to put together a small programming team with people who have a varying skill set.  The opportunities are there.  You just have to take them. As alluded to above this is a new initiative to connect resources within the RISC OS Community.

The origins of RISC OS Connect come from a discussion on the Drobe new portal back in April 2007.  You can view this discussion and subsequent articles here:

RISC OS Connect does not seek to replace various other on-line efforts such as and RISC OS Open.  We aim to coexist and provide a service that neither site currently offer. Our aim is to provide a connection point for disparate parts of the RISC OS community and bring them together in a useful and constructive manner. So welcome, come in and enjoy the fun!

RISC OS Connect Team

Get Involved in Making Life easier for Everyone

As a part of the joint co-operation between RISC OS Open and RISCOS Ltd, we are please to announce the availability of a tool which we hope will help to make life a little bit easier for developers. It is aimed at gathering some specific statistics from a wide range of RISC OS users in order for us to better identify where the main problem areas lie with respect to the differences between the RISCOS Ltd RISC OS branch and the Castle Technology RISC OS branch.

The EnsureScan program will search for applications in a specific location on your computer, for example in a specified directory (defaulting to $.Apps) or all of a specified hard disc.

During the scanning process, it will look for applications and when it finds one, it will look at any !Boot or !Run file inside the application to build a list of all of the modules which are required by that application. It does this by looking for RMEnsure commands in those files, hence the name of this program, as those commands indicate that the application requires that a certain module of at least a certain version number in order to function correctly.

The reason for doing this scan is simply to gather information from a large cross-section of the community about which modules are required by applications. We aren't tracking what applications each user has or what modules each application requires.

The data collected is simply: how many times during the scan was a given module seen in an RMEnsure command and what version numbers of modules are being asked for? This is useful because it will indicate which modules are important to developers and that in itself helps to focus attention on solving problems where separate streams of development of those modules means that a simple version number check (as per RMEnsure) is no longer sufficient.

If we want to find ways to make it simpler for developers to ensure that their applications have access to versions of a module which provide specific features and/or bug fixes, then gathering this information is an important first step.

Just install and run !EnsureScn, then e-mail the results from it back to us. Download your copy of !EnsureScn from:


Thanks for your help!