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RISC OS Draw Files

An explanation of the RISC OS Draw format and why we've used it.


What is Draw?

Draw is a highly efficient object based vector drawing application for RISC OS based computer systems. Being object based means that you can create complex shapes and diagrams using a series of 'objects'. An object can be a simple shape such as a circle or polygon, or it can be a collection of objects forming a more complex shape.

[image draw1.gif]All crop circle diagrams on this site are created as Draw objects, which means that they can be re-scaled, rotated and otherwise manipulated without losing any detail or becoming pixellated. Because RISC OS is the only desktop operating system which utilises advanced anti-aliased font technology, the definition and clarity is unrivalled. This means that maximum resolution and clarity is kept at any size of diagram or text size.

[image draw2.gif]If you look at the example diagram under construction on the left, you will see a couple of ellipses have been added with three sizes of text; Times Roman in 8, 10 and 12 point. Every object can be edited after positioning, so for instance the thickness of the circles can be edited. You can even edit the shapes themselves. The red line with various coloured lines and squares joined to it is a bézier curve being edited. Each tangent along the line can be altered (by dragging the orange markers around the screen. The light blue marker is the start position of the curve and the red marker is the end position. As you can see, this allows for infinite possibilities when creating and editing shapes or lines.

If you look at the diagram on the right you can see where the large ellipse has been coloured light blue and made slightly thicker, the small one has been slighly re-scaled and moved to the left and the curved path has been edited to form a more distinct curve. Because each component is an individual object you can edit each aspect of your diagram without affecting the rest of your diagram.

What's more, multiple objects can be grouped (or ungrouped) to form other objects, which in turn can be re-scaled or rotated. Because Draw is so flexible, you can have any font size you want, any thickness of line and any angle for your objects. Indeed, the whole application has limitless possibilities, only limited by your own design capabilities.

[image draw3.gif]

The snapshot above shows the whole diagram rotated clockwise through an arbitary amount. The light blue ellipse object is highlighted (signified by the red dotted outline) and the relevant transformation window has been opened. RISC OS has a third mouse button which is a dedicated 'menu' button. This means that a menu can be opened at any time, which is fully context sensitive and eliminates the wasted screen area and added complexity of menu bars. A small toolbar is fixed to the left side of the window (although this too can be toggled on and off as required).

So, Why use Draw?

Mainly because Draw is so flexible and easy to use, yet extremely powerful. Because detailed diagrams are made of numerous crop formations, we need a system which is highly efficient, allowing us to create detailed, scale diagrams in the minimum of time (an average of 20 minutes per diagram). To enable us to store many hundred of diagrams we also require a highly efficient file format - most of our diagrams are only 3K (yes, 3000 bytes) or less, for a full sized A4 diagram. This not only means that they can be downloaded extremely quickly, but also many hundreds can be stored on a single floppy disc.
It also has the added benefit that anyone owning a copy of Draw (it comes free with all RISC OS based computer systems) can re-edit the files. This is because the files are still stored as source objects and not converted to a bit-map such as inefficient GIF or JPEG format.
What's more, the entire Draw application only occupies 60K (yes, Kilobytes) of memory (one of the biggest benefits of RISC OS is its memory efficiency, so bloatware applications are a thing of the past!).

But isn't it a minority system now that everyone uses Windows?

It is, but there are still many thousands of RISC OS computers around, and new machines are being developed and in the pipeline. It's only by thinking that "Windows is all there is" that has got the computer industry into the stagnated state it is in today. Like Apple and Linux, RISC OS is a new generation operating system, but unlike MacOS and Linux it is extremely productive and easy to learn, even for complete novices and non-computer users. This is why the Acorn computers became so popular in schools. Of course, today's RISC OS computers are even more advanced than the original Acorn computers (which many people still remember fondly from their school days). RISC OS is entirely ROM based so it cannot become corrupted or damaged by hard disc failure or viruses. It also has the benefit of fast bootup, 24bit graphics, CD quality audio and extreme reliability.

Dare to think different, you owe it to yourself to check out RISC OS today! It could change your computing world forever!

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or feel free to contact me for more information.

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