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RISC OS Open Ltd. (also referred to as ROOL)[1][2] is a limited company engaged in computer software and IT consulting.[3] It is managing the process of publishing the source code to RISC OS.[4] Company founders include staff who formerly worked for Pace, the company which acquired RISC OS after Acorn's demise.[5]

RISC OS Open Ltd.
IndustryComputer software
FoundedWorthing, UK (20 June 2006 (2006-06-20))
FounderBen Avison, Andrew Hodgkinson, Andrew Moyler, Richard Nicoll, Steve Revill
Area served
Key people
Steve Revill, Co-founder and Managing director
Ben Avison, Co-founder
Andrew Hodgkinson, Co-founder
ProductsRISC OS 5
ServicesIT consulting

The source code publication is facilitated by a shared source initiative (SSI) between ROOL and Castle Technology (CTL).[6][7] ROOL hopes that by making the RISC OS source code available for free it will help stimulate development of both the RISC OS source code and the platform as a whole.[8][9]

A development version of RISC OS 5 has been available for the BeagleBoard and related hardware since early 2009.[10]


Ben Avison showing a BeagleBoard in 2009
Steve Revill in 2011

ROOL set initial goals to make the source code easily available (on the web), and also to establish a wiki, forum and bug tracker.[11] These have been available since December 2006.[12]

Operations exist to facilitate tasks related to ROOL's goals. Additionally, staff undertake development work on the code themselves. Since early 2009, ownership, development and sales of the Acorn C/C++ tools were transferred to RISC OS Open.[13] As a development from the initial goals, in 2011 ROOL introduced a bounty scheme to encourage further development.[14]

Attendance at RISC OS computer shows is often arranged, with other knowledgeable coders sometimes standing in when ROOL staff are unavailable.[15] A Facebook page was created in 2012.[16]


Discussions of a technical and more general nature take place on the forum. A thread entitled "Let's get started with a Pandora port" witnessed discussion of porting to the Cortex-A8 used in the Pandora handheld game console.[17][relevant? ] The thread was started in September 2008.[18][relevant? ]


  1. ^ Hansen, Martin (21 Jul 2007). "RISC OS Open: One year on". Drobe. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  2. ^ Holwerda, Thom (10 December 2008). "RISCOS Ltd Might Take Legal Action Against RISC OS Open Ltd". OSNews. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ "About us: RISC OS Open Limited FAQ". RISC OS Open. Retrieved 2011-02-22. RISC OS Open Limited (ROOL) [...] can author software for an existing hardware design or develop a complete hardware and software solution.
  4. ^ "Welcome". RISC OS Open. Retrieved 2011-02-22. RISC OS Open (ROOL) is an organisation run on a largely voluntary basis. We are managing the process of publishing the source code to RISC OS [...]
  5. ^ "Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd". Drobe. 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2011-02-24. As a divisional director, Richard Nicoll, of Ely, Cambridgeshire, oversaw the 'information appliance division' in Cambridge at Pace. [...] RISC OS Open director and company secretary Steve Revill owns a 20% stake in RISC OS Open, as do each of fellow ex-Pace and ex-Tematic engineers Ben Avison and Andrew Hodgkinson [...]
  6. ^ "Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007". Drobe. 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2011-02-22. [...] the shared source initiative - which is designed to get the source code to RISC OS 5 out into the open for free [...]
  7. ^ "Castle and RISC OS Open Announce a Shared Source Initiative for RISC OS". 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  8. ^ Cartmell, John (Summer 2007). "Interview". Qercus (283). Finnybank Ltd. We really want to stimulate development both in and around RISC OS |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ Smith, Louie (November 2008). "Interview". RISC OS Now (9). [RISC OS Now]. The whole project is based on the fundamental premise that the software will die out if there are no developers. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. ^ Farrell, Nick (2009-04-27). "Snaps leak of RISC OS5 on Beagleboard". The Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-06-28. A snap of an RISC OS 5, running on a Beagleboard device powered by a 600MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor with a built-in graphics chip, has tipped up on the world wide wibble. The port developed by Jeffrey Lee is a breakthrough for the shared-source project because it has ported the OS without an army of engineers.
  11. ^ Cartmell, John (2006). "News". Qercus (278). Finnybank Ltd. According to Steve Revill at the South East Show, RISC OS Open Ltd. has been formed to achieve a number of goals: Provide an interface for people to get at the source code of RISC OS; Manage developer forums; Manage a faults database; Provide a wiki for people to contribute to |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. ^ "News: Official new site announcement". RISC OS Open. Retrieved 2011-05-18. RISC OS Open are pleased to announce that their new web site has now gone live.
  13. ^ "News in brief". Drobe. 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2011-06-16. RISC OS Open has taken over sales of the Acorn C/C++ development suite, known as the Norcroft compiler, which is used to build RISC OS.
  14. ^ "Bounties". RISC OS Open. Retrieved 2011-05-16. The RISC OS Open bounty scheme allows the community to sponsor development of features and fixes in RISC OS.
  15. ^ Mellor, Phil (2009-09-14). "Retro Reunited and Acorn World 2009". The Icon Bar. Retrieved September 28, 2011. [...] talk was by Robert Sprowson who was representing RISC OS Open Ltd.
  16. ^ "RISC OS Open on Facebook". RISC OS Open. March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  17. ^ Santillán, Carlos Michael (4 October 2009). "Neue RISC OS Hardware". ArcSite. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  18. ^ Chamberlain, Andrew (30 September 2008). "Let's get started with a Pandora port". ROOL forum. RISC OS Open. Retrieved 28 June 2012.