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[REBOL] Re: REBOL 3.0 mentioned on the blog!

From: tim-johnsons:web at: 13-Mar-2006 15:18

* Carl Read <> [060313 13:17]: This thread seems to have become about restrospection and expectation. So here's MTCW:
> I agree. A re-write of REBOL to add new features would be nice if > it's a success, but I see no reason to suspect it will be, given the > amount of unfinished REBOL stuff that's about.
As in the long-lived binary skip bug... is it still there after 5 or 6 years? As to retrospection: ------------------------- I began learning rebol in 2000, after 11 years of C programming, along with some Assembler and VBA. I also began learning python at the same time, as my assignment was to provide semester 1 and 2 of a learn-to-program cirriculum for a now-defunct online high school. I choose for the first semester rebol because 1)I had heard of it 'cuz my niece was working for RT at the time. 2)I like the easy help mechanism and absense of system calls for first-times I choose python for the second semester for 1)it's higher level of discipline 2)and greater level of usage. Since that time I've programmed about equally in rebol and in python, and I feel that each inform the other. I think that rebol is about 50% more efficient than python, line-for-line, but I have also found that python scales better and is easier for me to maintain. Python has more features available from the download community, but rebol is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to, which in my opinion is one of the great redemptions of this PL. Further redemptions: I use Andrew Martin's html dialect along with Doc Kimbel's mysql protocol, they are my bread-and-butter and are *far* more efficient to use than comparable python resources. On the other hand, there are many features in python that I like, but many of them can be emulated by rebol (like built-in special methods and selective error handling ) and the concept of enforcing *rules* with rebol - as opposed to python's strict engineering syntax, can make rebol more scalable. This should be explored more, methinks. But here's the kicker: the Expectation part:
> The Mac View version > is still "pending" on their website, though in alpha or beta if you > look deeply. And REBOL Services? It's still in alpha or beta too I > believe, as is Rebcode. And the REBOL plugin is still only on IE.
I've now become reticient about starting any more large project in rebol, the expectation that I had when I began with rebol - that it would rapidly catch on with the growth of the internet - has not been realized, so far as I can tell. Currently, three websites that I have worked on, that have been built partially in rebol, are now for sale. I worry that an "obscure" language as a component may lessen the appeal for sale. On the other hand, if they are sold and someone else starts to maintain them, will it introduce rebol further to the programming community. I just don't know what to expect. Unfortunately, I think that rebol remains "obscure." I think that having rebol plugins available for Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox could greatly promote rebol. Being able to code in rebol to create dhtml effects and communicate with servers without page refreshing, would be far more appealable than javascript IMHO.
> I'm worried that while they're trying to make REBOL perfect, the world's leaving them far behind.
For my part, most of my current work has code used by and delivered to the client written in python and javascript with rebol working in the background, doing things like code generation and utilities, with rebol code not being delivered, but doing much of the heavy lifting. Using rebol got me interested in lisp. Here's an example of a "new" language that may catch on and may pass rebol by: newlisp - Why? Because it is a lisp-like language, easy to pick up by a CL programmer but also easy to pick up by a non-CL programmer because the syntax is simpler than that of Common Lisp. And the syntax is well- known, but with modern features targeting internet usage. IOWS, if a site were built in newlisp, programmers would be easier for the new owner to find. I wish rebol the best of luck, it's an absolute pleasure to code in, but I share Carl's worry about it being left behind. In my opinion: ------------------------------------------------- - Working plugins for all browsers could really - - save rebol from obscurity. - ------------------------------------------------- MTCW, rant and all: tim -- Tim Johnson <>