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[REBOL] Re: Personal Programming and Rebol Promotion

From: carl:cybercraft at: 17-Dec-2007 5:11

On Sunday, 16-December-2007 at 13:21:42 Nick Antonaccio wrote,
>I've been watching the mailing list, Carl's blog, and other Rebol >channels for a number of months, fully aware of the sense that Rebol >has reached some sort of "dying" point - a point at which it seems >obvious that our community has basically been left behind by the >mainstream industry. I guess that must have to do with the upcoming >release of R3 - it's easier for everyone to think of R2 as past >history, and to consider the idea of having newer, better things to >look forward to.
I've been having similar thoughts of a general nature regarding software. Why do software companies insist on trying to make the older versions of their software obsolete when they introduce a more advanced version? I'm not saying they should continue to develope the old software, but just declare it feature-complete with support consisting of the basics - such as bug-fixes. I mean, what's wrong with having more than one product? Does Colgate only sell one brand of toothpaste? Such an attitude in a business would I'm sure pay off in the long term, as users would know that while the company's in existance they'll continue to get support for any of the software they buy.
>To me it seems that Rebol is the perfect language for use by "common >man". Not for developers, but for average computer users who want to >use their computers for personal needs. People buy commercial >applications to suit their needs - operating systems, web browsers, >financial management packages, and such software products do their >main computing work. Most average people will never consider writing >a browser application from scratch - that's pointless. But everyone - >everyone - would like to have more control of their own digital world. > Computing devices have taken on a central role in the lives of most >humans. To understand and be able to do simple personalized things >with those devices, to be able to create little apps and scripts for >desktop machines, web sites, phones, etc. that are personally useful - >that's an interest I see in people all around me. There are numerous >scripting languages and development environments which enable that >possibility, but NONE that are as EASY and as VERSATILE as Rebol. >That's Rebol's strength. It's easy enough for AVERAGE PEOPLE to learn >and use productively, right away.
Is that just your opinion, or have you watched 'average people' pick it up and use it? I certainly have faith enough in the average person being able to, assuming they wanted to. I've seen it happen twice in the computer world. Once with the 8-bit computers, which nearly all came with BASIC and which people were encouraged to learn. (All the computer magazines of the day including listings of various lengths and complexity.) And then with the Web and HTML. Only a markup language of course, but useful and empowering and a gateway into real programming for those who wanted to go further. -- Carl Read.