RISC OS Developments release OBrowser as a fundraising initiative

As this year’s Wakefield Show drew near, news emerged of a new company – RISC OS Developments Ltd – formed by R-Comp’s Andrew Rawnsley and Orpheus Internet’s Richard Brown, with an extra theatre slot set aside for Richard to explain why the company was set up, what it’s purpose is (to a certain extent; full details were, and still are, subject to a non-disclosure agreement), and how people could help.

A video of that talk is on YouTube:

Richard Brown explaining RISC OS Developments at Wakefield 2017

Unfortunately, not everyone could justify the level of investment required, even though they wanted to contribute in some way to RISC OS Developments. Meanwhile, those people who were able to make an investment in the company in order to support it received a bonus gift in the summer as a ‘thank you’ for their contribution.

Earlier in the year, Andrew and Richard were discussing the port of the Otter web browser to RISC OS – which has been brought to our platform thanks to the efforts of Chris Gransden and Lee Noar – and while it is an impressive piece of work, it does suffer a common porting issue in that it doesn’t behave like a normal RISC OS application.

The result of that discussion was the basis of that bonus gift: A front-end application for Otter, called OBrowser, which provides a number of benefits. The application puts an icon on the icon bar, from which there is a standard menu for choices to be made, or for the application to be quit, and it supports drag and drop, handling any necessary parsing of the file(s) before passing the necessary elements on to Otter itself for handling. For example, it can parse a text file for URLs, and supports both the ANT and Acorn URL launch protocols – so if you click on a link in an email, OBrowser will handle the message, and pass the address on to the browser itself.

The company is now making OBrowser available as a way to allow people to make smaller contributions to the company, by selling it on CD at the London Show tomorrow. Two levels of ‘donation’ are suggested – £40 if you’re only going to use it on a single computer, and £80 if you’re going to use it on multiple machines, or if you can afford a slightly higher amount.

It’s important to note that the suggested amounts are really for the funding of RISC OS Developments’ work – the details of which are still subject to the non-disclosure agreement – rather than for OBrowser itself, so please bear that in mind if you are considering it: It’s a way to help fund the company’s longer term work more than anything else.

It’s worth noting that although the NDA is still in force, the company has now announced that it is partnering with RISC OS Open Ltd to fund the target amount for the first step of the TCP/IP stack overhaul bounty, a key goal of which is to bring modern security protocols to the platform.

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