Earlier this year, the French RISC OS resource RISC OS FR run by David Feugey moved to a new server. Previously, the site was being served from a Raspberry Pi running RISC OS – something that, while clearly possible, is probably not an ideal solution.
With the work surrounding that out of the way – a lot of internal work has apparently been done on the server, to improve both security and speed – David says he is now able to provide hosting services, both in the form of subdomains of riscos.fr and on a “Bring Your Own Domain Name” basis – i.e. by pointing your own domain name at the RISC OS FR server. The service is limited – no CGI, for example – but the service is available to anyone subject to a couple of simple restrictions: The site must have at least one section dealing with RISC OS or BBC BASIC, and must not feature any third party advertising.
David is also running the “second edition” of the site’s BBC BASIC contest. This time, the contest is open for entries that include software written in various different flavours of BBC BASIC – not just the version found in ROM (or ROM image) on computers and emulators running RISC OS, but also versions that run on other platforms, such as:
- Windows, in the form of Richard Russell’s BBC BASIC for Windows,
- Unix, in the form of Brandy “or other GPL interpeters,”
- Or even BBC BASIC as found in ROM on the old Acorn 8-bit computers.
The software can be of any type, from demos and games to tools and utilities, and can even include screensavers, BASIC libraries and example code. The selection, David says, will be based on the quality and quantity of code provided. In other words, entrants can make multiple submissions and all will be taken into account – suggesting that the competition is more about the programming than the programs.
The conditions – which are largely the same as the “first edition” of the contest, are that:
- The software *must* be written in BASIC. Assembler and system calls are acceptable, provided they do not form the core of the software.
- The source code must be free for all uses, with no licence conditions or copyright restrictions attached. (Old software re-issued as public domain1 will be accepted.)
- The second condition, David explains, is because the aim is to build a public library of code – so, presumably, all submitted code may appear on the website, even if it doesn’t win.
The address to which submissions can be made is firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is the end of November, and the winners will be announced in mid-December. The prizes are:
- The first prize will be a fully equipped Raspberry Pi Model B+ running RISC OS.
- The second prize will be a BBC BASIC for Windows licence.
- The third, fourth and fifth prizes will be the “55 BBC Micro Books” CD-ROM.
Other recent additions to the site include a new French ‘community’ page, providing information about the mailing list, details of upcoming events, links to other forums and mailing lists, and a selection of YouTube videos, and a Spanish page, containing a subset of the site’s content, as seen on the existing English and German pages, translated into Spanish.
- Note that in some regions, copyright exists automatically, and the term ‘public domain’ may not necessarily be a legally recognised one in the sense David means. Submitting software under a suitable free and open source licence should therefore be acceptable.