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[REBOL] Re: Parsing comment

From: jason:cunliffe:verizon at: 24-Sep-2002 15:34

Hi Brett Thanks to you and others for the careful comments.. its most encouraging. I am sorry that I don't yet know how to write and discuss these topics concisely. I am very interested in REBOL scope as a beginners language. Separate from x-internet dreams and nifty commercial applications, I think primary education is REBOL's 'true' home. So I'd love to keep this topic alive for a while and see if some deeper collective insights can be focused.
> arguments or even whether it is a function anyway. More than this though, > it is a funny comment in the context of educating novice programmers. The > trials and tribulations of a parser don't seem relevent to someone learning > a language. > > >> Sounds like dead on arrival to me, > > > as far as language design goes. > > This to me implies that the writer is singularly focussed on the design of > Python and potential improvements. No real interest in REBOL as far as I can
LoL: You don't know how right you are! That was said by Guido Van Rossum, the brilliant and hard working author of Python. He is in so deep with what he is doing, I guess her really does not have time to step back much. He is always clear and decisive and has shown sound judgment. The growth of Python is proof of that. Similar perhaps to Carl Sassenrath's relationship to REBOL, Guido is known respectfully accepted as Python's BDFL [Benevolent Dictatator For Life] Python Conference: The Opening Keynote, 2001 Guido van Rossum, Python's BDFL (Benevolant Dictator for Life), introduced the conference theme, "Python Fits Your Brain"--not everybody's brain, but at least the brains of those who like it. Guido has always preferred to make the language work well for its adherents (and especially for himself) rather than try to please everybody. Not only programmers but also artists, scientists and teachers are finding Python well suited for their work Make no mistake, Python is a formidable work with very interesting roots: Python is a very new language; in fact it was released by its designer, Guido Van Rossum, in February 1991 while working for CWI also known as Stichting Mathematisch Centrum. Many of Python's features originated from an interpreted language called ABC. Rossum wanted to correct some of ABC's problems and keep some of its features. At the time he was working on the Amoeba distributed operating system group and was looking for a scripting language with a syntax like ABC but with the access to the Amoeba system calls, so he decided to create a language that was generally extensible. Since he had some experience with using Modula-2+, he decided to talk with the designers of Modula-3. Modula-3 is the origin of the syntax and semantics used for exceptions, and some other Python features. In 1989, during the Christmas holidays, he decided to give it a try and design a language which he later called Python. ABC was supposed to be a really easy beginners language [like LOGO]. I recall Guido saying that ABC failed partly becuase he had made the mistake of insisting on use of CAPITAL LETTERS. Much later [1999] he co-wrote an ambitious [$7 million] DARPA grant proposal: Computer Programming for Everyone , usually refrered to as 'CP4E'. Here's the original Also some written and oral interviews from around that time: An Interview with Guido van Rossum [Linux Journal,1999] Dr. Dobbs NetCast In the end the CP4E grant project did not happen. But some active traces remain: Some of the people on the Edu-Sig list carry the torch brightly, though many not directly in line wiht the CP4E proposal. Some I think are sophsitaicated in their reading and analysis of learning issues. For example, Kirby Urner is a very open-minded developer who contributes to Edu-Sig often, and while working closely with Python, his scope is much wider. Kirby has been developing a curriculum, much of it around learning programming through geometry: A good eaxmple of his approach is: [Edu-sig] Update from Urner (Fri, 05 May 2000) check the links he gives at the bottom of that page. He also maintains a wonderful site "Synergetics on the Web", presenting some of the core insights of Buckminster Fuller
> The REBOL language primarily consists of syntactic forms e.g http://blah... > is an url!. If you need the In "base" REBOL, only functions (at evaluation > time) imply any sort of grammar (any specific ordering of items in the > source input). Though the exception might be the operators +, -, = etc.
that's an interesting way to describe it.
> Just because we can read the source of Andrew's XML function does not mean > that the input to it it isn't *real* executable code. In REBOL it is the > evaluation of the input which defines the meaning/effect. Andrew's XML > function becomes another mezzanine alongside LAYOUT etc. In this way we end > up "growing" REBOL in ways best suit our requirements.
Yes that's right.
> I don't know Python, but I'm guessing that the main way to "grow" Python is > through class libraries. REBOL's dialects can be "melded" together - the > like paren! inside VID or a parse rule. They are embedded languages, which > has been reported as an extremely powerful way to construct programs. Class > libraries tend to interact like oil and water - they don't, your main > program has to do it for them.
hmm.. yes. Python is very structural, a giant open architectural toolkit, with a strong set of framework patterns already established. Python has multiple inheritance and overloading so you can 'cook' with it. Most Python cookery is like a healthy meal - lots of salads, some side dishes and several light courses. The very fancy stuff is incudes preparing sauces.
> >>.... So if we want to learn from Rebol, we > > > must try to learn from other ideas in it, not from the core language > > > design. > > I guess people will always miss out on varying experiences and things that > can be learnt because it it is in fact really hard to let go of > pre-conceptions. :^)
Isn't it just... Keep trying though ! cheers ./Jason