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danpeirce
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:16 pm

-- so this was in response to DavidS's message at 11:27 (not the morst recent one)
So what I think you are saying DavidS is that when timing of a task is critical then preemptive multitasking is an issue that gets in the way. I agree with that. I guess the Raspberry Pi and RiscOS could be one solution to that issue in some cases. Keep in mind that when time is that critical the raspberry pi may no longer be the best solution; especially for a beginner. There are times and places where a PIC or an AVR may be a better solution. These devices are very inexpensive and there are many to choose from with different hardware configurations. In this case there may be no operating system at all. The programmer really does know the whole system be he/she is writing the whole thing (which in many cases can be quite simple).
The raspberry pi can often still be very useful in such a system because it is the simplest and least expensive way that I have seen to add ethernet access to a MCU project.
Reliable does not necessarily me time critical.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:53 pm

DavidS wrote:Also your statement about one windows program bringing down the whole system is more about memry protecton, not the multitasing model. Windows 3.1x did not have any memory protecion (even with "protected Memory" enabled [what they calle 'Protected Memory' whas actually on demand paging to disk]). RISC OS Has a decent level of memory protection. It is very rare to see any one task bring down any other task when it messes up. I actually see a task bring down he system more often on Linux than on RISC OS, givn everything being equal.
Yet internet servers around the world are running Linux and Apache due to the stability of these systems and RISC OS is not. We don't hear IT people saying they just wish Linux was more stable and reliable. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/b ... inux/10181

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:10 pm

Very well put.
danpeirce wrote:Reliable does not necessarily me time critical.
I agree with that.

Though as I said Cooperative Multitasking can be reliable. Unfortunately many have associated Cooperaive multitasking systems with those implementations that lack memory protection. While RISC OS still has its flaws, it does have a decent level of memory protection without gettig in the way. Once some of the miner bugs that remain in the RISC OS core and stadard modules get sorted it will be an extrodinarily stable operating system. Modules are not proteted, this is a good thing, though standard tasks are protected from one another. Most modules have been tested to etreme levels (because most developers are aware that modules are the one thing that can easily cause system wide trouble) so they are not likely to cause problems in most cases. Programs generally run as tasks and as such are protected.

I believe that RISC OS could easily become an operating that rivals Linux on the ARM platform if we could get enough people to use it, and develop for it. I do still worry about the possibility of developers going overboard and bloating the system (like they have wth Linux, and BSD). If we can remind them that the existing system already provides everything that they need, there is no need to add a thousand libraries and custom modules, then we stand a chance of seeing a beutiful future for RISC OS. It does help that it is a shared source system, and not a fully open source system.

I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll (yea there are other things, tough those are only likely if the software is designed to be malicious). This could be easily added as a simple module hooked into the centasecond timer (being called every 100 iterations of the timer).
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:25 am

DavidS wrote: (snip)...

I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll ... (snip).
Yes but that is just the sort of mistake beginners make all the time and others make sometimes with a bug that creates an endless loop or bypasses some critical call.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:08 am

I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll
That's what Alt/Break is there for.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:09 pm

danpeirce wrote:
DavidS wrote: (snip)...

I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll ... (snip).
Yes but that is just the sort of mistake beginners make all the time and others make sometimes with a bug that creates an endless loop or bypasses some critical call.
One of the first things a tutorial on WIMP programming should teach is how to get it to quit.

And what is the problem with the system hanging or crashing? No-one else is using the system, nothing's been damaged, and this is an educational system!

I've written bad code, and then made it auto-start.
So every time it boots up, it crashes before I can stop it.
To get round that, I've had to hold down shift while booting.
There's always a way round, and you learn not to do that again.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:13 pm

DavidS wrote
I do still worry about the possibility of developers going overboard and bloating the system
I doubt if that's likely to happen as there are (still) relatively few developers working on RISC OS (though perhaps this will improve because of RaspberryPI) - and there are still many things to be done so given those limitations while the OS might grow (a little) bloat I don't think will be an issue.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:42 pm

danpeirce wrote:Yet internet servers around the world are running Linux and Apache due to the stability of these systems and RISC OS is not. We don't hear IT people saying they just wish Linux was more stable and reliable. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/b ... inux/10181
This does not show that RISC OS is not stable, it only shows that more has been done for linux in recent years.

Yes RISC OS has some issues, I do not deny this. As I stated before; If we get enough peope interested RISC OS could become a real alternative to linux on the ARM.

And I know plenty of people that maintain Linux based Servers (because it is more Stable than Windows), yes they do complain about the stabillity of the system. They ususlly have tripple redundncy so that when one goes down it does not affect the user base.
danpeirce wrote:
DavidS wrote:(snip)...

I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll ... (snip).
Yes but that is just the sort of mistake beginners make all the time and others make sometimes with a bug that creates an endless loop or bypasses some critical call.
Yes though how many new software engineers projects are going to be used in a crittical system that affects any one other than them self? Further this is why i suggested that it may be worth while to add a time out to the system, preempting a program that does this.
neilf wrote:
I do think that it would be worth adding a timer of sorts to forcably switch any task running in the WIMP that deoes not call Wimp_Poll for more than a couple of seconds. Currently the only thing that a normal task can easily do to 'crash the system' is never call Wimp_Poll
That's what Alt/Break is there for.
This will not always help. Especially once you get a begginer playing in assembly language :) .
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:30 pm

As to the Alt/Break solution, if a noob asm prorammer were to write a program that scans all key presses and goes into an infinate loop, or just forgets to call 'SWI &400C7' (Wimp_Poll) then there program would lock out everything. I just wrote an intentional system lock up to test this (though I did give it a way to quit [it whas only to test]).
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:56 pm

Burngate wrote:(snip)...
And what is the problem with the system hanging or crashing? No-one else is using the system, nothing's been damaged, and this is an educational system!
(snip)
I use the raspberry pi headless and remotely. My original question was actually along the lines of if there are ssh and vnc servers for riscos. The followup question was would it even be possible to have a reliable VNC connection to the raspberry pi under riscos given that it is not a preemptive multi tasking os. Stuff like alt-break is not going to help when using the machine remotely and it hangs.

From the discussion here so far it appears that there are no compelling reasons for me to switch over from Raspbian or even play around with RiscOS anytime soon. Some day I might give it a look if a situation comes up where it looks like it would help me.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:10 pm

danpeirce wrote:From the discussion here so far it appears that there are no compelling reasons for me to switch over from Raspbian or even play around with RiscOS anytime soon. Some day I might give it a look if a situation comes up where it looks like it would help me.
Ok and what do you do if Rasbian hangs? Just as likely as RISC OS hanging, at least in most cases.

As to a reliable VNC server, I would say that VNC on RISC OS is as reliable as it is on any other system. I actually took a little time to look at a VNC server for RISC OS, and it will continue to function even if the rest of the system hangs (I created an intentional hang, to test your questions) And it does alow you to send a Ctrl/Break correctly. I must assume that it hooks one of the periodic interupts.

I am not listing the particular VNC server that I tested with as it is 26-Bit addressing only and not 32bit clean. Thus it will not run on the RPi. Though I do understand that there are good 32bit VNC servers available for RISC OS.
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:24 am

DavidS wrote:They ususlly have tripple redundncy so that when one goes down it does not affect the user base.
Triple redundancy is usually there because the user software fails through bugs (generally memory leaks), not the kernel software. It's also there because fans, capacitors and motors die. A lot. I once had a mirrored pair of IBM drives fail within 10 minutes of each other due to a firmware bug.
DavidS wrote:Yes though how many new software engineers projects are going to be used in a crittical system that affects any one other than them self?
Well my first job was in a TV station. I was the only software developer and I'd only ever done toy programming on a BBC Micro as a child and a few hours of C at uni while studying electronics. Yet I built a robot and video controller which automated 3 major TV channels (Fox Kids, Playboy and Discovery Channel) in real time, running robots to feed tapes and doing frame accurate serial control of video players. All this ran on Windows 95, 24/7 for years and years. All the problems found were in my data manipulation algorithms, not due to my choice of a pre-emptive OS.

The only reason I can see for using a co-op OS is for doing microsecond accurate bit-banging. And if you're doing that, isn't that where DMA or Arduino is more suitable?

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:28 am

DavidS wrote:
danpeirce wrote:From the discussion here so far it appears that there are no compelling reasons for me to switch over from Raspbian or even play around with RiscOS anytime soon. Some day I might give it a look if a situation comes up where it looks like it would help me.
Ok and what do you do if Rasbian hangs? ...(snip)
I just ran a couple of tests with a C program containing a while(1) statement in raspbian and I got to say that both SSH and VNC are more powerful than I realized. I guess I spent more time using telnet. I see that control-c kills the process and I was wrong on that point.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:10 am

Being both a long time RISC OS and Linux user I thought I would add my opinion. I think it is fair to say that Linux is, by its design, more stable than ROS - I have lost count the number of times I have managed to hang my RPC (although my RPi does generally seem more stable.) I am also not convinced by the pre-emptive vs co-operative arguments here.... it is very easy to tweak the niceness etc on Linux to achieve reasonable results if you absolutely must, then at least the control is in the domain of the user rather than the programmers. Whilst it is a very general statement (and I'm sure many will disagree), IMHO CMT is old fashioned and PMT is much better.

However, that is all part of the fun of using ROS, hanging the machine by doing something funky - and the design of the system means you can be pretty sure that a power cycle won't harm anything (in that respect the installation of ROS has always been pretty bullet proof, remember it was designed for educational use.) I think what ROS brings to the party is, as others have mentioned, that it is a fantastic OS to demonstrate the concepts of programming and OS design in a safe and simpler environment - and really aligns very closely to what the RPi was created for. I wouldn't use ROS for web hosting or as a general purpose server - but if you want that then just rent a VPS! In terms of OSes, it demonstrates a different way, and I think if you are going to become knowledgeable in computing then it is always useful to understand practically a number of different approaches and what the benefits/costs are of these.

Talking about pre-emptive multitasking, as a demonstration as to the flexibility of the OS, there is a long standing module called Wimp2 (google it) which adds some form of PMT to ROS. It works well on my ROS 4.39 RPC but I don't think has been updated to run on the RPi (yet.) Just by loading a module we can enable PMT, and then by unloading it go back to CMT - you couldn't do that as simply on Linux.

I also don't necessarily agree that ROS 5 is much better than ROS4/6. They are different and there are good bits in both branches, it is a real shame that it seems unlikely that the stuff from the RO Ltd branch will not be available to RPi users as I think there is some really good stuff there. Currently there is a blog running by one of the ex developers (www.gerph.org/riscos/index.html) talking about all the changes that they made to the RO Ltd line - which makes for interesting reading.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:03 pm

I don't think you're comparing like with like, and at the risk of feed a troll I would say that you fundamentally mis-understand both what the RPi and Risc Os are about. If you want a full strength, fully mutli-user environment as a server I suggest you pay the premium for that. If on the other hand you really were a 'noob' then you may well to explore the issues that for some reason the world has decided (against any real completion) has decided is 'correct'. I think you'll find it doesn't matter a jot to the average end user if under the skin in terms of multi-tasking, unless you were to mention the cost in terms of hard and software. All programmers start somewhere, and it's the discipline instilled at that point that will determine whether they 'make the grade', and with co-op multitasking you have to write well behaved software from the off once you get to that level of proficiency.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:41 pm

What does RiscOS bring to the party? Well, I've only just got here but instantly I can see the fresh perspective and the ethos with which ROS software is written. It's all about footprint/functionality as a measure of power. Where we are conditioned to accept that, say, a firewall can weigh in at 300 megabytes we now see that it is in fact an order or so of magnitude less. 30k should easily do the job. And that begs the question - what is my firewall made of? 90% dark matter is no longer good enough.
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:29 am

NigelJK wrote:I don't think you're comparing like with like, and at the risk of feed a troll I would say that you fundamentally mis-understand both what the RPi and Risc Os are about. If you want a full strength, fully mutli-user environment as a server I suggest you pay the premium for that. If on the other hand you really were a 'noob' then you may well to explore the issues that for some reason the world has decided (against any real completion) has decided is 'correct'. I think you'll find it doesn't matter a jot to the average end user if under the skin in terms of multi-tasking, unless you were to mention the cost in terms of hard and software. All programmers start somewhere, and it's the discipline instilled at that point that will determine whether they 'make the grade', and with co-op multitasking you have to write well behaved software from the off once you get to that level of proficiency.
There is something more important here than making 'the grade' as a programmer.
In our modern world with computers everywhere programming is a useful skill for everyone not just for professional programmers and hard core hackers. When I was young computers were inaccessible and programming was for researchers, scientists and engineers. Today many people have a computer in the phone they carry around all day, they have a computer that controls the ignition system in their car and they often have another computer they use for social networking and business communications. Perhaps they use it to balance their books and do their income tax return too. A computer is a general purpose tool that could be even more useful if people knew how to speak its language. A computer will do what it is told to do; that is only true if a person can speak in a language the computer can follow.
It seems sad to me to look around and see young people using computers all the time but mostly just to socialize and play games. Programming can be a lot of fun too. It could also be used to assist in learning math concepts. Math is a subject that so many people find boring and tedious yet lacking math skills is a barrier to learning science and technology. I think a computer could be used to help make learning math more interesting to young people if they had some level of skill in programming. I don't think they need to be highly proficient programmers for this. In my point of view the Raspberry Pi could be helpful in getting computers into the hands of kids with programming interpreters and compilers pre-installed.
I see having Linux on these computers also particularly useful since with it one is set to learn more than only programming one machine. One can learn about internet protocols and servers and how they are configured. They can configure an Apache server. A Raspberry Pi may not be the best computer to run Apache on but it does work well enough to learn a lot of concepts.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:49 am

@danpeirce:
Thank you, Thank you.
You have perectly articulated a point that I have been attempting to make for over a year on these forums. The point that is a big part of the reaon that I personally feel that RISC OS is the best suited OS for the RPi: EDUCATING THE YOUNG GENERATION. Is this not the goal of the RPi after all?

I do see your perspective on Linux, though does not RISC OS make the understanding of Networking Protocals even more accessable?

I feel that RISC OS has a few big advantages for the RPi in it's intended roll in education.
  • 1:) RISC OS an be understood in its entirety, by a single person. Especially usefull for those young
    \ people that choose to continue into the world of CS.
    2:) RISC OS comes with structured programming language that encourages propper style (for those
    \ that are not aposed to it being a verient of BASIC).
    3:) For those Intested in CS there are some deficiencies that need to be adressed, and of cource this
    \ will have the side effect of helping the rest.
    4:) RISC OS can provide a singletasking enviroment, a cooperative multitasking enviroment, and a
    \ premptive multitasking enviroment (thanks to WIMP2), and even some multithreading.
    5:) RISC OS is easier to program for in a GUI (WIMP) enviroment than any of the Linux GUI toolkits,
    \ and way way easier than programming for X11 directly. AND it does not need some toolkit
    \ to make it this simple.
    6:) RISC OS has a good clean implementation of the BSD Sockets library.
    7:) For the very young, there is already a greate deal of general education software out there that is
    \ written in BBC BASIC, and as such does not care about the changes in the CPU and will run.
    \ Everythig from math tutors, to language and grammer games, etc. And you do not need to
    \ figure out the archanes ideas of the programmer to run it (a negitive of linux for educational
    \ software for children in my view).
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:33 am

Markodius wrote:And that begs the question - what is my firewall made of? 90% dark matter is no longer good enough.
An excellent point, it would be interesting to compare the differences between two identical codes - one compiled on ROS (or any other simple OS) and one on another OS such as Linux and then investigate options (such as dynamic linkage rather than static) to see if one can reduce the overall sizes.
DavidS wrote:I feel that RISC OS has a few big advantages for the RPi in it's intended roll in education
I think a really good post - and I completely agree with those points. Additionally I think that there are fewer distractions on an ROS system - on modern systems, if somebody loads up an application or game then these are often feature packed and offer a great way to occupy one's time for many hours without using their brain. With a more basic system such as ROS, the apps/games are not as feature packed and hence one needs to fill their time with other things and often these are also much easier to tinker with.

My first computer was a BBC B, and the basic nature of this machine and it's software meant that to do anything useful (and to fill one's time) meant writing code - nowadays I think that people incorrectly see a far higher barrier to entry and have a very rich selection of ways to fill their time being more lazy rather than doing something they perceive as difficult.

As you said about simple programming being a basic skill, it is ironic that, as machines have become more popular, the computer using population is becoming less computer literate. By that I mean a very high percentage of computer users in the 80s could write some basic code, nowadays this is not true by any means.

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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:54 am

Depends on your point of view really. 50 or 60 years ago, if you wanted to drive a car, you needed to know how it worked in order to fix things when it inevitably broke down. Before that if you wanted to wear cotton clothes you needed to know how to process the raw materials. etc. etc. Now you don't need to.

Is it a *bad* thing to make technology more accessible by making it easier to use? No. Not at all. People that want to fiddle with things to see how they work will always do that. But you shouldn't exclude people that just want to use the technology as a means to an end. I fundamentally disagree with the 'if you want to use a computer you need to know how to program it' point of view. A computer is a tool like any other. No more, no less. The main difference is that it can perform many functions. And if I want to use it to perform a specific function, I either learn to use it myself, or pay someone else to do it.

I'm not trying to rubbish the view that computer education is a Good Thing. Totally the opposite, I think it's a very important part of my children's education, and I applaud the R-Pi foundation for keeping education at the very core of their purpose. I just don't think that people should be *expected* to know how to program in order to use computers. In the same way I don't *really* fully understand how the differential gearbox on my car works, it shouldn't stop me from driving it.

Sorry. Completely gone off on a tangent there. I fully expect to get slightly barbecued on this one, as after all, this place is full of people (myself included) who grew up fiddling with computers and learning to program when things didn't work as expected.
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:34 pm

nr. wrote:Depends on your point of view really. 50 or 60 years ago, if you wanted to drive a car, you needed to know how it worked in order to fix things when it inevitably broke down. Before that if you wanted to wear cotton clothes you needed to know how to process the raw materials. etc. etc. Now you don't need to.

Is it a *bad* thing to make technology more accessible by making it easier to use? No. Not at all. People that want to fiddle with things to see how they work will always do that. But you shouldn't exclude people that just want to use the technology as a means to an end. I fundamentally disagree with the 'if you want to use a computer you need to know how to program it' point of view. A computer is a tool like any other. No more, no less. The main difference is that it can perform many functions. And if I want to use it to perform a specific function, I either learn to use it myself, or pay someone else to do it.

I'm not trying to rubbish the view that computer education is a Good Thing. Totally the opposite, I think it's a very important part of my children's education, and I applaud the R-Pi foundation for keeping education at the very core of their purpose. I just don't think that people should be *expected* to know how to program in order to use computers. In the same way I don't *really* fully understand how the differential gearbox on my car works, it shouldn't stop me from driving it.

Sorry. Completely gone off on a tangent there. I fully expect to get slightly barbecued on this one, as after all, this place is full of people (myself included) who grew up fiddling with computers and learning to program when things didn't work as expected.
Glad to see another Fenman here...plenty of snow here on the Cambs/Norfolk boards so have managed not to get in to work. But that's a tangent...

The thing about programming, is that although it's a means to an end (jobs), it's also a worthwhile learning experience in itself, with quite a few aspects that, even if you don't end up programming, are still useful. Logic and a procedural approach to problem solving to name a couple. Of course, most people are not going to be 'into' it past the introductory stage, but the lessons subconsciously learnt will come in useful.
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:57 pm

nr. wrote:Is it a *bad* thing to make technology more accessible by making it easier to use? No. Not at all. People that want to fiddle with things to see how they work will always do that. But you shouldn't exclude people that just want to use the technology as a means to an end.
No one is attempting to exclude any one. You can use RISC OS with out learnig how to program.

As I stated above, RISC OS also has the advantage of a large amount of educational software from the educational days of Acorn that can still be used on the RPi running RISC OS, and this software is generaly easier to use than the equilivents in Linux/Mac OS X/Windoze/Amiga OS/TOS+MiNT+GEM/Etc , Especialy for complete beginers (eg the 4 to 6 year olds that have never before been allowed to touch a computer)
I fundamentally disagree with the 'if you want to use a computer you need to know how to program it' point of view. A computer is a tool like any other. No more, no less. The main difference is that it can perform many functions. And if I want to use it to perform a specific function, I either learn to use it myself, or pay someone else to do it.
... ...
I just don't think that people should be *expected* to know how to program in order to use computers. In the same way I don't *really* fully understand how the differential gearbox on my car works, it shouldn't stop me from driving it.
I would agree that programming is not an absolutely needed skill. Though despite some clames by those that do not learn to program, programming is one of the simplest skills around. And as jamesh stated, the skill sets learned while learning to program help with many many other things.

Of those that I have tought to write programs, the mass majority (I would say about 98% or more) were surprized how simple it is. And this is even with teaching the complete development cycle for software. And most of them continue in the feild of software engineering to this day, because they enjoy it, not from necesity.

Once a pupil creates there first simple pogram (beyond 'Hollo 'World') they usualy become hooked.

Whie not every one will be interted in software engineering, or even simple code pounding, there are plenty that would be if they were not scared away by needlesly complex systems, or unnecessarily high barier to entry in most educational settings.

Give kids a taste of programming when they are still in primary school, formallize it a bit in intermediate school, and for those that wish to continue with programming offer good cources in high school, then by the time they get to university level the prophesors can concentrate on teaching the finer points of CS rather than having to teach Software Engineering, boolean algabra, and basic eletronics before they can even start teaching CS.
jamesh wrote:The thing about programming, is that although it's a means to an end (jobs), it's also a worthwhile learning experience in itself, with quite a few aspects that, even if you don't end up programming, are still useful. Logic and a procedural approach to problem solving to name a couple. Of course, most people are not going to be 'into' it past the introductory stage, but the lessons subconsciously learnt will come in useful.
I would agree with that 100%.
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

pygmy_giant
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:07 pm

DavidS said:
RISC OS also has the advantage of a large amount of educational software from the educational days of Acorn that can still be used on the RPi running RISC OS
Did you mean this: http://rougol.jellybaby.net/taught.html

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danpeirce
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:28 pm

DavidS wrote:@danpeirce:
Thank you, Thank you.
You have perectly articulated a point that I have been attempting to make for over a year on these forums. The point that is a big part of the reaon that I personally feel that RISC OS is the best suited OS for the RPi: EDUCATING THE YOUNG GENERATION. Is this not the goal of the RPi after all?

I do see your perspective on Linux, though does not RISC OS make the understanding of Networking Protocals even more accessable?

I feel that RISC OS has a few big advantages for the RPi in it's intended roll in education.
  • 1:) RISC OS an be understood in its entirety, by a single person. Especially usefull for those young
    \ people that choose to continue into the world of CS.
    2:) RISC OS comes with structured programming language that encourages propper style (for those
    \ that are not aposed to it being a verient of BASIC).
    3:) For those Intested in CS there are some deficiencies that need to be adressed, and of cource this
    \ will have the side effect of helping the rest.
    4:) RISC OS can provide a singletasking enviroment, a cooperative multitasking enviroment, and a
    \ premptive multitasking enviroment (thanks to WIMP2), and even some multithreading.
    5:) RISC OS is easier to program for in a GUI (WIMP) enviroment than any of the Linux GUI toolkits,
    \ and way way easier than programming for X11 directly. AND it does not need some toolkit
    \ to make it this simple.
    6:) RISC OS has a good clean implementation of the BSD Sockets library.
    7:) For the very young, there is already a greate deal of general education software out there that is
    \ written in BBC BASIC, and as such does not care about the changes in the CPU and will run.
    \ Everythig from math tutors, to language and grammer games, etc. And you do not need to
    \ figure out the archanes ideas of the programmer to run it (a negitive of linux for educational
    \ software for children in my view).
So we agree on the overall goal but differ on what is actually important in achieving that. I don't think it matters if the kernel is big or small since I don't agree that it matters if primary school kids will ever know and understand the entire kernel. I think what is actually important is that they learn how to use programming to solve problems and use programming as a tool to learn other subjects like math. I'm suggesting that programming can be enriching in overall intellectual pursuits because computers can easily do some of the things people find tedious and overly time consuming.
There are many in the scientific community currently contributing to Python modules today and it looks like this is accelerating. Python has legs far beyond primary school yet it is a language that was designed to be easy to learn. The point is it is not just professional programmers who use it. The user base is big and growing. In my opinion it is the big an growing community using Python that make it the best choice of languages to teach young people. Python works well with Linux. Also, there is a huge world wide and still growing community supporting Linux and there has been for a long time.

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DavidS
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Re: What does RISCOS bring to the RPi party

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:22 pm

@danpeirce:
Yes we deffinately agree forthe young ones completely. Though are you attempting to say that computer education should come to an END after primary scool?

As I stated in the list that you quoted:
  • 2:) RISC OS comes with structured programming language that encourages propper style (for those
    \ that are not aposed to it being a verient of BASIC).
    ...
    5:) RISC OS is easier to program for in a GUI (WIMP) enviroment than any of the Linux GUI toolkits,
    \ and way way easier than programming for X11 directly. AND it does not need some toolkit
    \ to make it this simple.
    ...
    7:) For the very young, there is already a greate deal of general education software out there that is
    \ written in BBC BASIC, and as such does not care about the changes in the CPU and will run.
    \ Everythig from math tutors, to language and grammer games, etc. And you do not need to
    \ figure out the archanes ideas of the programmer to run it (a negitive of linux for educational
    \ software for children in my view).
The rest obviously applies to those that are already past tthese bigener points. And it is sencable to learn the bginning in the RISC OS enviroment as well.

And for educational programming languages RISC OS also has LUA, Charm, Pascal, and a few more available. I have also read that the RISC OS port of Python is quite good, though as I do not use Python, I have never taken the time to even see if it is easily available.

All of your points are independnt of the OS. I feel that RISC OS has strong advantages for the purpose of education. Remember that CS does continue after they get pas the beginner stages.

Please rereade point 7. I think it is important to have software available that is easy to get into for a very young child that has never before touched a computer, and that this software be educational in nature.
Unfortunately in the Linux world consistancy in the UI for programms is very low, especialy with those titles tageted at very young children.
pygmy_giant wrote:
DavidS wrote:RISC OS also has the advantage of a large amount of educational software from the educational days of Acorn that can still be used on the RPi running RISC OS
Did you mean this: http://rougol.jellybaby.net/taught.html
I was not aware of these in specific, though these are a contribution to what I am speeking of.
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

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