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[REBOL] Re: REBOL might be easy, but not with this documentation

From: carl:cybercraft at: 19-Oct-2001 0:28

On 18-Oct-01, Mikko "Mäkelä wrote:
> I'm reporting my very early experiences as a REBOL > programmer - although I have read about the progress > with the language several years, I just hours ago > started to program my first scripts. > The problem with programming REBOL is that the > documentation lacks. It is well written sort of and I > guess everything is there, BUT: it clearly shows that > someone too familiar with the language has written it.
Currently you need to seperate Core from View when it comes to documentation. Core is reasonably well documented. I find I turn to the User Guide first when looking for info, (well, after the console help has failed me), though I do wish it had an index. (I'm talking about the book here, but it's online on RT's site too.) View on the other hand hasn't any books yet, (and it looks like the first one to cover it will be in French), so we're left with what's online, which is partly on RT's website and partly on their rebsite. (Accessed via the View Desktop.) Plus there's some of the old beta docs about that cover View (as apposed to VID) better than the latter ones. See the following for instance... though of course some of that might be out of date now.
> Let's take the problem I solved just minutes ago as > example: I wanted to have a window with no borders and > no title. I had no idea what to do. I looked at quite > many documents, such as the beginner's guide to > REBOL/View, but no help. After some time I tried the > command-line help (I didn't read about command line > help anywhere, I just tried it because many systems > have such thing). Ok, I had already knowledge about > view-command, so I instantly saw that I had to use > "refinements". So I tried: "view/options [no-title > no-border] layout[...". After some more time I finally > found an example by using altavista search > "+view/options +rebol" from, which > showed that "[no-title no-border]" must come after the > layout block. > Ok, so I didn't read the manuals very well before > starting to program - but how many does?
Complaining about the lack of documentation and then saying you don't read it very well anyway is, ummm, err, something. (: But you are right - the definitive REBOL book (or online guide) hasn't been written yet, and the View docs leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully a View book will be out soon - it's sure needed. However, a reasonable understanding of Core is needed before you can do much with View. Function refinements for instance are explained well in the Core Guide. See...
> I understand > that REBOL Technologies might not have huge resources > to put on writing the documentation. But how about > adding a possibility to send short scripts with errors > to and using them as a material for > producing a better error parser (the current one isn't > very good, you admit?)? > I guess my personal problems will go away with the > books I have ordered, but not all of the millions of > programmers you are trying to lure to use REBOL will > buy a book... 8)
Well, the Core User Guide's online, so full marks to RT for that.
> Cheers, > Mikko Mäkelä
-- Carl Read