[Rpcemu] Information for users and developers

Peter Howkins rpcemu.howkins at marutan.net
Wed May 26 03:25:59 PDT 2010

On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 10:22:29AM +0100, Jim Lesurf wrote:
> In article <20100525155455.GA4735 at spod.org>, Peter Howkins
> <rpcemu.howkins at marutan.net> wrote:
> > http://www.marutan.net/rpcemuspoon/
> >  I would recommend using a release version of RPCEmu, as opposed to
> >  using the source code repository (even if you're are a Linux user
> >  compiling from source), as release versions have had more testing and
> >  the documentation updated to match them.
> I've just looked at the above page and would like to ask about a few
> points.
> I am currently using rpcemu 0.8.2 (not spoon) on my new Xubuntu laptop and
> it seems fine apart from two minor quirks. One was that getting ArtWorks
> running seemed awkward for reasons I never understood even though it is now
> OK.

I'm afriad that's not really enough info to go on to suggest anything. I 
can successfully use Artworks 1.7 (the latest I have) without any 
noticable issues.

> The other is that rpcemu insists on using one cpu at the 100 percent
> level even when all the apps are simply polling and doing nothing. Not
> particularly good news for a laptop's batteries.  :-)

Just like RISC OS on a real RISC PC, RISC OS runs the CPU flat out, I 
believe my brother investigated and had success using a new sleeping 
module that used the 'Portable' SWI, and I'll bump the testing of this up 
the list of things to do, as that had the effect of dropping CPU to about 
5% without the loss of mouseclicks.

> My first point is that the above page seems to have binaries for Windows
> and Mac, but not for Linux. Can it also have a binary version for Linux,
> please? Or is that a problem for some reason?

Unfortuanately there are just too many versions of Linux (CPU 
architecture (x86/x64/Sparc/ARM/Mips/etc), distribution 
(Ubuntu/redhat/debian/puppy/gentoo/etc x 100), releases) to create a 
universal binary that would run on all of them. However if people are 
willing to contibute compiled binaries for their favourite system (as 
Paul Stewart has done for Puppy Linux) we can host them. For example 
would you be willing to help by compiling up a Ubuntu binary for others 
to use?

> Secondly, as a (fairly new) user rather than someone involved in
> development I don't find the Release Notes are that easy to understand from
> the POV of being able to tell, "will I gain something I want from upgrading
> to the latest version?"  (e.g. does a newer version give control over the
> cpu loading *without* the problem of losing mousclicks or slugging actual
> performance?)[1]

So far every release has had user facing improvements, be it bug fixes or 
new features. Some of them may seem a little arcane perhaps, but holding 
back on very old versions isn't going to do you any favours, not least the 
ability of people to support you. Fixes that might not seem obvious are 
often improving the accuracy of the emulator, meaning more software (and 
OS versions for that matter) are likely to run.

> Another point is that the page seemed to me to be saying that the spoon
> editions should be regarded as 'alpha', but in your email you recommend
> that as users we should take versions from the page.

In my opinion, all versions of RPCEmu, whether Spoon, from riscos.info or 
even older are Alpha, if you've not been able to crash it, you've not been 
trying hard enough ;-). The Spoon pages explicitly state this as previously 
there has been a fair bit of user disapointment (and lost data) from 
people expecting a 100% finished product in the past. The level of 
stability is very dependant on the apps that people run, as such some can 
honestly state "It works very well for me", however I want to encourage 
people who have problems to come forward, as it would be an impossible 
task for us to test every bit of RISC OS software on our own.


Peter Howkins
peter.howkins at marutan.net

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