[REBOL] Re: [ap-compsci] Comp Sci book suggestions for gifted student
From: gerardcote::sympatico::ca at: 13-May-2002 12:54
as a precious gift to a talented and open minded spirit, I cheerfully
suggest you the following two alternatives:
1. A novel software, named REBOL, which can easily be dubbed as the new
grand cru millésimé
of the new millenium software breed ("grand cru
millésimé" is a special french expression used exclusively for describing
the very most great wines from France). Read more below about it.
2. A self-studying package written by Brian Harvey from the MIT which is
excellent from many points of view. I bought it for myself for last
Christmas and it is a joy to read and try.
Computer Science Logo Style 2/e - 3 vol. set
Volume 1: Symbolic Computing
Volume 2: Advanced Techniques
Volume 3: Beyond Programming
1066 pp., 134 illus.
Even if it is based on the Logo language for teaching symbolic computing -
which at first doesn't seem very prised in the business or even in the
teaching world except for turtle programming, it is nevertheless a marvelous
pedagogical tool for teaching many of the high end issues about computing,
like gaming strategies, list computing and related data structures, AI and
other non digit intensive symbolic tasks.
The complete set of 3 books is only 95 $ USD and it is worth its weight in
gold for for any serious student who aspires to go farther in the quest for
knowing more about computers and many of other more advanced uses than those
for which a first or second CS course generally teaches.
Now come back for a moment to the first gift suggestion I proposed to you at
the begining of this message.
I could only suggest you to offer your talented student a commercial version
of the novel - but yet not very prevalent on the market - REBOL interpreter
in its VIEW/PRO incarnation. So this will be relatively affordable for what
this product has to offer since it is priced at 99 $ USD.
Please read below as I presented you what is REBOL in as brief as possible a
family tour of the REBOL language.
REBOL as found some inspiration from Lisp and Logo for syntax and basic
facilities but it adds many novelties by its own. Ir has been designed for
more than a decade long - from his own confession - by a great OS and
language designer : Carl Sassenrath. Carl was formerly known for the design
of the Amiga Os while he worked for Commodore Business Machines.
REBOL is a true portable and very sophisticated computing engine that loads
itself over many known OSes - even some portable ones, so easing any
scripting task - and normalizing them too!. In fact it is actually ported to
more than 40 OS/CPUs mixes (available for all Windows variants including
WinCE, APPLE MacOS, IBM AIX, OS/2and OS/400, Linux 5 & 6 Lib for Intel x86
processors, Linux and UNIX BSD for DEC Alpha, PPC, 68K, Sparc, StrongArm and
Mips processors, SUN Solaris, QNX, SCO, SGI, BEOS, AMIGA).
REBOL also natively supports around 40 datatypes including calendar types
(date, time), OS related types(file, folder), data structure elements
(serie, list, tuple), graphics related types (XY-pair) and 14 Internet
protocols (tcp, ftp, http, daytime, pop, imap, smtp, etc...). As a bonus,
REBOL also supports native compression while encryption and sound support
comes only with the PRO version !!!
REBOL comes in many variants that are all very efficient and take almost no
footprint at all to install (only about 280k for REBOL/Core and 540k for the
REBOL/VIEW). The REBOL/VIEW variant is the one which offers a GUI support
in addition to the console mode of the REBOL/Core product. See below for
other details that make them different form each other.
While some variants of REBOL are free and can be used for real development,
deployment and regular use - on a non-commercial basis - this is the case
for the REBOL/Core and the REBOL/VIEW products, other variants cost
something going from 99 $ USD (for the REBOL/VIEW/PRO which adds 2D native
graphics engine, external apps call and some other facilities described
below) to 349 $ USD (for the top of the line REBOL/Command which adds native
and ODBC database drivers, external apps call encryption and many other
facilities also described shortly below).
More recent in the REBOL family is the REBOL/IOS that offers a framework for
supporting the development of collaborative tasks in REBOL - that is client
server apps for support of P2P sharing.
This one also comes ready with nearly 20 functional collaborative apps. See
the http://rebol.com/ios-intro.html for getting more specific information
about this last one.
REBOL/IOS is much more costly too than other members of the family - 2000 $
USD for 10 users and 99 $ USD for any other additional one - but after a 3
months free try period, I agree that it REBOL/IOS is really worth its weight
of gold. Everybody can ask for free to get a trial IOs client which will
link with their test IOS server as you conduct your eveluation.
For completeness, here is a very short description of the REBOL products
line taken from the download page of the REBOL web site:
1- REBOL/IOS For Collaborative Applications
An extensive platform for secure, realtime communication, file
synchronization, and shared applications. Built on REBOL's unique X Internet
distributed application technology. More information
2- REBOL/View (REBOL/Core plus native Graphical User Interface). Version 1.2
Feature summary (http://rebol.com/view-info.html). Downloads and installs in
seconds. Free for noncommercial use.
REBOL/View/Pro 1.2 add robust encryption, library calls to external DLLs,
sound, and shell access.
3- REBOL/Core The foundation of REBOL. Console only, no graphics. Version
Includes the REBOL interpreter, Internet protocols, compression, dialecting,
40 built-in datatypes, and more. Feature summary
(http://rebol.com/core-info.html). Downloads in seconds. No installation
required. Free for noncommercial use.
4- REBOL/Command For Enterprises and Professionals
REBOL/Command provides a powerful engine for client and server applications.
Based on REBOL/Core, REBOL/Command adds access to external libraries (DLLs),
shell commands, launching external applications, and database access through
Oracle(tm) and ODBC based databases. Command also includes SSL secure
sockets library for HTTPS access, fast CGI serving, additional database
support and numerous fixes and enhancements. Read more
Hope it will be of some interest and usefulness to you and your talented
Cegep de Ste-Foy
P.S. Sorry for the lengthy content but I really think this novel REBOL
scripting language really has to be known better by as many other CS
teachers as is possible. This is only so that we can offer a unified view of
what is available on the market and of the many alternatives that exist
other than the usual paths like COBOL, VB, C, C++, JAVA, Lisp, Scheme,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Burbank" <[dburbank--brooksschool--org]>
To: "AP Computer Science" <[ap-compsci--lyris--collegeboard--com]>
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2002 10:23 PM
Subject: [ap-compsci] Comp Sci book suggestions for gifted student
> If anyone can recommend a good book to give a wonderfully gifted high
> school computer science student who is graduating I would appreciate your
> suggestions. It does not necessarily have to be directly computer related,
> he is talented in many academic areas. I'm hoping the book will become
> part of his permanent collection.
> I would appreciate any suggestions.
> Doug Burbank
> Brooks School
> North Andover, MA
> Math, Art and Computer Science teacher
> Squash and tennis coach
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