[REBOL] Re: REBOL momentum builds
From: carl:cybercraft at: 23-May-2002 10:00
About time I replied to this. (:
On 19-May-02, Joel Neely wrote:
> I tried to make the same point of your comments above during a
> previous thread about the "threat" of open source. The claim had
> been made that opening the source of the REBOL interpreter was
> likely to lead to forking of the language and the immanent demise
> of cross-platform compatibility. My response is that ANY access
> to system-dependent features (especially such things as binary
> libraries) will allow someone to write code that will run on only
> a single platform.
> OTOH, I question whether that's a significant issue.
see how long it is before you need one of those. All the free REBOL
needs is just one system-dependent feature that's as popular in its
scripts as they are on webpages and to all practical purposes it'll
have lost its cross-platform compatibility. Yes, I'll still be able
to write cross-platform scripts myself, but to "surf" the Desktop
pleasantly on all but a handful of systems? No, I very much doubt
Also, what's to stop an OS vender from writing (or buying) the killer
add-on to REBOL that's only avaliable on their OS?
> It's always
> possible for a programmer to write something that is so dependent
> on a particular set of assumptions, resources, and "world view"
> that it's just not worth the trouble to re-use it outside that
> regime (and said regime can be as narrow as the mind of the one
> who writes it... ;-) I'm much more concerned about whether we
> have languages that are so richly applicable and platform-neutral
> that they *avoid*forcing* us to write code with all of those
> limiting dependencies.
> Some of the more successful (in terms of number of users, range
> of applications, supporting literature and publications, etc...)
> languages, such as Perl, Python, Ruby, and Tcl have the property
> that you *can* write platform-neutral code if you want to, but
> you can also take advantage of platform-specific resources for
> performance or functionality when you deem it appropriate. As
> an interpreted, high-level language, REBOL must ultimately offer
> access to system-specific resources or remain marginalized with
> respect to applications where performance is an issue.
There's access to platform-specific stuff now in the commercial
versions of REBOL so you can have what you want locally or on servers
if you're willing to pay for it. But I see the free REBOL as more
akin to a browser than a language and access to scripts on the Reb
could easily become a cross-platform nightmare if platform-specific
support is included in it.