Great news for all current and future owners of the Spectrum Next with the launch of a new website that aims to create a central database and repository for software released on Spectrum Next. “World of Next” has been created by a collaboration of the administrators of the “Spectrum for Everyone” Facebook group, which recently celebrated its first anniversary.
Retro-Now spoke to World of Next’s Adam Ainsworth, spokesperson for the team, to find out a bit more about their motivations and where they see “World of Next” heading over the next few months.
Why create a new site solely dedicated to the Spectrum Next?
“The main motivation for setting up the site was the difficulty in finding software – both for the Next and tools for developing on other platforms (i.e. PC / Mac). It exists of course, but its spread all over the place and you have to spend time trawling Facebook, the forums or Google looking for it. Even when you do find it you may still need help to use it
This isn’t because of any lack of thought or effort on anyone’s behalf. The Next team understandably have their hands full producing the machine. Community efforts, even with the best intentions, can become unwieldy so aren’t always suited to finding and cataloguing things.”
Are you not duplicating effort, surely World of Spectrum can cover the Next as well?
“I’ve been asked ‘why bother, surely ‘World of Spectrum’ could do this and of course it could. However, it’s in the middle of a very drawn-out rewrite and sadly there are certain divisions within the community surrounding it. There has also been an effort to keep the Next separate from the Spectrum – they are after all different machines. Keeping it separate and independent seemed the most logical choice.”
What do you see being hosted with regards to actual software on “World of Next”?
“We started out with the intention of hosting software, but that would rule out commercial titles and would become a chore for those that are regularly updated. Besides, I’m sure the authors would prefer to be in control of downloads, if it’s hosted on GitHub or similar it would be a pointless replication. We are now going to list everything we can then link to the page or site where it can be downloaded. Hopefully (and we certainly won’t insist on this) people will then link back to WoN.”
How much content is hosted on “World of Next” at the moment?
“At the moment, there isn’t much on the site, but we do have a short list of titles that I’m going to add. Now that we have decided not to host, there is less pressure to ask permission, but we would still like to. Being early days, we don’t want to get on the wrong one side of anyone. We have checked with the Next team as to whether they minded, and those that contacted didn’t seem to. Again, we wouldn’t want to tread on their toes.”
How do you see “World of Next” growing over the next few months?
“The team have had a few suggestions already as to features that could be added but we not sure if we want to diversify too much. In addition to the obvious extra workload, if a forum was added or hosting of software for other platforms the team think it would be a duplication of things that exist elsewhere. We don’t want to take away from the original vision of allowing people to find and share Spectrum Next software. There will be extra features added, such as comments, ratings and reviews, but these will complement the directory.
It’s early days, and it’s best to start with a fairly vague vision and see how it develops. We’re hoping people will start to rely on it as they do with WoS, so we will do our best to keep it updated and easy to use.”
All of us here at Retro-Now wish Adam and the team the best of luck with the new site. If you wish to take a look for yourself, you can find World of Next at https://worldofnext.org