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[REBOL] Re: What's Up Rebol?

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 6-Mar-2002 9:29

Hi, Jim, Here are the opinions of one random guy (me ;-)... Jim Richards wrote:
> Why aren't more programmers adopting the language? >
Not all programmers get to chose the languages in which they work. Often one's employer/client mandates a language (or small set of possible languages) based on such issues as existing code base, skills of others in the organization/project, generally available skills in the job market, etc. If you've ever been burned by a genius programmer who departed your company/environment leaving a body of code that no-one else could maintain, you'll understand their concerns, even if you don't agree with them. Not everyone views "simplicity and uniqueness" as selection criteria. Some people already have a favorite language that meets the needs of their thinking styles and normal problem domains well enough that they don't see any need to leave their comfort zones.
> You would think that with all the early adopters of Linux and that > movement, that these same folks would be early adopters of Rebol > and it's greatness. Why? Why hasn't this happened? >
Many of the early adopters of Linux have a philosophical agenda as well as a technical one. Without bogging down in the distinction between "open source" and "free software" (as in "free speech" not free lunch ), there are many people who use Linux (or FreeBSD or NetBSD or OpenBSD or many other non-commercial operating systems) precisely because they are non-commercial, open-source products. Such people would not be attracted to REBOL (or any other closed- source, proprietary language). The early adopters who don't have such intense philosophical agendas are still likely to be put off by the documentation issues you have addressed (a few sentences down).
> Why is the book "Rebol The Official Guide" called The Official > Guide? >
Because it was officially blessed as such by RT. In my opinion (to repeat the disclaimer) that blessing may have been considered a good compensation for someone off the payroll taking on the challenge of writing a manual.
> The "Index" you know that indispensable thing as technicians that > we refer to on a daily basis. >
Welcome to the mailing list! ;-)
> Why hasn't there been any news from Rebol in five months? > > This is odd, you would think that somebody promoting a product > would be seeking to distribute all kinds of news. >
It's not uncommon for a small company to have to make choices about how to allocate their scarce resources. I, for one, would rather have RT get stuff done and THEN start blowing their bugles. (This is IMHO the ethical thing to do, in contrast with companies that spend lots of time bragging about what they're GOING to do, just to raise investment capital (or, in the case of one large company I can think of, to scare their customers away from using the products of any perceived competitors)).
> Should I invest the time and energy in learning Rebol? >
That depends on what return you expect. I choose to do so because: - I have the (occasional!) freedom to use whatever tool I wish for small work tasks (and, of course, for my personal research). - I have a philosophical agenda too. I prefer platform-neutral tools. - I'm a language junkie. I've lost count of the languages I've learned during my career, either because that was the best tool for some task at hand (for many reasons, see first point above) or for academic reasons, or purely for fun. OTOH, if you're looking to learn a language that will guarantee fame and fortune in the job market, the odds are slimmer at this point that REBOL skill is a sure ticket to commercial demand.
> Well it's time to go, I just felt a real need to vent some of my > frustrations. >
Some of which are shared, and periodically vented, by others on this list.
> I just get the impression that Rebol is failing at reaching the > real future of Rebol, programmers and innovators. >
Let's not be impatient! Look at the current issue of New.Architect magazine (formerly known as "webTechniques"). There's a cover article on "Orchestrating the Internet Operating System" that talks about REBOL. Sometimes good things take time! Bottom line, for me, is that REBOL is worth knowing whether it takes over the world or not. It helps me think about programming in a variety of interesting ways (although it's not the only such tool!) If I someday find myself in high demand because I know REBOL, then that's just gravy! -jn-