RISCOSbits welcomes developers to ROADS

We’re on a ROAD to software, come on and code…

In a move designed to hopefully encourage more people to develop software for RISC OS, and at the same time help existing developers with kit to test software on, and hopefully encourage those who are thinking about dipping a toe in the world of programming or people who are already capable but who have left the platform, the RISC OS Active Developer Scheme – or ROADS for short is a new initiative from RISCOSbits.

A notable problem on our platform is that while there is plenty of software available if you know where to look, although some actively developed there is still a significant amount that is old and outdated. Some of the old software may still work on up to date RISC OS hardware, but it’s long in the tooth and severely in need of updating – or replacing with something newer and better.

There’s a problem behind that problem, though – and that’s down to a lack of people willing and able to write or update software. There were once many more active developers than there are now, but the number has dwindled over the years, and of those who do still write software for the OS many do so much more slowly than they used to.

There are any number of reasons for these changes and, through ROADS RISCOSbits hopes to offer an incentive to counter at least some of them, by offering discounts on new hardware. The hope is that perhaps existing developers who are relying on older kit or emulators will add newer systems to their arsenal for coding and testing purposes, for example, or that programmers who have moved on from RISC OS might be tempted back if they can get a decent piece of up-to-date kit to work on without either breaking the bank or having to do-it-themselves.

In other words, the scheme isn’t just aimed at existing developers, but also those who’ve taken a wrong turn and found themselves on another platform – and in order to encourage potential new talent, it’s also open to people who want to learn to program on RISC OS.

The discounts available will vary according to the particular item being purchased, and the commitment of the developer, but could be up to 50%. It will also be possible to pay for hardware in interest-free instalments, allowing the cost to be spread – an important consideration while people are suffering the current cost of living crisis.

With the scheme launching just before the MUG RISC OS Xmas Market, RISCOSbits says that the discounts will apply on the day to anyone registered before the event – although it should be noted that there’s an approval process. This isn’t much more than taking a look at your website and/or looking for software you’ve written, and when you’re approved, and then letting you know one way or the other. That process does mean that – given the need to get ready for the show – now is probably not the best time to register if you’re heading to the event yourself, but it will be possible to apply at the show, and if approved the discounts will be available.

Finally, RISCOSbits notes that while the scheme isn’t limited to the UK, overseas applicants need to be aware that surcharges will apply to postage costs.

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