Coming from a school with a RISCOS background, I set myself the mission to mention RISCOS to as many program developers as possible. This year's Bett show was no exception, but this time, with surprising results.
With several Educational Software Houses using Macromedia to produce their software, the emphasis is on the Web Browser to deliver the tools. I put the development of Oregano forward as argument to some developers that RISCOS should not be ruled out. The existance of the Bush Internet TV running a version of RISCOS was another useful lever.
I got surprisingly positive feedback. In fact, one programmer - perhaps just to get rid of me - said that he would look into the possibility of developing a front end so that other Operating Systems (including RISCOS) could view his software. Since many software titles now have sound and graphics and universal formats, this should not require the vast amount of time that programmers may have thought necessary in the past.
However, we must ensure that we continue to develop our own tools. Now that the Macromedia tools are available for Linux, I hope that someone has already begun the port.
We could always do with a Quicktime reader, though I believe there are some problems with copyright. Talking to Kudlian, the programmer I spoke to there said that if the market was to pick up, he would definitely write for RISCOS again. In fact, much of there source code is still being written in StrongEd!
The problems often still arise from ignorance though. I heard of a school who were all set to install Citrix over the top of some second hand RiscPCs and A7000s, until their LEA told them that they would not finance them unles they bought Windows NT. In fact they ended up with NT workstations, so could not run much of the software anyway.
As users, we must not only badger the developers, but to be prepared to put our money where our mouth is and upgrade software and buy new copies as they are released.
The future is not as bleak as it seems, but it is not always in the hands of other people. That said, I would encourage computer users to continue to ask for RISCOS software, not just expect there not to be any.