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[REBOL] Re: rebol crystals: [lucid rocks] => was {Re: Re: Browser gripe}

From: pwoodward:cncdsl at: 18-Mar-2002 10:16

Jason -
> Q6: What about REBOL is different architecturally, or tends towards > better/different Internet architecture. What distinguishes REBOL when > implementing a similar design written in Python or PHP JAVA or xyz...? > > I know Rebol is fun, fast, small, cross-platform and includes Internet > protocols. But that is only a matter of degree, convenience and style.
True - but that's one heck of a difference. Java really raised the bar a few years ago by including (what at the time seemed like) a very rich set of classes to build applications on top of. Sure, you could use other class heirarchies (MFC anyone? Lotus Notes?) - but by including and assuring some basic level of functionality in the SDK, they helped make it so Developers could concentrate on the software that needed to be built, instead of doing yet another memory manager, and linked list implementation. REBOL is taking those steps as well. By making it trivial to access the Internet from within an application, one can start to build applications that synergistically take advantage of the Internet. In part it's an alternative to the "Web Services" stuff you keep hearing about. REBOL (with add-ons like Rugby - or IOS) makes it easy to build applications that leverage remote services. Whether it's fetching stock quotes, or the current weather. IOS or Rugby can be used to build relatively powerful Intranet applications for organizations. So the matters of degree, convenience, and style really do matter. They are the barriers to developer adoption of features.
> Q7: Does Rebol make you all think differently about problems? How does
> approach differ when you use Rebol?
Yes and no. It can really depend on what kind of problem you're solving. Much like Python - you can write quick one-off scripts - with little thought to their object orientatedness, or any real planning. On the otherhand, it is possible to build very reusable bits and pieces. My approach hasn't really changed when using REBOL. I have the tendency to approach things proceduraly when working with it though. Except when writing /View scripts, I don't find myself doing much event-driven or remotely object-oriented things.
> Q8: What do you think its greatest strengths and virtues are?
REBOL, like Java brought a lot of the joy back into programming for me. Working in C/C++ (and Pascal before that) was a real trial. Even simple things required a lot of work, and setup code. With REBOL - it's easier to dive in, and accomplish something. Instead of writing two pages of setup code to open a video screen, and setup the display raster. Plus, when I want to automate internet based activities, it's really easy.
> Q9: What do you think makes it unique?
It is what it is. It has similarities to things like Lisp or Scheme - but it is it's own language.
> Q10: What do think it is best for and why?
It's best for the newer breed of applications that are on their way. Ones which are going to leverage the interconnectedness of systems. I can imagine a "dash board" style application that pulls data from all sorts of sources, aggregating and comingling it to present a coherent, single source interface to that information. That way you're not opening your browser, and going to 5 or 10 different sites/pages each with their own navigation system.
> Q11: For any of the above questions, does IOS induce a different answer?
Not really, other than it raises the bar again on what features and services you can rely on when developing an application. Sharing data securely with people becomes pretty trivial. - Porter Woodward