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[REBOL] The OSCAR Diaries - Initial Entry ( LONG! )

From: edinburgh::veitchi::co::uk at: 26-Sep-2000 17:11

The OSCAR Diaries - Initial Entry ( LONG! ) Hello everybody, this is the first entry of what I hope will be a fairly regular update of the activities & thoughts of the OSCAR Project. For those of you who don't know, OSCAR: :REBOL or OSCAR: Open Source Code Aka REBOL A project I raised on the list last week upon which nobody except Ryan Cole commented directly, rather everybody preferred to debate the merits & wisdom of open source software / REBOL. REBOL is not Open Source & isn't likely to be anytime soon. Carl & REBOL Technologies have frequently stated this right from the early days, that is their right & I fully respect their position. I believe in the principle of Free Software & the practical benefits of open source code for quality of code & learning, however I also believe in the developers freedom to choose how to distribute their software and that is why Carl & REBOL have my full respect & support for the great work they are doing. OSCAR is not Open Source for Open Source Code's sake. Rather it is because I do not have all the necessary skills or answers or knowledge regarding Language & Interpreter implementation. Just now the OSCAR Project is only me ( Mark Dickson ) & my thoughts. Anybody is free to join me & contribute to the project whether through supplying Code, providing thoughts & comments & examples of REBOL behaviour & theories on it's implementation, or by helping to Document the project & write a Formal Specification for REBOL the Language until such times as Carl & RT see fit to provide us with one. So consider this as your official invitation to help out in whichever way you think you can contribute. Only Ryan Cole commented directly on the project saying he would not contribute to it nor recommend anybody to support it. I respect your decision Ryan but hope maybe in future you might see fit to change your mind, the door is always open for you. Why am I doing this ? Some people have suggested that by pursuing open source REBOL at this time might hurt REBOL in a commercial sense or might fragment REBOL as a language & technology. I don't agree with this and is not the reason for OSCAR. OSCAR will attempt REBOL, act-like REBOL, adhere-to REBOL. If a feature doesn't behave like REBOL behaves then it won't go in OSCAR. I PROMISE I will not Fork REBOL, including any bugs. We may wish to discuss with RT implementation features & bugs etc. but that's what happens already on this list anyway. Regarding Commercially damaging REBOL Technologies, I refute this also. A fully working open source REBOL Clone will open doors for REBOL as a technology. For example; 1. On DEBIAN Systems & those who only use Free / Open Source Software. 2. In Enterprises where a Technology is only considered if there are 2 independent implementations or suppliers to ensure continuity of availability. It is my belief that anything that help's to promote the use & availability of REBOL creates a bigger potential market for REBOL Technologies as well as benefiting those on this list with an interest in the future commercial use of REBOL. All that out of the way the true reasons for OSCAR: :REBOL is that I am full of admiration for Carl's design's & achievements. Technology wise, He truly is a master worth emulating & following. I want to REALLY understand REBOL. I believe that the language is so good & powerful that I want to work out how the magic is done. That is the true reason for OSCAR. It is open source because I need other peoples help & want other people with a similar interest to share the fun. This is how Carl & others learned, I've read articles about REBOL where Carl describes himself as a bit of a language & operating systems fanatic and he learned by writing his own implementations. If self help and learning through practice is how Carl gained his skills, surely this is the best way for us to proceed. This way we can learn by standing on the shoulders of Giants. We already have the answer book, let's figure out the true nature of the questions Carl & REBOL solve. I myself have an understanding of ANSI C & Modula-2 / Pascal languages. Iam currently reading books on language & interpreter implementations in Scheme. For those of you interested these books are; The Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs. Programming & Meta-Programming in Scheme. In REBOL Iam trying to get my head around what a BLOCK! really is and how OBJECTS! & PORTS! differ from blocks in both an abstract & practical implementation sense. Questions like these fill my head as well as things like, Are REBOL datatypes! like Structures in C or Records in Pascal? Is 'Print native! an extension of C printf function & Pascal Writeln etc? The First Goal for OSCAR is to write a toy REBOL Interpreter, this will have the following capabilities; Simple Arithmetic ( Prefix first - Infix Later ) Defining Words Printing a Word or String These are basic initial operations, which involve input, output, functions, operators & words and involve manipulating data on the stack for evaluation. Those with the necessary skill & knowledge can provide additional functionality like files & network operation & advanced datatypes. Any HELP offered is welcomed. When all this in depth technical & abstract rubbish is not filling my head, I will be contributing to the REBMail project with my REEMACS thoughts & designs and when Iam not doing that I will be working at my day job, spending time with my lovely girlfriend Dawn & relaxing by playing & watching soccer & drinking alcohol. Till later fellow REBOL friends, Mark Dickson ********************************************************************** Veitchi (Scotland) Ltd 31-37 Pitt Street Leith Edinburgh EH6 4BY Direct Tel : (44) 0131 554 7661 Direct Fax: (44) 0131 555 0951 E-Mail: [edinburgh--veitchi--co--uk] ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE: This email is confidential, may be legally privileged, and is for the intended recipient only. Access, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance on any of it by anyone else is prohibited and may be a criminal offence. Please delete if obtained in error. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of Veitchi (Scotland) Ltd. **********************************************************************