Mailing List Archive: 49091 messages
  • Home
  • Script library
  • AltME Archive
  • Mailing list
  • Articles Index
  • Site search


From: greggirwin:mindspring at: 10-Jul-2002 9:44

Carl, et al << There's a problem with understanding REBOL scripts written by others though, in that they can be full of words defined by the programmer and that you won't find in the user guide. This can make other people's scripts difficult to figure out. >> Isn't that true of any programming language that let's you define functions, subroutines, objects, etc.? I think the same thing goes for the argument about how hard it is to learn REBOL, but I think REBOL will be used in different ways than most other langugages, thanks to dialects. In IEEE 'Computer', July 2002 issue, Neville Holmes (University of Tasmania) has an article called "Seven Great Blunders of the Computing World" which had one item I found particularly interesting given my current view of REBOL and how it will/should/can/might be used. The blunder, per Mr. Holmes, was the end of macrocoding, the division of labor between system and application developers. The macrodefinitions written by system programmers, for use by application programmers, were like components or objects as they are used today, providing namespace protection and encapsulation. How I see this relating to REBOL, and dialects in particular is how those components will be used. In most languages, you may have low level and high level coders to some degree, but they all need a more-than-minimal skillset to provide value. I.e. they have to learn quite a bit about programming to be useful. Now, on another level, non-programmers are able to do nifty things with macro and domain specific languages. I.e. dialects. So, with traditional langugages I think there are one, or maybe two, levels of programmers (two if you have expert and non-expert users). With REBOL, there is at least one more level: the dialect user. With REBOL, there might also be a super-guru category but there are definitely expert and non-expert users. Now, you could argue that dialect users aren't really REBOL coders, but I think they are. They're just using a highly abstracted toolset on top of it. Most of us here are also tainted, in some way, by experience with other languages. I can certainly see REBOL being used casually, much as BASIC has been in the past, by people who aren't programmers, but are able to solve problems with it. It would be hard to be a casual Java, or now even VB, user I think. --Gregg