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From: dness:home at: 25-Oct-2001 21:34

Dr. Louis A. Turk wrote:
> Rebol experts, > > Has anyone written a textbase program using rebol? Requirements: > > 1. A file containing a list of directories and masks for files containing > text: notes, books, articles, source code, e-mail, etc. >
> It seems to me that this should be very easy to do with rebol, and would be > extremely useful for both writers and programmers. Has anyone done > anything like this? >
A bit naive, perhaps. Many (if not most) of the files on my home machines (about 500,000 files at last count) contain `text' that is `encoded' by the programs that use it. Simple examples are .DOC (Windows Word) or .PS/PDF (Adobe PostScript/Acrobat), Mail Files, Help Files, MySQL data bases, Outlook Contact Lists etc. etc. Even text that isn't `deeply encoded' is often surrounded by a disconcering quantity of HTML markup or some such, and increasingly, these days, basic text is often stored in DBMS systems such as mySQL or Oracle. Sadly, recovering `sensible' text from these files is not an easy task without running the processors that interpret it (Word, Acrobat, GhostScript, Communicator, ...) in each specific case. This is one of the reasons that I am not much of a fan of the programs that store things in these idiosyncratic ways---but since the programs are heavily used one generally has to `go along' with customary usage. Rather than taking the approach suggested in this note, I guess I'd suggest starting with an implementation of something like the much-beloved `HyperCard' that was such a popular part of the Mac World for such a long time. Since I never liked Macs much, and since most of the HyperCard-like Windows systems were _very_ expensive, I never used this much, but it had a real following among a broad set of users, and it strikes me---perhaps naively---as something that might be easy to do, at least in a preliminary way, in REBOL. If such a thing were doable, then it might be possible, in some cases, to invoke processes that would convert other forms of files into `HyperCards' that could then be accessed in-lieu of the information in the documents themselves, thus accomplishing much of what you seem to want to be able to do.