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[REBOL] calm before the storm

From: moliad:gmai:l at: 10-Jun-2008 19:22

hi everyone, this is an open letter to the whole community. sorry if its a long post. anyone is welcomed to post questions/comments to this thread, and I will be very happy to keep it going. As I have hinted a while ago (and for some insiders to which I've talked about it/even shown it), I have been silently working on the real Revault site for a little while now (basic site layout and all user login/join operations are finished, including 2 step registration processing with mail confirmation). Before you ask, there is no public release date for the site, this will require a few steps, like finding a proper hosting solution, and maybe even the registration of some domain name. An online preview of Revault is planned, which will be hosted at a temporary url, eventually. The site will be built using a mix of php and remark technology, and will be AJAXed as needed. As remark v2 gets up to speed, the php side of things will be weened out slowly as changes are applied to the site. For Revault, as well as for many other tasks, I have reached a point where I need to generate quite a few graphics. There are MANY graphic packages out there, but nothing seems to fit the bill for what web integration really needs. They are either biased towards photography, illustration, or are just so damned badly designed, that creating MANY images, often cut up into little pieces AND allowing further changes without loosing all of the information required to rebuild ALL images exactly the same at a touch of a single click, is impossible, let alone modify some aspect globally and regenerate them afterwards. furthermore, a tedious task is the one needed to re-integrate them into the web pages or the applications which use them. Curing this specific problem has been something I have wanted to do for a long while. Thus I am working on a new application, 100% rebol-based called Picture-lab. There is a lot of directions and an exponential amount of features I can add to such an application and, indeed, it has already been re-architectured 3 times, and completely re-coded within the last few days. I have spent quite a few number of hours wandering off in my head thinking about where I want the application to go, and the number of feature branches one can build up is just astounding ... in manner of minutes... hehe. --------------------------------------------- so what does this mean to you? quite a few things, in fact: --------------------------------------------- -Obviously, we will all benefit from having a new, eventually extensive graphic/paint package (even if you're not a rebol user, btw). -Remark v2 will be getting a boost in its project priority, and more exciting news is expected about it in several weeks. -GLayout is being improved upon almost daily, and many new robust features are finding their way. In just 3 days: ------- * Cured the largest layout bug in history I didn't even know existed yet. * Completely revised/extended and patched the rebol/view text editing for all field and areas. The path allows us to control and react to each keystroke. (added before-key/after-key function support to face/feel directly) this engine even allows you to change the current key or action being typed and allows you to consume events, preventing the editing to occur... as an example: creating an integer! restrited field type is now a 3 line affair, even preventing copy/paste of invalid values! * Added a pair! view style which reacts to mouse scrollwheel... scrolling over the text, actually modifies the coordinate under the mouse!, but its still a field, and can be typed-in directly... what's more, you can't enter anything else than a value which can be converted to a valid pair!. * Added on-focus/on-unfocus function support to all faces. * Many little fixes and improvements. * Many more are planned. - People will now have a reference point for just what GLayout can do in real-life. I (and others) have used GLayout for a lot of applications but its always been private, commercial stuff. now we will have a public offering which uses it, and quite a big one at that. -Picture-lab will be hosted on, you will be able to download it and see its guts. As is the habit for my coding, It will be littered with comments (often verbose), to helpy you understand what's going on. As a refence, my code often has more than 30% of its source size decidated to comments. ------- * this will force me to release a slew of yet unreleased libs, as the application progresses * this will force me to update all of my libs on for each release of picture lab - I am using Picture Lab as a use-case for R&D on application conversion to a full dataflow model. ------- * the first version has none of liquid or liquidGL within it. its a voluntary decision, even if building it using liquid from the start would have been MUCH simpler. * once I have the initial feature base functioning at a production quality level, I will convert most of the application into using liquid. * this will give me a lot of reference into what porting an application to dataflow entails. Leading to some documentation on the subject for sure. * will allow a lot of comparative bechmarks on liquid's speed, interactive capabilities, application size differentiation, and development impacts. - I will be using liquid in a public application (starting at second full release) . ------- * people will be able to see how dataflow works, and more specifically, how to use it with liquid itself. * it will probably lead me to improve upon the liquid model, adding a few of the planned, next-generation features I've been postponing for a long-time (any of: shared dependencies, pull message parametrization, branched caching management, two-tier disk/ram caching ). * it will force me to release many of my currently private liquid-based libraries, including the multi-layered graphic engine, which allows any draw stroke (or combination of them) to become an entity, juste like a face, or a R3 gob!, with feel-based mouse/focus interaction capabilities. -------------------------- So, as you can see, there is a lot of activity planned for the comming months, and all of this is already in motion. A lot of the above, is either done, or underway, so its not a wave of wishfull thinking. Its been hard to keep a lid on most of this, since, I've been working in the shadows for a while... only hinting infrequently as to what I am doing, not always in public either. only thing left to do is ask about any features you wish picture-lab would have in order to help you manage your graphic needs for web and application work. Its possible I already thought about it, but having feedback will help me raise priorities on any future development. rebol on ! -MAx