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— The RISC OS Packaging Project —

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This is the home page of the RISC OS Packaging Project. The aims of the project are:

  • to build and distribute a collection of RISC OS software packages;
  • to provide a convienient mechanism for users to install, update and remove packages on their computers
  • to promote consistency and peaceful co-existance among packages in the collection by setting policies to regulate their content and behaviour;
  • to provide a systematic mechanism for recording, characterising and fixing bugs in the package collection;
  • to ensure that the legal status of all software in the package collection is understood and respected; and
  • to promote the development of free and open source software for RISC OS.

Please note that at present these are just aims. The package manager exists, but there are only a handful of available packages. How quickly this changes will depend on how many people want to help. There are several ways to contribute:

  • by maintaining a package or packages;
  • by writing documentation;
  • by creating icons and other artwork;
  • by checking copyright and licences;
  • by reporting bugs.

Package maintainers do not generally need to be programmers, although familiarity with obey files and the structure of an application directory is quite important. The workload for any single package is unlikely to be onerous.

It is not my intention to usurp the role of active upstream authors, nor to burden them with additional work (except perhaps more bug reports). I hope that a friendly dialogue can be established in most cases. Licence terms may sometimes be questioned but will always be respected.

RiscPkg is free software and the package collection will be as free as the individual package licences allow. Other forms of fundraising may be attempted, in which case the project will operate as a not-for-profit organisation.

If you are interested in helping, please send an e-mail to gdshaw [at] riscpkg.org.

There is a mailing list for discussing both the package manager and the packaging project. To subscribe, send an empty message to:

riscpkg-request@lists.riscpkg.org

with a subject of "subscribe".

Further information about RiscPkg can be found here. There are also two articles about RiscPkg which have been published by Drobe: The Case for a RISC OS Package Manager by Graham Shaw and Distributing Software with RISC OS by Theo Marketoss.

A copy of RiscPkg from which to bootstrap the package system can be downloaded from here.

Requirements for packages to become part of the central package collection are specified in the Policy Manual.

Source code is available from either or both of http://source.riscpkg.org/ and http://www.riscpkg.org/src/.