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[REBOL] Re: [why-REBOL] Pros and Cons / what's so special

From: carl:cybercraft at: 25-Jun-2004 11:38

>>> human friendly syntax >bic> this is a mirage, to do simple things yeah like send >bic> [bry--itnisk--com] 'hi', my mother can use rebol, but even when it >bic> gets to the point of an automated mailing list the human friendly >bic> syntax is not going to be simple enough for her. At that point it >bic> means the human friendly syntax is just another programming >bic> language > >Let's not confuse the language's syntax with the problem of complex >application development, those are two separate issues. Human friendly >syntax won't make normal people "real programmers"; Normal people care >only about the end result. We have a number of normal people on the >list who do amazing things with REBOL. No, not everyone will want to, >but REBOL is like BASIC in that it can be used by hobbysists and >people who have a need for simple applications. > >Using your example, for the sake of argument, I think a lot of people >*would* be able to do this kind of thing: > > mailbox: [ > scheme: 'pop > user: 'project1 > host: "" > smtp: "" > pass: "gregg" > address: [project1--xxx--org] > ] > list: [[foo--bar--com][baz--foo--com]] > box: open mailbox > while [not empty? box] [ > message: import-email first box > send/only list message/content > remove box > ]
I'm not so sure. The first question would be "What's scheme mean?" They could cut and paste it though. There'a a paradox with REBOL, in that what makes it a simple language is not obvious till you've used it a while. But saying "It's just blocks filled with datatypes" doesn't really cut it as an explanation. I think a good book could be written which would show why it's simple, but it'd require people to read it from cover to cover, and I don't think people read programming book like that. :) Being a scripting language makes it accessable though - the script is the program is the source. That'll be an advantage with the browser plugin. As with HTML, people will think "I might we able to do that - or blag it and tweak it to do what I want.", when they figure out where the source is for the program that's just started running in their browser. And they'll be thinking that because it seems more readable than JavaScript, nevermind what you've got to do to produce something in Java or Flash. (This is the first Flash tutorial Google will point you towards... Would you call that accessable?) Text rules, I think. I'm sure those interpreted BASICs in the first personal computers were a major part of what kick-started this industry, (not to mention Microsoft.) And HTML is text too, thus we have the Web. (I don't know about PDAs though. Were they ever thought to be easy to program? If so, what with?)
>bic> I haven't really seen anything built in rebol, other than the >bic> async protocol, that has given me reason to reconsider the usages >bic> I think it most appropriate for. However maybe this is a >bic> difficult thing to do. > >Have you seen any of the following: > > AltME > IOS > Rugby > Temple > PDF-maker > NREN-Detective (incl. its installer) > ReViewer > Q > RASH > Konka > Oldes' SWF-dialect > Organised > any of Allen, Cyphre, or Oldes' games > Vanilla, Andrew or Volker's Wiki tools, Graham's VIDWiki > Etienne's skin system > Oldes'(?) texture generator > FTPGadget > SlashView > Bo's backup app > The librarian desktop app > Graphic demos from Cyphre, Oldes, or Anton > Advanced algorithm implementations and tools > from Ladislav, Romano, Jan Skibinski, and > others > Advanced UI styles from Cyphre and others > Cyphre's translator
And add to that Phil Bevan's readmail, which I'm using to write this. It's a work-in-progress and pretty raw in spots, (such as in this text-area where I'm typing - no wheel-mouse support and block-marking doesn't scroll the text), but it is a usable mailer, and if something really starts to annoy me I can get into the code and try and work out a fix. Yes, that's only possible if you know REBOL, but unless you're using open-source apps, knowing C or C++ or whatever won't help you with a typical Windows' app, will it? -- Carl Read