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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: VOTI web site protest

VOTI web site protest

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 09:10, 1/8/2001 | ,
The Visions of the Impossible website has been taken down and replaced with a page bemoaning the current state of the RISC OS market.

It seems Nathan believes that things are getting a little too impossible with the current lack of confidence in RISCOS Ltd. causing many of his colleagues to leave the RISC OS scene for good. Although taking down your own website may seem a little extreme, it seems to echo a sentiment felt by many since ROL's announcement that they would not be producing a 32bit version of RISC OS in the near future.

The VOTI website can be viewed here.

Source: Andrew Weston

  VOTI web site protest
  (22:33 1/8/2001)
  Jeffrey Lee (13:16 2/8/2001)
    Nathan (14:22 2/8/2001)
      Chris Bazley (18:14 2/8/2001)
        Nathan (23:06 2/8/2001)
          Lee Johnston (08:26 3/8/2001)
            Mark Quint (13:39 3/8/2001)
              Nathan (16:52 3/8/2001)
                Lee Johnston (14:49 4/8/2001)
                  Andrew Weston (08:22 6/8/2001)
                    Lee Johnston (08:28 6/8/2001)
                      Iain Williamson (17:33 8/8/2001)
                        Lee Johnston (08:34 9/8/2001)
                          Andrew Weston (09:34 9/8/2001)
                            Wrath (11:15 9/8/2001)
                              Gareth (13:13 16/8/2001)
                                Nathan (21:11 16/8/2001)
                                  Lee Johnston (11:48 17/8/2001)
                                    Nathan (12:09 17/8/2001)
Nathan Message #86998, posted at 22:33, 1/8/2001
Unregistered user Although I took down the site without informing VOTI members it seems my reasons are reflected throughout but this is my personal argument. If I didn't know so much about the market then I may be happier.
Current non-VOTI projects are on hold pending my further instruction. If nothing changes with regards to my feelings then I will cancel those projects.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Jeffrey Lee Message #86999, posted at 13:16, 2/8/2001, in reply to message #86998
Unregistered user How about forming some kind of petition?

Either ROL give 32bit RISC OS priority, or all the companies join together to get it from Pace? (Thus killing ROL). If we make a big enough threat, then they should see sense.

Remember that if the market is going through a rough patch, then running away can only make it worse. Once Omega makes it to our homes, things should start to pick up as people have hardware capable of using the new chips, PCI, etc. Wouldn't you just kick yourself if you leave just before things are about to get better?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #87000, posted at 14:22, 2/8/2001, in reply to message #86999
Unregistered user I wouldn't kick myself as RO will never beat Wintel. I have been tricked, lied to, promised etc. all the way through from Acorn ditching us that I am growing ever weary.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Chris Bazley Message #87001, posted at 18:14, 2/8/2001, in reply to message #87000
Unregistered user Come on Nathan, you didn't honestly believe in the rise and re-birth of RISC OS did you. Please say you were just in it
for the fun...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #87002, posted at 23:06, 2/8/2001, in reply to message #87001
Unregistered user I was in it to promote the platform, to have fun but I can't promote a platform I don't have any faith in because the lead company doesn't fill me with any confidence.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #87003, posted at 08:26, 3/8/2001, in reply to message #87002
Unregistered user Jeff - you're right, running away does make it worse for the market. However it's worth noting that pretty much all of VOTIs members could easily ply their trade elsewhere, some already do through their jobs and the like.

The point you're missing is that time is a valuable commodity for all of us and from my (and I guess Nathan's) point of view ROS Ltd are close to making me feel like I'm wasting that time.

Chris - I don't think anyone assumed RISC OS was going to be a runaway success but if there's no market growth is there any point in supporting it?
None of us are in it for the money but at least if I code for Windows or Linux I know Bill Gates or Linus Torvalds are both interested in making it succeed, the platform isn't going to disappear overnight and I get access to a potentially larger audience. Oh yeah I also gain time back because I'd only have to maintain two OS' as opposed to three.

Don't get me wrong - like Nathan I like the RISC OS platform and I enjoy coding on it, but I'm long past the stage of doing it just for fun and who cares what happens in the market.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Quint Message #87004, posted at 13:39, 3/8/2001, in reply to message #87003
Unregistered user well, atm i think im holding my breath, as we're seeing things beginning to start moving, perhaps this year's RiscOS show will be productive too :)
But I think you've got to be producing your software/product with some kind of aim to "success", even if there are only a few thousand people who could use it (and appreiciate it) :/
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #87005, posted at 16:52, 3/8/2001, in reply to message #87004
Unregistered user A few thousand using any of our products would be useful but it would never be that high. I don't want to use up people's hard earned time to support a dying platform so I want a definite future for my projects to flourish. Yes this platform isn't a money spinner but I don't want to spend my free time as well as my colleagues writing for something that's gonna be dead.

I have become increasingly depressed with how this market is run and now the eternal optimists on the newsgroup just irritate me. Something needs to be done, morale is at an all time low and I used to talk people out of leaving the platform so it has obviously gotten worse.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #87006, posted at 14:49, 4/8/2001, in reply to message #87005
Unregistered user Just to add to Nathan's point about not wasting time with something that's dead - consider how long it takes to put together a game like EMD or Tek. If we assume that it's going to take at least a couple of years of spare time coding then we have to be sure that there will be a platform alive to release it to at the end of it's development.

This is also another reason why I'm a huge advocate of C over ARM for practical reasons - if the platform dies the majority of code I write will port without too much bother.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew Weston Message #87007, posted at 08:22, 6/8/2001, in reply to message #87006
Unregistered user Although you could write for another ARM based system, Lee. How this is done with regards to software and storage I don't know.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #87008, posted at 08:28, 6/8/2001, in reply to message #87007
Unregistered user The only other ARM based system out there that can really support games is the GameBoy Advance. I know that a bunch of PDAs use SAs and the like but a stylus really isn't the best form of input for an action game.

In addition the OS interface and underlying hardware will be different - which basically goes back to writing portable C code with some kind of abstraction layer over the OS (which is effectively what I do now anyway).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Iain Williamson Message #87009, posted at 17:33, 8/8/2001, in reply to message #87008
Unregistered user Given that porting ARM code to a different machine architecture is significantly more difficult than porting 26-bit ARM code to 32-bit, it's not really an option. Porting C on the other hand is, although the lack of cross platform libraries is a hindrance.

Frankly I can't see what to do about it, and yet something needs to be done if any real development is still do be done for the platform. I didn't see the VOTI site before it disappeared completely. Is it coming back up?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #87010, posted at 08:34, 9/8/2001, in reply to message #87009
Unregistered user While the lack of cross-platform libraries can make things tricky, often it's not much of a problem providing you have experience on your target platforms. Certainly from my point of view there is the OpenGL option on all platforms, although it's not too realistic on RISC OS due to the lack of hardware acceleration. Also for Windows based programs there are libraries such as wxWindows on most platforms (including Windows and Linux). Finally Java is a realistic option on the other platforms now - especially with the new libraries in 1.4 allowing direct access to memory buffers allocated by native code - I've seen a very impressive realtime 3D landscape written using Java 1.4 beta.

In addition porting from RISC OS to other platforms tends to be pretty easy because all the other platforms support (in one form or another) everything that RISC OS can do - coming back again is the hard part as RISC OS is severely under featured in certain departments. (The lack of threading and pre-emptive multitasking for example makes writing portable network code a real pain on RISC OS)

Finally as for whether the VOTI site will reappear, well that's really down to Nathan - someone convince him it's worth it.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew Weston Message #87011, posted at 09:34, 9/8/2001, in reply to message #87010
Unregistered user Iain - yes the VOTI website had recently been improved with the addition of pages for a nice game in development :-))
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Wrath Message #87012, posted at 11:15, 9/8/2001, in reply to message #87011
Unregistered user The VOTI will be back up although my enthusiasm is still rock bottom due to my personal feelings towards ROL. If nothing changes as regards ROL then I will bring the site down again probably after a month. To stop this happening then sort ROL out.

Overcast was added as Andrew hinted just before it went down, nice timing.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gareth Message #87013, posted at 13:13, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #87012
Unregistered user Okay guys, now just a minute! Just remind yourselves that it if wasn't for RISC OS Ltd. we wouldn't have RISC OS 4 and some kind of future to look forward to. At least with some of the talented programmers we have on this platform, such as VOTI, we have some chance in the end.
It is not ROL's fault that the market is in this awful state, in fact there is some good hardware and software gradually appearing, but it will take time, so can we please be patient.
If I heard everyone in the market speaking this negatively I think I would have left the platform by now!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #87014, posted at 21:11, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #87013
Unregistered user Sorry Gareth but the reason is the way ROL are working. As I have said time and time again I disagree with the management so much that I have stopped my projects in protest. The leadership is bad, PR is bad, customer service is bad. The only thing they do that is good is take you money.

ROL as an idea isn't bad but the management is and I don't care that they salvaged RO4 because that's in the past, what I care about are the people leaving the market because they are so fed up with it. I don't know anyone that has ever come back to this market so once left forever gone.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #87015, posted at 11:48, 17/8/2001, in reply to message #87014
Unregistered user Certain comments on the latest Foundation CD don't fill me with confidence either.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #87016, posted at 12:09, 17/8/2001, in reply to message #87015
Unregistered user I am strongly thinking of getting some sort of petition or protest together to fire at shareholders, either they are blind or kept shtum.

If you believe ROL isn't working right then email me and I will formulate a petition for shareholders. I will delete your name if you like.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: VOTI web site protest