[REBOL] Re: WYSIWYG programming
From: joel:neely:fedex at: 25-Oct-2000 8:19
Hi Ladislav, and list,
Three brief points (don't die of shock! ;-)
1) Ladislav has done an excellent job of analysis and documentation
of the kind of subtlety that can prove fatally threatening to a
newcomer's interest in REBOL. His remarks should be read and
studied by every REBOL programmer.
2) The current state of REBOL is beginning to remind me of the state
of FORTH when I last used it seriously (mid-80s). One issue that
hindered the growth and acceptance of FORTH was the fact that one
had to understand most of its language-level concepts in terms of
implementation details; to effectively use the language, one had
to understand ALL of the way that ALL of the core was built. I'd
hate to see REBOL suffer the same marginalization.
3) Using an "economic" perspective, one (oversimplified!) conclusion
I reach from Ladislav's work is to say the following:
To use REBOL control structures reliably, one MUST first
understand the significance of copying, deep copying, function
definition, and contexts. I worry about whether this cost is
so high as to prove prohibitive to entry-level REBOL users.
At the VERY LEAST, such issues must be documented with great
clarity and completeness to avoid frustration on the part of
new or not-so-new REBOL programmers.
At the VERY BEST, such issues would be addressed by changes
to the implementation/definition of the control structures
involved; Ladislav has offered possible solutions, I'm sure
there may be others.
As always, my remarks are offered in the spirit of desiring VERY MUCH
to see REBOL succeed. That desire motivates me to discuss those areas
which I perceive as being threats to that success.