Amiga Development Strategy

Where to place development effort:

1. There should certainly be some effort put into bringing the Amiga up- to-date in those areas where Windows-NT has gone ahead, but this should not be the major effort. Largely the areas are at the knowledge level (i.e. content and application areas) rather than at the lower (technical) levels. But see below for details.

2. There should also be effort put into improving current facilities, along the lines of enhancing true usability and usefulness. See below for details.

3. But I believe the main effort should be in developing the Amiga in directions that are not being taken bu Windows-NT at present. This is because if we merely focus on the two above then non-Amiga owners will have no reason for even considering the Amiga, let alone buying it. We need to develop unique selling points and sustaining and feeding and growing niche markets.

Where to place application effort:

Where to place marketing effort:

Bringing the Amiga up to date

Two areas: technical and non-technical.


Most of what we suggest as important should not require major redevelopment of the AmigaOS since, because of its fundamental flexibility and openness, most can be added as devices, libraries, etc. Like CrossDos was.


Here I recognise what is happening on the PC market is a development not of knowledge-free, generic software, but of application packages. Various encyclopedias, etc. Among my colleagues at church, for instance, they are all talking about the latest Bible-searching systems that allow them to find all occurrences of certain words, examine them, link to others, etc. It's most impressive. Now that my friends know that these are available on the PC they won't even consider the Amiga unless it has like packages. That's just one example. There are many, many such application-specific packages, in which real-world knowledge has been incorporated.

The question is: how is the Amiga going to catch up here? GW2K needs a strategy for this. While we must accept that the PC will always (for the foreseeable future) have far more of this type of thing than the Amiga, there needs to be a strategy to handle it because the situation is no longer as it was in the 1980s, when the emphasis was on generic (knowledge- free) software; today it is increasingly on knowledge-based software.

I can see three possible types of strategy (not incompatible, and I think that it might be wise to follow all three to a lesser extent than focus only on one):

Things not to be added

Some things various people are talking about as necessary, but we believe that they should be made available only as options (though standard options perhaps) rather than mandatory. They include:

Improving what we have

1. Add sound recording input and picture scanning input, to complement the current output mechanisms. As libraries or devices supplied as standard. For the latter espectially there should be a setup rather like the current printer drivers mechanism, to cater for various scanners, and also digitizers, video frame-grabbers, etc.

2. Add standard facilities for colour handling, such as standard library calls to remap bitmap colours, translate HSV to RGB, spread colours, add and subtract colours, etc. Surely there's already something like this available somewhere?

3. Add standard facilities for handling bitmaps such as rotate, blur, apply various transformations, etc. This could be along the lines of the maths libraries, and could detect and make use of any graphics hardware available such as DSP but could perform these without it.

4. The CLI shell. It should have, as menus, the ability to capture to a file all the text that flows through it. e.g. When I use telnet I wish to capture the text that flows off the top.

5. Extend the dual-playfield concept to allow thicker playfields (8 planes deep), and the ability to plug in new playfields (hardware additions) a bit like adding items to a SCSI chain. This would be hugely useful for e.g. CAD layers and GIS layers as well as for the next generation of games.

6. Links to PC. As standard should come a cable and software to link the Amiga to the PC. e.g. Twinepxress or Gemini.

Important Characteristics the must be Retained