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[REBOL] Re: The future of Rebol - achieving critical mass

From: geoff:productivity at: 21-May-2001 22:50

Hi folks Some very interesting comments from Scot::
> I see libraries and API's as an old paradigm, that tends to promote bloat,
and unwelcome
> divergence. So much can be done currently with REBOL's tremendous
capacity to quickly create
> high levels of abstractions. Maybe a better paradigm would be the
proliferation of dialects.
I only partially agree - APIs to data stores, functions for working with .pdf files etc etc ... there is simply no substitute for a comprehensive library. This is surely why Perl is so widely used, despite its many failings. Provided Carl provides a decent library management mechanism (Present in Perl, missing from PHP and, at present from Rebol) this need not lead to bloat. After all, we are only talking server side here - it would defeat the purpose to bloat the client side.
> The key is to make something everyone must have, and need REBOL to have
> Rather than looking a languages and their proliferation, we should be
looking at companies, AOL,
> Oracle, Sun, Microsoft all companies that leveraged software to make
powerful companies. This is an interesting perspective. Of course the key in each of these cases is that they identified and met a real and present need (simplicity, reliability, a usable platform for technical computing and standardisation respectively, I would suggest). But I can't think of any company that made serious $$ selling a language - the big boys sell products that solve problems for their customers. The problem at RI is that the language isn't really finished, and they have a compelling need to generate income. I understand that. But in the longer run, they will have to make their $$ out of selling solutions built in or for Rebol, not out of Rebol itself. If there is a wave coming for distibuted computing, Rebol is in a great position to catch it. If not, the argument for Rebol won't be compelling enough.
> The technology needs to stay in the hands of the person who understands
it, Carl. I don't think that any sane person would dispute that - great languages are created by personal vision, not by committees. But resources are clearly thin at RI - I suspect that it will be touch and go. For a very small player like myself, it is a question of balancing the potential rewards with the risk of RI going down and taking me with it. Thanks for the comments - very thought provoking Geoff Caplan