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[REBOL] Re: MIT article on rebol and other languages

From: carl:cybercraft at: 19-Feb-2002 21:37

On 19-Feb-02, Gregg Irwin wrote:
> Hi Terry, > << But I can't help thinking that that there's something > fundamentally wrong with all languages. Instinct would tell me that > dialects are on the right track. > Somewhere out there must be the killer dialect. >> > I think there can't be just one killer dialect. There will be > hundreds, or thousands, of dialects, and that is the key. > << But what intrigues me more is the lack of cooperation to > accomplish ANYTHING. There is 1000 times more talk on which is the > better language, then doing something truly constructive with any of > em. >> > Human nature maybe? > << I've made numerous attempts on this list to get organized and > form some think tanks or whatever, with nay a single response?? > What gives? My only guess is that the Rebol community, or at > least the part that actually reads these posts, is really rather > small. The "law of big numbers" would have kicked in had their been > a big number of readers, and someone, anyone, would have > responded... surely. >> > I believe there are a number of projects under development by the ML > members here but, alas, many just fade away because of attrition or > cirucmstance (rebmail and Glass come to mind). Ammon Johnson is > working on an IDE for REBOL, Carl Read and I are hoping to find time > to work on a bot-wars game kinda' thingy, Rugby, Garbriele's DBMS, > Make-doc-pro, a standard library, Andrew's eText, Ladislav's > higher-fun stuff, and many others. Most projects are the > labor-of-love of a single person who then contributes them to the > community. I don't disagree with you, though, I just don't have any > answers. :)
Apart from the above "thingy", I was also involved in the "Reb World" idea, which was intended to be a kind of distributed game world. (Roughly speaking.) Out of that came Ryan Cole's 3D engine written in View, a script I wrote for displaying a web-page glossary of the terms we were creating for Reb World and a game-server (I think it was) by someone else, though Reb World itself never happened. (Though it'd just require one or two to start working on it again to perhaps get it up and running - assuming its mailing list still works.) Why it didn't happen is hard to say, though here's a few of my thoughts on the matter: 1) The originator of the idea had quite a simple concept of text-adventure style games being linked across the Net web-site style, yet many who joined the list were thinking real-time 3D from the beginning. So it was decided to attempt to take a range of gaming styles into account, from text-adventure right up to real-time 3D, which of course required a much grander design than the original idea would've needed. To begin with, I think we just aimed too high. This may have been a case of leaning towards "The Right Thing" way of doing it than "Worse is Better". 2) There wasn't a strong leader, meaning it may have been a bit too democratic to get off the ground. The three scripts mentioned above were really individuals doing their own thing. No one had said this and that needed to be done, though as the interest in the idea died out before even a first draft of a design for Reb World appeared, what needed to be done couldn't yet be decided on anyway. 3) And that lack of a design was also one of its problems I think. Ideally a first draft from someone should've existed before the mailing list was set up, then we could've fleshed it out and started working on it, instead of just talking about what the design should be and trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink into it.
>From all that, I'd say that if anyone's wanting to work on a
colaborative project, it should start out focused on someone's already existing design - or, after a brain-storming session on the idea, those who want to should come up with their own individual designs and the group should choose one of them as the basis for the project.
> << I've taken Rebol and created a 'bot' that can read, comprehend, > and answer questions on whatever it's just read (In discussions with > on that one) ... developed the world's most advanced > chatterbot, the world's most HAL 9000ish system on the planet to > date (check out a demo conversation at > and yet no one seems to > care? >>
Well, I listened to it when you posted the URL a week or so ago, and passed the URL onto someone else who's interested in the idea of talking to computers. His comment was... "Well, they were right about it being the most natural-sounding computer generated speech I've heard. You can still tell it is a machine, but it is very close. For that matter, the guy asking the questions doesn't sound entirely human :)" If I'd replied to the list, all I could really say was "that sounded very good" or some such, and too many of those kinds of posts tend to clutter up a list. Also, while I do have a few views on talking to computers, they're mostly negative and along the lines that I don't think it's a very practical way to interface with a computer except in special circumstances - and I think it's a bit late to point this out to you. (; So, people do care even if what you're doing isn't what interests them. I cared so I passed your URL on. What would I'm sure get more of a response though would be if you provided a REBOL client that allowed us to talk online to your chatterbot. Perhaps a REBOL-specific one which we could put questions about REBOL to? And, perhaps, one that'd also ask questions of us, as well? Perhaps the questions that others had asked but it couldn't answer? You could have it so that no question is answered until the person asking the question answers one first... Just a thought... PS. I hadn't read your {Demo of Rebol powered "Knowledge Bot"} before writing the above, but I'll leave it as is anyway. (: -- Carl Read