[REBOL] Re: REBOL Newbie tries to convert C source to REBOL (long posting)
From: tomc:darkwing:uoregon at: 20-Nov-2003 21:20
response on bottom
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003, Mike Loolard wrote:
> Hi everybody !
> I am currently trying to port an ANSI C application over to REBOL.
> I am pretty much a newbie to REBOL - and was pretty impressed by
> its capabilities.
> My problem now is, porting looked a lot easier than it actually turns out to
> be for me.
> I seem to lack some fundamental things in REBOL - maybe I just think too
> because of my ASM/C - background, indeed, in C I do parse the whole data
> BYTE by BYTE - something that
> doesn't seem effective with REBOL - as there seem to be more efficient
> methods available,
> as I understand it.
> Actually, I would think the application should be fairly easy to
> be implemented with REBOL - it's bascially only 'simple' string processing -
> not much more. That's why I thought I should give it a try - also to be able
> to compare REBOL performance with my compiled C-application.
> basically, this is what my C source does:
> 1) open a data file (approx. 1 MB data)
> filename: "test.dat"
> data: read filename
> 2) parse the file for sections - every section is indicated by square
> and is valid to the next (new) section
> like this: (example data)
> dataline1 111.11 N012.11.029 E034.31.110
> dataline2 131.11 N012.11.099 E034.31.110
> dataline3 111.11 N015.11.099 E034.31.110
> datalinex HFD 111.11 N012.11.099 E034.31.114
> dataliney LKA 131.41 N011.11.049 E031.31.116
> datalinez JIH 111.11 N012.11.019 E032.31.114
> So each sections contains several hundreds of lines with data,
> the data syntax is different with each section. That's why I initially
> separate the data only by whitespaces in C and take care of the exact syntax
> a later time, using parsing rules specified in another array.
> 3) In C I would now simply determine each section's offsets within the
> and then store (memcpy) each section into its own multi-dimensional array
> using the offsets
> I determined in the previous loop, where each line of data is directly
> - but also every part of the data line (separated by whitespaces).
> At first I would go and compute every section's beginning like this:
> sections: make block! 40
> parse data [
> any [to "[" copy sec indx: thru "]"
> (append sections index? indx)
> For debugging purposes I also emit the name of each section
> that's found.
> (print sec)
> Then I got the position of each section in the data-series and compute
> the offset of each section by calculating the difference between 2 adjacent
> Accordingly, in C I would then go to extract/copy the data within the two
> and put it all in another array to work with.
> That's exactly where my problems start to overwhelm me.
> While reading the file in, and parsing it for sections does seem to
> work fairly well (and with MUCH less code !), I am having difficulties to
> create the
> multi-dimensional arrays for each section where all data is individually
> accessible stored.
> So as an example, having parsed [sec1] I want every element in each line to
> be individually
> accessible to simplify conversion.
> 4) Although the arrays don't work yet I tried to port the parsing routines
> over -
> In C I take the "parent" array that contains all sub-arrays and parse each
> section individually. Parsing is done in C with a certain set of rules (also
> stored in an array)
> - using regular expressions, I 'expect' a certain data format for particular
> If a rule is matched I parse with that rule and separate the data into
> In REBOL the latter seems fairly easy using the parse command:
> 5) when all data has been processed and separated by its corresponding rule
> I need to
> convert the data for each section into a different format.
> With C I am again using regular expressions to implement conversion. That's
> why I
> stored the recognition-rule and the conversion-rule in the same array
> 6) Final conversion of the original data will be to CSV-format - including
> most data that was
> read, but occasionally not all data is needed or an abbreviated form is
> Maybe you guys got some thoughts on my problem - I don't want/need actual
> code - rather some
> hints how to accomplish my goals in REBOL. As you may be able to tell from
> the way I describe
> the problem, I might indeed be too heavily thinking in C. By the way: are
> you aware of any
> tutorials or books, particularly targeted at C-programmers. This seems
> really to be a situation
> where previous programming-experience limits my way of thinking. I did read
> a lot of stuff on
> the REBOL webpages, but still do have problems, grasping the inner concepts
> within in REBOL.
> Another question that just came to my mind: is there any decent REBOL code
> editor available?
> Simple syntax highlighting would be one thing - but I am thinking more of a
> editor that also supports syntax completion or smart tooltips, helping a
> newbie like me.
> I guess, the power of REBOL is also some kind of problem for such an editor,
> as single
> objects/words can mean different things and dialects can easily be extended.
> Maybe some really good REBOL-programmer should go and program an editor
> for REBOL IN REBOL (view) ;-)
> I'd really love to see a REBOL-editor being implemented in REBOL - it could
> easily be
> enhanced by everybody, there might even be some kind of "plugin" concept
> considered -
> using rebol scripts, that are executed on demand.
> Using REBOL/VIEW it would also be available on pretty much all platforms.
> Thanks for any help and comments - and sorry for this rather long eMail ;-)
> P.S.: Is there any kind of REBOL-specific FORUM available on the web ? If
> not: why not ? I would be willing to
> create one - if there's demand.
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hopefuly this will get your mind moving slightly differently
dataline1 111.11 N012.11.029 E034.31.110
dataline2 131.11 N012.11.099 E034.31.110
dataline3 111.11 N015.11.099 E034.31.110
datalinex HFD 111.11 N012.11.099 E034.31.114
dataliney LKA 131.41 N011.11.049 E031.31.116
datalinez JIH 111.11 N012.11.019 E032.31.114
sections: make block! 40
row-data: complement charset "[^/" ; accept any char not \[ nor \n
row: [copy r some row-data newline ; break section into rows by \n
(insert/only tail blk parse r none) ; break row into fields by ws
parse data [
copy sec [thru "]"] (print sec)
; well you are all ready here so...
; instead of storing the location and all that ...
; just deal with it now.
(insert/only tail sections blk: make block! 500)
; to see what native types rebol would see in each field
foreach sec sections[
foreach row sec[
foreach field row[
prin [type? load field field " " ]