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[REBOL] Re: REBOL Cookbook in Beta

From: Steven:White:ci:bloomington:mn:us at: 29-Aug-2003 9:46

An excellent idea. There probably are some things locked in the head of the Founder that would be very enlightening to others. Permit me, as a perpetual beginner, to try to explain some things that keep stumping me. They might give others some ideas. 1. What must one say? There seems to be a number of functions that are important (or critical) in certain situations. The ones that come to mind are reduce/mold/remold/compose/form/reform. You can look each up in the dictionary to find out what it does, but the reverse information is hard to gather: When might you expect to need them, what is the purpose behind them, what will not work if I don't use them. 2. What is the recommended way? This is an area that is being addressed by the cookbook, but an idea for the cookbook immediately comes to mind. Most programs need to store some data. Some of the functions must have been created with this need in mind. I am still not sure if there is a recommended way to make a small data base. Does one make a block, and then store and load it? Are read/write the appropriate functions for storing data with some structure to it? The Complete Guide, with its video data base was helpful; is that the way one is expected to make a REBOL data base? 3. System words. I see in the library and on the mailing list lots of references to system/this and system/that. I have not observed any documentation on what these are and what they might be used for. 4. Generic words. This might not apply to others, but I come from a background of computer languages with reserved words. When I first saw REBOL examples, they were very confusing because a lot of the words (which I would call "data names") were short little things, like "file," that triggered in my corrupted mind the concept of "reserved word" or command. On top of that, they were all lower case with no punctuation. Reading through examples was like translating Latin. In the few REBOL programs I have written I have made all the words of my own invention upper case with at least one hyphen, to make it obvious that they are not REBOL functions. 5. Uncommented samples. Short, "straight-line" samples are fairly easy to understand with the aid of the dictionary, but when a scripts gets longer and has some functions, I find it hard to locate some firm ground to stand on to get a view of what is going on. I sent a sample to the library (popcheck.r, which I see made it in) that I wrote at first for my own use, and to make it easy for me to remember how it worked I commented it to a level that many would consider excessive. I think that for a beginner excessive commenting would be one of the most valuable tools for helping him understand. Sorry if this is excessively long. Steven White City of Bloomington 2215 W Old Shakopee Rd Bloomington MN 55431-3096 USA 952-563-4882 (voice) 952-563-4672 (fax) [swhite--ci--bloomington--mn--us]
>>> [carl--rebol--com] 08/28/03 04:25PM >>>
This is something I've wanted to do for a long time (about five years): The REBOL Cookbook. With the recent surge in new REBOL users, we've been getting feedback that there should be an easier way to learn REBOL from examples. New users don't want to read a 720 page manual. (Many of them are kids and young adults.) Sure the library at is great, but beginners want more than just raw code - they need some help. So, check out to see the beta. And, if you feel like joining in, I welcome you and appreciate it greatly. Just dust off your favorite REBOL example, add a few notes, and post it to the cookbook (which is moderated by the way). Once we get 20 or 30 "recipes" we'll announce the Cookbook on the home page. Ah... it feels good to get this thing up and running finally. Let me know how it works for you. -Carl