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Library member page for swhite


I have spent my entire career, since October 13, 1973, out of 
the mainstream.  First, it was working on Burroughs computers
when IBM was king, now it is unix and GNU/Linux when
Microsoft is king, and all that time it was in COBOL as 
COBOL descended into the status (in the popular press at 
least) of a "dead" language.

I heard of Carl when I purchased an Amiga 1000, and his 
name led me to his essay on bringing "personal" back 
into personal computers.  From there I was led to REBOL, 
and I purchased version 1.0 and hoped to learn it.  Carl's
reputation, plus my sympathy with the idea of more 
accessible programming, made me think that REBOL
would eventually become a big thing.

Unfortunately, as Edsger Dijkstra commented, a quarter 
of a century of COBOL does seem to "cripple the mind," 
so I always have had some difficulty getting into the new 
ways of thinking, where code can be data, data can be 
code, there are no reserved words, no punctuation, etc.

I still slave in the COBOL coding pits, but I use REBOL 
at work now and then for some of the things that it does 
well.  I have a couple COBOL programs that call REBOL 
scripts to send email. I have a couple REBOL utility 
programs that move data among our different computers, 
including a primitive cross-system editor that runs on a 
Windows computer to read, edit, and save a text file on 
a unix computer.  I have a couple ideas for personal
projects that await some free time at home.

I lurk on the mailing list a lot, and have found the members 
VERY helpful, and especially willing to answer basic 
questions.  I keep trying to think of some REBOL project
at work that would require the presence of REBOL
on every (400+) computer.  I like the idea of a 
system-independent tool.  There should be no such thing 
as a Windows program, or a Macintosh program, or a 
Linux program.  Write once, run anywhere (rah, rah, rah).