[REBOL] Re: newbie - How to
From: greggirwin:mindspring at: 22-Jun-2003 0:59
DN> What will be more accepted:
DN> A universal client (REBOL) that uses powerful yet
DN> non-standard data format and has integration limits.
I can't speak for anyone else here (or anywhere else for that matter
:), but I'm not very fond of XML (to put it mildly). It doesn't matter
to me if REBOL's native format is widely accepted, but for those who
adopt it, I think there are major benefits to be had.
DN> My english isn't strong, but I mean that smallness
DN> seems a very high design philosophy in REBOL. REBOL
DN> compares to FORTH very much in this aspect, and yet
DN> the formula does not appear potent historically.
Well, your English is good enough that I didn't know it wasn't native
for you! It's *very* good. And yes, you're absolutely correct that is
seems smallness is a priority, but I think they (at RT), and we, strive
more for simplicity and elegance; the size reduction is a happy
side effect, not an end to itself.
DN> I mean that REBOL offers powerful features very
DN> easily, but hit hard limits with integration or GUI
I have a few limits I've hit with REBOL, but really *very* few. Of
course there are things each of us want (don't get started now Pekr!
;) but there aren't any technical showstoppers keeping me from using
REBOL. What I *have* done is changed my perceptions at times.
When I first started with REBOL, I wanted to mold it into what I was
familiar with, and that often didn't work well. I would write
functions to change the behavior of things that were built in, but
that caused things not to fit together well with the rest of REBOL.
So, I started looking at the big picture and the long view. When I
wanted to change something, because I thought it was wrong, I would
stop and think about it; try to see how it fit into the grand scheme
of things; and try to decide honestly if my way was better. So far,
there aren't too many things that I'm still not sure of as far as
basic design choices. Carl and the team seem to think long and hard
about what they do. We may not always know why things work a certain
way, but I've become very confident that not much in REBOL works the
way it does by accident. :)
DN> APIs are better abstracted by non-REBOL tools, so it is easier to
DN> use them.
The GUI issue is always interesting to me (I specialized in VB for 11
years) and I did a lot of work against the API from VB. There are a
lot of things about VID that could be better, to be sure, but you have
to admit that it gives us a lot of bang for the buck. It can be work
to research things out when you need to go beyond the basics, but if
you've ever written an ActiveX control that needed to do subclassing
or anything out of the ordinary, how does REBOL compare?
What really excites me is not how good VID is, but that it's just an
*example* of what can be done with REBOL. There's no reason
(especially since you can see the source) that you can't cook up your
own UI dialect that blows VID away. They've given us the springboard,
all we have to do is jump. :)
On the API side, the easier it is to use them, the more people will
use them, and the more scripts will become Windows-centric. Given my
background, penchant for writing code generators, and REBOL, it
shouldn't be *too* hard to write a tool that will take API
declarations and create REBOL-friendly versions. I haven't done it
though, by conscious choice. I think it would hurt more than it helps.
DN> In my first weeks with REBOL I found limits in areas
DN> where I never once considered. I now know better when
DN> to use REBOL and when not. However, Isaac Gouy found
DN> limits in his first 5 minutes so he may not recover.
DN> It is bitter message if he can't solve his problem
DN> simply because the problem itself is not platform
There are indeed limits, as with all things. If there is a specific
thing you need to do, and REBOL doesn't do it, there's not much to
say. Other than that, I'm thankful for the people on this list who
have helped me over hurdles when I thought I hit a limit in REBOL.
There are still a few of course, but these are clever folks. ;)
Sorry I got so long winded. Sometimes I start talking and forget
to stop. :)