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[REBOL] Re: Groove?

From: woodward:shore at: 11-May-2001 15:53

On Fri, 11 May 2001, Carl Sassenrath wrote:
> I think of REBOL as a lightweight & quicker approach to what Groove > spent $50 million doing. That is, we could write Groove in REBOL > in a couple months, but you could not write REBOL in Groove any > time soon. REBOL is a true distributed computing platform, it is > a powerful next generation architecture, where Groove is essentially > a stack of COM and XML plug-ins that only run under Windows. Currently, > REBOL/View runs on 26 platforms other than Windows. (This is important > because so much of the back end of the Internet does not run on > windows... and DC needs to run on both sides of the wire, not just > on the client.)
That has been my major "beef" with Groove so far - Windows & COM - and it's pretty much built up on top of all that. Not that that is a bad thing - it's about the most impressive thing I've seen done to utilize all that code that's in Windows so far. REBOL does have a leg up in the platform arena though - people are always amazed when I let them know how many systems it can run on. The fact that REBOL can run on so many platforms would make it ideal to address 2 major shortcomings in Groove's implementation (I won't say architecture, because that's something they have really done their homework on). 1> Relay servers. Probably implemented in a very similar fashion to the client - as in Windows/COM only. 2> BOT servers. Automated agents that you can invite to a shared space - again pretty much restricted to Windows/COM only.
> But I agree... > Groove does have a slick UI.... and I'm hoping that perhaps a few > folks on this email list may get inspired to knock out a version > of it for REBOL. I think that would be very cool... and I think > it could be done by an expert REBOLer in a couple weeks, at least > for the GUI side of it. For the back end, we've already created > it... It's called REBOL/Express.
Overall it's a pretty slick package - friends of mine who are not techies have been suitably impressed by the shiny trinkets that it gives them. The instant messaging and voice chat are not new by any means - but their ubiquity within the application certainly is. It's overall ease of use is extremely high - however, having poked thru the developers docs, and tried my hand at some of the tutorial samples I'll have to say that new application development isn't trivial. Especially if you really intend to extend it in some new way. If you really just want to repackage the existing functionality in a new way and change their behavior a bit - then it's not such a big deal. Of course, REBOL is easier... Much easier.
> So, I think I'm in total agreement with the spirit of your email. > Let's see what we can do as a group to create an "Open Groove" > written entirely in REBOL! Great idea, Porter.
I think the most important tasks to get that going would be: 1> Digital Certificates for public/private key encryption. 2> Delta engine to capture and transmit user actions to participants. 3> Storage engine to persist data on each participants system. 4> Relay service to bounce initial contact, and do store-and-forward. I'm sure there are a lot of other tasks to get something like this really rolling - UI-wise there are a whole lot of things to build. But, I definitely think it would be possible to build a Groove-alike in REBOL - if only because it's possible to send bits of REBOL code to one another. The cranky bits are getting the encryption and signing standard in place (I won't say infrastructure because it's distributed) - developing a protocol to use to do that. Then writing a reusable engine that is a no-brainer to use in /View layouts to enable the capture and transmission of events as delta transactions to other systems. Following that a good way to persist data on each participants system... But, even having said that, I think it's possible. Maybe not by me - I'm no expert with REBOL (I'm better with Java, C++, VB, etc) - but I think it's doable. - Porter