Talk:Recommended software


Revision as of 21:24, 8 October 2007 by Simon Smith (Talk | contribs)
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I'm currently debating just linking from each item on the list to the site where the software in question is hosted, or whether I should allow for a descriptive page for some (all?) of the apps, eg: StrongED, Director, NetSurf, Messenger, where helpful setup/usage hints could go.



Software linking

Ideally, software should have its own page on, with that page linking to its home page. StrongED for example already has its own page. But even a very short description like the Zap page is fine. Try to avoid mentioning software versions, as those often change. Like Wikipedia, I want a degree of independence of information, and not be just another site that links to others.


I'm not sure about removing the games from this list. I think they're as worthy as other software. Emulators don't really belong in the games section anyway.

I take your point about emulators. Not sure what 6502Em was doing in there in the first place. However, the purpose of this page is for software that makes your RISC OS experience that little bit easier, and to be a repository for anyone out there thinking: "I wonder if there's an application that does X". As such, I don't think games belong, whereas BotX already has a page related to Gaming.

The section is about "recommended software", rather than "essential software", according to the title.


While I wasn't involved in this discussion I ended up reinstating emulators under games and renaming the section accordingly. DOSBox deserves to be recommended software, and yet putting it under Games acknowledeges the fact that that's usually what it is used for, even though it's useful for non-game DOS programs too. Hm, wonder if it'll run WordPerfect 5.1? ;-) Simon Smith 22:24, 8 October 2007 (BST)

Software Linking

I'm not sure I understand the reason for having a page on this site describing some software which has its own webpage. What's the point in just duplicating a small sub-set of the information on the full (remote) website? All that happens is that you have to click on two links rather than one in order to get to the webpage you're looking for. Adamr 13:22, 29 Jan 2007 (GMT)

One practical reason is that if the home page changes, you'd have to edit the links in every page that mentions the software. This way, only one link needs changing. -- Chris

You could have a Wikipedia-like template for each piece of software if you like - Category, Release Date, 32bit?, etc which would give a bit more detail about each one. And a standard description in the wiki is quite useful - you find out the gist of what it's about without having to wade through tons of release notes, download links etc. Perhaps you could have a direct link if there's only a mention on the Recommended Software page, but create a link page if there's more than one reference? Caliston 20:48, 1 Feb 2007 (GMT)

Yes, I like the idea of a concise template to fill in for each software page - to make it useful rather than annoying :)
Adamr 00:19, 2 Feb 2007 (GMT)

So what fields would the template have? Is there an example from wikipedia?

  • Title
  • Author
  • OS compatibility
  • Brief description
  • Web link
  • Translations?
  • Alternatives

Adamr 18:28, 6 Feb 2007 (GMT)

General Tidying

I propose the following minor enhancements:

  • Within each section, put the applications in alphabetical order.
  • Split applications such as EasiWriter/TechWriter into separate entries – allocate one line for each application.
  • Ditch the () * notation for software, and instead put either the price or (Free) after the software's name. This could be enhanced to (Commercial, 65UKP), (Shareware, 5UKP) at a later stage if desired.
  • Use – instead of - throughout to help readability.

I will work through the sections piecemeal, which will hopefully give people time to see how well these changes work, and hence a chance to quibble or object. To start with, I will assume everything without a price really is free. I will try to confirm as many as possible later, but I want to do that as a second pass.

Simon Smith 21:45, 4 October 2007 (BST)

Yes, I think it is an improvement. I think the ugly "UKP" should be replaced with just normal £ signs though. Also having the different versions all listed makes the list a bit long - perhaps they could be listed on an indended sub-paragraph or something? (One minor point, I'm not sure there's enough difference between Writer and Writer+ to justify seperate entires.)

OK… I'll start working my way through. I did try using sub-indents for other members application families but it looked horrible. How about Impression family, TechWriter family etc.? Simon Smith 18:50, 5 October 2007 (BST)

I've done a few changes for people to ponder:

  • Removed gumpf about Zap & StrongED - the info is on their respective pages
  • Changed some links to pages. This is the "policy" (see discussion above). Need to create sub-pages with links etc
  • Move the "bundled" stuff to subsets of the main app - after all you can't buy or download them so there's little point in them having their own entry.
  • Gutenprint - I don't think it's free is it? You have to make a donation to get it. I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong but that's what a brief look at the webpage implied.

Adamr 09:59, 6 October 2007 (BST)

I know I've bent the current linking policy a bit, but having collected the various external links I wanted to get them recorded before I mislaid them again. Will fix in next pass.

BTW, omitting the fact that you can download the source for Gutenprint for free does help the clarity of that section, so thanks for changing it. In practice, the free material that is available is no help to RO users without the additional development work MW is doing. Simon Smith 12:51, 6 October 2007 (BST)


I'm thinking of creating a tweaks/patches/improvements type page which would include all the useful modules and utilities out there (e.g. AltClick). This would make the current modules/utilities section on this page redundant - but then I think that makes sense as this page is more about substantial applications rather than little utilities/patches etc. Anyone have any thoughts?
Adamr 11:06, 8 October 2007 (BST)

I think it's OK to keep the best-of-breed modules/utilities on this page as well. At least for now. After all, this is a 'recommended software' page, and the best modules do deserve recommending. But if the list of recommended modules gets too long, it can be split then. Still, a separate modules/utilities page would be very welcome anyway. BTW would the new page include Boot resource items as part of its remit? My Boot application includes a lot of things like Gview, AWViewer, SpecialFX etc. All very handy, and they work so seamlessly I often forget they're there, and assume the features they provide are built-in to the OS.

Perhaps the split should be between recommended applications - things you actively run when you need them, and recommended resources - meaning all those modules, apps, utilities and other stuff that usually get hidden away in !Boot somewhere and largely forgotten about, because they just work reliably behind the scenes. Simon Smith 22:17, 8 October 2007 (BST)

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