Feb 072016

It’s catch-up time again after another busy period here at the RISCOSitory bunker, folks – so here’s another batch of news nuggets that have been waiting in the wings:

RiscOSM sees rapid fire releases of 1.32 – 1.35

Towards the end of January, Sine Nomine released version 1.32 of RiscOSM, their OpenStreetMap-based vector map software, and also updated the map data available to download from their website for the British Isles, Netherlands, and Australasia.

The software has seen several, albeit minor changes since the London Show, including the image tiling algorithm being rewritten to make it faster over large areas, style sheet amendments to allow features bigger or smaller than a specified sized to be omitted, changes to the ‘monochrome’ style sheet to remove shading from most land areas, and the elimination of some rare, but irritating bugs.

Version 1.32 was closely followed by version 1.33, to address a newly discovered (but old) bug, which didn’t show up until newer map data provoked it, and this was closely followed by versions 1.34 and 1.35 – the latter fixing a problem whereby the image tiling algorithm in 1.32-1.34 could produce errors in the Features window.

No roadies needed for a RISC OS soundcheck

Jim Lesurf has made available a new version of his Soundcheck application which, sadly, doesn’t give the user access to the soundchecks carried out by their favourite bands in the run up to concerts, and instead checks the sound settings, etc., on their RISC OS computers.

The latest version – 1.22 – was released towards the end of January, and the update was largely prompted by a new test build of RISC OS 5.23 from R-Comp for the ARMSX ARMX6. That build of RISC OS provides improved video/monitor compatibility, including HDMI audio. Soundcheck, therefore, will now report the the relevant OS details, the currently selected audio output device, and – if appropriate – the audio formats/speaker modes supported by the attached HDMI device.

StrongED 4.69 gets a spinach supplement

Since the release of StrongED 4.69f9 – the ninth full release of the popular, general purpose text editor – a number of issues have been found with the software. The full download itself has now been updated to deal with these, but for those who already have the full version installed, a separate update [direct zip] can be downloaded.

Fixes include addressing a problem with the TaskWindow code which prevented the insertion of strings longer than 32 characters, the lack of update to the cursor position on the Infobar when files were (Ctrl-) Shift dragged to a TaskWindow, a couple of page zero accesses – triggering reports on versions of RISC OS 5 with the ZeroPain module – when saving the contents of a ‘List of Found’, along with other equally unimportant things.

However, one particularly significant issue was discovered and is fixed in this update: The Choices item on the iconbar menu only had two trailing dots instead of the usual three. Phew!

OS SWI StrongHelp manual expanded

A revised and expanded version of the StrongHelp manual covering all the main system calls – the ‘software interrupts’ or SWIs that almost all software running on a RISC OS computer will be using to interact with the operating system – is now available to download [direct zip].

Version 3.37 of the manual – announced by Rob Sprowson – includes a number of changes since the last update, which was on 5th April, 2014 according to the history found within the manual itself.

Speaking of Rob – wanna hear Rob speaking?

The first 2016 meeting for ROUGOL – the RISC OS User Group of London – featured a visit by Rob to talk about Titanium, a new motherboard designed with RISC OS in mind.

A recording of Rob’s visit has now been made available for anyone who was unable to attend the meeting.

Yet another RISC OS Webkit-based browser – QupZilla

Following the port of the Otter web browser to RISC OS, Chris Gransden has turned his attention to another browser, in the form of QupZilla.

Like Otter, QupZilla is a Webkit-based browser, and the port has been made possible because it uses the same Qt5Webkit-back end – but it also has a few features that Otter lacks, such as a password manager, simple RSS feed reader, spell checker, and so on. The downside is that it’s apparently not as configurable as Otter and, says Chris, not updated as often – although that arguably means, when it comes to the RISC OS port, that it’s a target which isn’t moving too fast.

The port [direct zip] is currently a test build, based on version 1.8.9 of the browser, and full instructions for installing it can be found in the RISC OS Open forums.

New to C? See here!

An entirely different discussion on the RISC OS Open forums, about learning the art of Wimp programming using C, has prompted Steve Fryatt to make available some useful tutorial material that he has been working on for some time. The material – which Steve stresses is far from complete – covers such areas as moving from BASIC to C, compiling using the CC application, using Make files, and more.

Fireworkz follows its Pro sibling to version 2.00 and beyond

Shortly before the RISC OS London Show, R-Comp announced the release of Fireworkz Pro 2, to be officially released at the show. A week and a half later – just in time for Bonfire Night – Stuart Swales released version 2.00.01 of the non-Pro version, describing it as a Big Bang that doesn’t scare the pets.

While Fireworkz Pro is an integrated word processor, spreadsheet and database, Fireworkz is merely an integrated word processor and spreadsheet – i.e. it’s the same core program, but without the database. As such, the many features found in the word processor and spreadsheet component of the Fireworkz Pro are also found in Fireworkz.

Apparently, there was no version 2.00 of Fireworkz, only Fireworkz Pro, making 2.00.01 the first release across all platforms and variants.

Since then, another minor point releases have been made, fixing some problems and bringing the software up to version 2.00.03.

And let’s not forget PipeDream…

Also in November, Stuart released an update to PipeDream. Version 4.54 includes a number of improvements, including small changes to ensure compliance with the latest Style Guide as well as to some terminology,  some functions have been improved, and one ‘backported’ from Fireworkz, as well as a number of general bugfixes.

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