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RISC OS Open Ltd.
Industry Computer software
Founded Worthing, UK (20 June 2006 (2006-06-20))
Founder Ben Avison, Andrew Hodgkinson, Andrew Moyler, Richard Nicoll, Steve Revill
Headquarters Cambridge, UK
Area served
Key people
Steve Revill, Co-founder and Managing director
Ben Avison, Co-founder
Andrew Hodgkinson, Co-founder
Products RISC OS 5
Services IT consulting
Website riscosopen.org

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]

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] The thread was started in September 2008.[18]


  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". LinuxLinks.com. 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 
  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.  External link in |publisher= (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 
  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.