Gerph talks building RISC OS online with ROUGOL

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The next RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) meeting will take place online on Monday, 16th November, and the guest speaker will be none other than Gerph, who made a welcome return to RISC OS earlier this year, talking on the subject of building RISC OS online.

Based on his JFPatch software, which appeared in the mid-1990s, Gerph launched an online build system under the name JFPatch-as-a-service at the start of April this year. The announcement appeared on the 1st and said the service would only be available for a short time, which may have made people suspect it was an April Fool’s Day joke – but it most certainly wasn’t.

The original purpose of JFPatch was to make it easier to build RISC OS modules more easily, without the normal faff of manually dealing with the boilerplate requirements every time; the software served as a pre-processor that added the necessary elements pushed through it – and that’s essentially one part of what JFPatch-as-a-service did, and what the RISC OS Build Service (its new name) does.

The build environment used by the service is what Gerph describes as ‘a variant of RISC OS’ and, subject to some limitations (e.g. there is no WindowManager), functions just as you might expect of RISC OS, and offers a way to build and test code online. As well as being focused on the JFPatch pre-processor, the service can build components written in assembler, C, and Pascal, and supports standard AMU make-files, and a few other things.

To find out how Gerph turned his desktop software into an online service, and why he did so, how long it took to develop, and how the whole system works, tune in on Monday evening. The talk will take place via the Zoom video conferencing system, starting at 7:45pm (with the meeting open from 7:30pm).

In order to join, you will need a device that can connect to the internet and able to run the Zoom software, which is available for the main platforms. Ideally, you should also be equipped with a comfortable chair (if you can use your chosen device away from the desk), along with some snacks and drinks.

You will also need the necessary access codes – to get these, contact ROUGOL (ideally before the close of play on Sunday) and you will receive the necessary details on the day of the meeting.