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[REBOL] Re: rot13

From: tek::wiw::org at: 14-Dec-2003 21:40

Hi Tim. On Sun, Dec 14, 2003 at 12:14:31PM -0900, Tim Johnson wrote:
> > > > and especially with respect to the "Note to others..." > > > That was a remark that demeaned the author more > than anyone else. Perhaps he or she could come > forward and make a case for why one should not > use rebol?
In the interest in some friendly discussion, I guess I'll answer this. First, to be fair, some things I like about rebol: - very obvious influence from both lisp and forth, both of which are interesting, complementary languages. (this covers a lot of aspects of the language and its distribution) - prototype-based OO, like self. - the syntax elements are relatively orthogonal. - the way that evaluation is structured so as to make it unnecessary to have a fancy macro system is neat, although I don't fully know the ins and outs of it so I'm not sure exactly how it stacks up against CL, or scheme. Meanwhile, the following are some utterly subjective reasons, off the top of my head, why I still do not use rebol: (and, it should be noted, some of these may spring out of ignorance, or just that I'm feeling tired today.) - no open source compiler for the language, it seems, and the language appears to be controlled by a single company. (a negative to me, no matter how good-willed the employees of that company) - a lot of things seem magic (as with perl), and the line between the language, its libraries, and its necessary runtime support is very unclear (also a fault, to some extent, of both forth and lisp). A specific example of the above that bugs me is that operators and functions behave differently (and you don't seem to be able to define infix functions). Another one is that, while all these magic datatypes are certainly handy, how do I define my own, with their own behavior, or override existing behavior? (perhaps this is a fault of the documentation, which I've just skimmed over again to make sure I'm not missing out.) - I don't like the way it looks and feels, personally... it's as if John McCarthy invented COBOL in some parallel universe. I find it can be a bit hard to read while trying to remember exactly the order in which the elements of a complicated statement are evaluated. (not that those rules are complicated) - it doesn't seem to do anything that my existing languages don't do. While there is always the danger of the blub paradox here, I guess what I'm saying is -- no type inference, no extension of the base types at runtime, not obviously easily embedded into an application written in another language, no clearly defined FFI, et cetera. This isn't to say those things are necessary, but it means that I don't see a compelling reason for me to use rebol. (this is where you come in ;-) ... not that I'm actually looking for reasons to use it.)
> I make a living writing code and I've coded in over > a dozen languages. Rebol's the most productive I've > found.
That's great. I think the worst thing in our industry is that people are unwilling to explore new languages, and see that they can greatly improve productivity. My personal current high-productivity languages would have to be common lisp and caml for big/fast things, and ruby for small things. And, I hope that the answer won't be the same in five or six years. Maybe it will even include rebol. Cheers. -- Julian Squires