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oss revisited (briefly!)

 [1/40] from: notofo:earthlink at: 8-Feb-2004 12:39


Hey guys, My wishful thinking forces me to bring up what may be a dead horse issue, so I apologise in advance. What's up with rebol and open source these days? Rsharp seems stalled. Rebol is very useful,and is very cool to play with, but among my linux friends, no one cares. I'd like to see it not only survive but thrive, and, well, (you know what I'm going to say...) -- signature mischievous: "heh, heh, heh" -tom

 [2/40] from: tim:johnsons-web at: 8-Feb-2004 9:36


* Tom Foster <[notofo--earthlink--net]> [040208 08:59]:
> Hey guys, > > My wishful thinking forces me to bring up what may be a dead horse > issue, so I apologise in advance. What's up with rebol and open > source these days? Rsharp seems stalled.
It is not just possible, but is probable, that a 'tipping point' will be reached that will cause a sharp spike in increased linux use. If there is not an 'open source' rebol, rebol will lose out. It seems to me that one could have an 'open source' rebol with the 'pay per use' modules available without the source. Note: this is my opinion, and I don't wish to be involved in or initiate an 'OS war'.
> Rebol is very useful,and is very cool to play with, but among my > linux friends, no one cares. I'd like to see it not only survive but > thrive, and, well, (you know what I'm going to say...)
If rebol were 1)Open source 2)A component of some usable linux feature, it may enhance usage. Again: MHO tim
> -- > > signature mischievous: "heh, heh, heh" > -tom
"Let's have rebel code *and* rebol code" tim -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> http://www.alaska-internet-solutions.com

 [3/40] from: SunandaDH:aol at: 9-Feb-2004 12:24


Tom:
> My wishful thinking forces me to bring up what may be a dead horse > issue, so I apologise in advance. What's up with rebol and open > source these days? Rsharp seems stalled.
Just a few comments to throw into a general discussion. Open source is not the only model for software distribution. It is a very trendy one (as well as an ancient one, predating GNU and Linux), but it is not a guarantee that a product will survive or prosper. My house is littered with gadgets that a Linux person may be using today, which are not open source -- from the code that runs my central heating controller through the code that runs my digital camera to the printer driver that runs my laserjet. If I had a TV or a cable modem, there'd be even more. --- Open source is a set of marketing strategies that start with "you get to see the source code but can't change it" through to complete freedom to do anything you like -- including redistributing with a more restricted license. (If you are not allowed to redistribute with a more restricted license, some ultra-purists would claim that the original product is not truly open: any restriction is a restriction). A potential open-source product will sit somewhere between those two extremes. Depending where we each draw the line, you and I may disagree about the open-sourcedness of a few products that straddle our personal lines. --- REBOL, I guess, is three components: the source of the C code that drives the interpreter, the compiled natives, and the mezzanine functions. The mezzanines are REBOL source, so you could claim that REBOL is open source to that extent. Of course, many people want more. --- Many open-source products have a developer community around them. Anyone can modify any bit of code, but only trusted developers get to check-in modifications that become candidates for mainstream distribution(s). Fewer developers still have the right to make a change part of the mainstream. This is both a trust model and a meritocracy -- you've got to earn your rights to be a committer (able to check code in). Non-committers can only suggest changes (or spin off their own code tree and run the risk of it becoming unintegratable with the main tree). I guess that Carl is extremely picky about what code gets checked in to the REBOL code base, and even if REBOL were open source, there'd be precious few people with the right to do that to the official tree. --- It is encouraging to see the community interaction over at the REBOL-view Altme world. Carl is clearly taking stuff (mainly mezzanines) almost direct from other contributors and making them part of View 1.3. He commented somewhere that there were a lot of good REBOL coders in that world. If anything is going to nudge him further down a collaborative approach, perhaps leading to a more open source model, that experience may form an important part of it. Sunanda.

 [4/40] from: notofo::earthlink::net at: 9-Feb-2004 20:55


On Mon, Feb 09, 2004 at 12:24:20PM -0500, [SunandaDH--aol--com] wrote:
> Open source is a set of marketing strategies <...snip> >
No, open source means the source is open. It doesn't need to be any more complicated than this. The reasons it is a Good Thing(tm) :-) have been exhaustively covered elsewhere on the net. I'm not trying to be argumentative (really!). Tim is right, though, if you have to think of only one good thing about oss, think more resources. -- signature riding a horse: "clopclopclopclop" -tom

 [5/40] from: chris:langreiter at: 10-Feb-2004 3:37


> If anything is going to nudge him further down a collaborative > approach, perhaps leading to a more open source model, that > experience may form an important part of it.
I think the 1.3 project shows that Carl and RT as-is can use those additional resources very well ... What the benefits of keeping the source closed (for RT) are becomes less clear to me by the day. Albeit open-sourcing is of course by no means a guarantee for success, in the case of REBOL with its rather active (if small) community and fair share of excellent developers intimately familiar with the language (and by extensive experimen- tation, some aspects of the implementation) it might actually be the last chance to achieve critical mass (which, as I'm afraid, it doesn't have right now). Frankly, I'd rather buy a QA'd, tested, polished REBOL "distribution" that packages core and (contributed) modules than anything that's currently on offer, or a quarterly subscription to such a distribution or whatever. -- Chris

 [6/40] from: pwawood:mango:my at: 10-Feb-2004 11:32


I think there was a fundamental flaw in the original posters argument which I thought boiled down to Rebol will never succeed on Linux because it isn't open source. This does not seem to have held back Java's adoption in the OSS world. Peter

 [7/40] from: SunandaDH:aol at: 10-Feb-2004 4:09


Chris:
> Frankly, I'd rather buy a QA'd, tested, polished REBOL "distribution" > that packages core and (contributed) modules than anything that's > currently on offer, or a quarterly subscription to such a distribution > or whatever.
That's the approach that has made Redhat and others commercial successes in a world that gives away software. Much the same model could apply to REBOL too. Tom:
> No, open source means the source is open. It doesn't > need to be any more complicated than this.
I was basing my observation that it is a marketing strategy on the Open Source Initiative's home page where they say: Open Source Initiative exists to make this case to the commercial world. http://www.opensource.org/index.php That's marketing! Their definition is also a little more convoluted: http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php But they are trying to distinguish themselves from Free Software -- which many would argue is an Even Better Thing: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html Tom:
> I'm not trying to be argumentative (really!). Tim is right, > though, if you have to think of only one good thing > about oss, think more resources.
I completely agree with both of you, and Tim's example about the /binary bug is a good example of how long it can take to fix things when the resources are limited -- and, also, the resources have other priorities I get the impression (I may be wrong) from the interactions on Altme REBOL-View that Carl is now the *only* developer at RT. If so, he may now have the freedom, and perhaps the necessity, (if not the time) to think about a different about a different development strategy for REBOL. And, if so, he'd find a lot of enthusiasm from people on this list for sight of the source in exchange for bug fixes, enhancements and optimisations. That could be a step towards open source, Sunanda.

 [8/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 10-Feb-2004 12:30


On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 09:36:10 -0900, Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> wrote:
> It is not just possible, but is probable, that a 'tipping point' > will be reached that will cause a sharp spike in increased linux > use. If there is not an 'open source' rebol, rebol will lose out.
Hi, I never undestand what the problem is? What's the problem with Rebol not being open-source? It doesn't cost hundred-of-thousands of $s to use. So if you are doing things that will create revenue, you can afford a license, if not use the free interpreter. If we would talk about Oracle database systems here, I would agree to do cost-cutting. But, all those open-source demagogues, if you can show-up with a business-model that let RT make some money from their work, I will be quite but otherwise it's just a techie POV with no business know-how behind it. And, BTW: Those not caring about Rebol because not being open-source have a problem ;-)
> Note: this is my opinion, and I don't wish to be involved in > or initiate an 'OS war'.
Well, why not? If someone can tell me a really benefit Rebol being open-source I might change my POV. Sorry, if this sound a bit harsh here, but only moaning without showing a solution is not that professional. -- Robert M. M=FCnch Management & IT Freelancer Mobile: +49 (177) 245 2802 http://www.robertmuench.de

 [9/40] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 10-Feb-2004 11:03


Hi, Robert, Just my $0.02 here... However, let me emphasize that I'm not agitating for a change of RT position here, but just clarifying what I understand open source to be about, and some benefits of open source. Robert M. M=FCnch wrote:
> Hi, I never undestand what the problem is? What's the problem with Rebol > not being open-source? It doesn't cost hundred-of-thousands of $s to use. > So if you are doing things that will create revenue, you can afford a > license, if not use the free interpreter. >
With all due respect, I think you're confusing two distinct issues here. To paraphrase ESR and RMS, open source is about "free as in free speech, not free as in free beer". Access to source code is about availability of knowledge, as expanded below.
> But, all those open-source demagogues, if you can show-up with a > business-model that let RT make some money from their work, I will be > quite but otherwise it's just a techie POV with no business know-how > behind it. > > And, BTW: Those not caring about Rebol because not being open-source have > a problem ;-) >
Again WADR I think you're contradicting yourself here. Saying that something has no value unless somebody can make money off of it seems just as much advocating a philosophical POV (not to accuse anybody of demagoguery ;-) as saying that the greatest value to society at large is obtained by knowledge to be freely available. As for the other contradiction, your first paragraph seems to be arguing for a strictly commercial POV, but your second paragraph seems to ignore the marketing principle that the customer has the right to decide what (s)he wants. I know some people who don't care about anything that doesn't run on Windows. Do you think they have a problem simply because they have a preferred platform and delivery model? RT can make money by providing expert support, just as an engineering firm can make money by providing expertise, even though that expertise is based on applying the "open source" laws of physics which are freely available to all. Similarly, legal firms make *LOTS* of money offering their expertise, even though anyone can legally go to a law library and read the "source code" of the laws of the nation.
> Well, why not? If someone can tell me a really benefit Rebol being > open-source I might change my POV. Sorry, if this sound a bit harsh here, > but only moaning without showing a solution is not that professional. >
1) Faster bug fixes. Many folks on this mailing list have offered but fixes for mezzanine code, but their/our ability to help debug and offer corrections hits the wall when natives are involved. RT produces good code but nobody is perfect and we know that there have been bugs which have taken quite a while to resolve due to other priorites and limits on resources. 2) Improved documentation. Many on this list have contributed ideas, explanations, and mental models re various features of REBOL. If we had access to the source code, those who are willing to invest the effort to understand the interpreter and/or natives could offer exact and definite answers for "how does REBOL do ..." and "what does ... mean in REBOL" kinds of questions. The user community could stop wasting time trying to guess and/or debate such issues. Making the user community more effective certainly benefits both the users and RT! 3) Faster porting. There have been several mentions on this list in the past few days about the fact that /View on Mac OS/X has been pending for over a year. In the open source world, sufficiently- interested parties can perform (or at least contribute to) the legwork of getting an existing piece of code ported to another environment (even if only for "beta" purposes). The list could go on, but you asked for "a benefit" and I've mentioned three, so I'll stop. ;-) Again, let me stress that I'm not complaining or advocating here; RT has a perfect right to decide what model and license REBOL will be provided under. As a user, I simply decide whether I prefer to use the tool under their model, or live without it. I certainly agree that whining and moaning are not professional, but I do believe that calm, rational discussion of the pros and cons of alternatives is also legitimate. -jn- -- Joel Neely com dot fedex at neely dot joel I had proved the hypothesis with a lovely Gedankenexperiment, but my brain was too small to contain it. -- Language Hat

 [10/40] from: tim:johnsons-web at: 10-Feb-2004 8:13


* "Robert M. M=FCnch" <[robert--muench--robertmuench--de]> [040210 03:20]:
> On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 09:36:10 -0900, Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> > wrote:
<<quoted lines omitted: 18>>
> open-source I might change my POV. Sorry, if this sound a bit harsh here, > but only moaning without showing a solution is not that professional.
By now you've probably read my thoughts about 'open architecture' as a opposed to 'open source'. And I'm personally not a real 'open source' fanatic. I'm more interested in resources than source code. In fact, as a long-time C programmer, I'm afraid that if I saw any of Carl's code, it would just make me feel stoopid. :-) cheers tim -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> http://www.alaska-internet-solutions.com

 [11/40] from: gedb01::yahoo at: 10-Feb-2004 17:19


Hi Robert, --- ""Robert_M._M=FCnch"" <[robert--muench--robertmuench--de]> wrote: >
> On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 09:36:10 -0900, Tim Johnson > <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> > wrote: >
[...]
> Well, why not? If someone can tell me a really > benefit Rebol being
<<quoted lines omitted: 11>>
> [rebol-request--rebol--com] with unsubscribe as the > subject.
I think the main benefit to making Rebol/Core open source will be an improvement in the feature set. At the moment there is deman for features like new datatypes and unicode support. We are reliant on RT for these. If the code was open source, users would have the opportunity to add these features themselves, possibly based on the efforts of other open source projects. For example, both Ruby and Python have borrowed a lot of their standard libraries from Perl's code base. What benefits could Rebol/Core gain from cross fertilisation with other open source projects like OCAML and PLTScheme? RT are already giving away REBOL/Core, so it doesn't make them money. The product they do sell, such as the SDK or IOS could only benefit from an enhanced core. ________________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger - Communicate instantly..."Ping" your friends today! Download Messenger Now http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/download/index.html

 [12/40] from: tim:johnsons-web at: 10-Feb-2004 8:01


* [SunandaDH--aol--com] <[SunandaDH--aol--com]> [040210 00:36]: <...>
> > I'm not trying to be argumentative (really!). Tim is right, > > though, if you have to think of only one good thing
<<quoted lines omitted: 12>>
> this list for sight of the source in exchange for bug > fixes, enhancements and optimisations.
My niece worked for RT in 2000, and according to her, it was a tough start. What Carl has done is not easy, he has made an enormous contribution and deserves all the support he can get (and use). tim -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> http://www.alaska-internet-solutions.com

 [13/40] from: carl:cybercraft at: 11-Feb-2004 8:25


On 11-Feb-04, Tim Johnson wrote:
> In fact, as a long-time C programmer, I'm afraid that if I saw any > of Carl's code, it would just make me feel stoopid. :-)
There was mention a while back by someone at RT of just how much source code there was to REBOL, and it was a /huge/ amount. So never mind stoopid - how about daunted?
> cheers > tim
-- Carl Read

 [14/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 12-Feb-2004 11:00


On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 11:03:57 -0600, Joel Neely <[joel--neely--fedex--com]> wrote:
> With all due respect, I think you're confusing two distinct issues here. > To paraphrase ESR and RMS, open source is about "free as in free speech, > not free as in free beer".
Hi, yes I know. BTW: Just to clarify things up-front: I do support the open-source idea, and I think it's a very good way. But IMO neither the only-commercial nor the only-open-source way is the best. It's the middle, combining both sides. I just wanted to provoke some reactions ;-)
> Access to source code is about availability of knowledge, as expanded > below.
Yes, and kowledge = RT's asset.
> Again WADR I think you're contradicting yourself here. Saying that > something has no value unless somebody can make money off of it seems > just as much advocating a philosophical POV (not to accuse anybody of > demagoguery ;-) as saying that the greatest value to society at large > is obtained by knowledge to be freely available.
In the context of a business world, and where some people need to make a living from their work, I think the value apporach is commonly accepted by us all. The other POV is OK too. Set your self on the CEO chair of RT and than look at it. Would you make Rebol open-source? I won't.
> As for the other > contradiction, your first paragraph seems to be arguing for a strictly > commercial POV, but your second paragraph seems to ignore the marketing > principle that the customer has the right to decide what (s)he wants.
You have the right, and choice: Don't use, don't buy it etc. It's up to you. Do you get all the development deocumentation from your car manufacturer if you buy a car? IMO it's much the same situation. For me, there exists a new indicatior: The-Open-Source-Moaning-Indicator. Products, where this indicator is high, really respect a deeper view, because no-one would ask for open-sourcing a bad product.
> I know some people who don't care about anything that doesn't run on > Windows. Do you think they have a problem simply because they have a > preferred platform and delivery model?
No, I don't think so. If it were a problem, they would change it.
> RT can make money by providing expert support, just as an engineering > firm can make money by providing expertise, even though that expertise > is based on applying the "open source" laws of physics which are freely > available to all.
That's not quite right. Because the two business models are very different and scale very different: 1. Service business scales by people. RT can't scale it up at all rates. It's not possible if you want to keep a quality and hence your reputation. 2. Box-Selling scales up quite good. You don't need a big staff, you can out-source all production etc. RT can expand the current team by a few people but rais revenue stream by magnitudes. If you have a good product, option 2 is much faster, simpler and with less risk involved than option 1.
> Similarly, legal firms make *LOTS* of money offering > their expertise, even though anyone can legally go to a law library and > read the "source code" of the laws of the nation.
This doesn't hold, beause they try to set the value of the objective as high as possible. Try to convince a lawyer to handle a $1000 case, that has high efforts. Further you are going to make a descision considering: costs, value to fight, risk etc. and than say: Go or No-Go.
> 1) Faster bug fixes. ...
Can be done with closed-source as well.
> ... which have taken quite a while to resolve due to other priorites and > limits on resources.
What does it mean to have other priorities and limited ressources? It's lag of free-money. So helping RT to make more money from it should lead to the same result.
> 2) Improved documentation. ...
Same, here. No one stops us to write it. Or should this point be "Improved documentation about Rebol internals"? I'm sure Carl is going to tell how internal things if we ask him. It might take some time but overall I think he is pretty open here. And I don't think the lack of this documentation makes Rebol unusable for most of us.
> 3) Faster porting. ...
If someone really required Rebol on an other platform, just call Carl and pay him. He will port it in a bout 4-6 weeks I think.
> The list could go on, but you asked for "a benefit" and I've mentioned > three, so I'll stop. ;-)
You don't have to convince me about benefits of open-sourcing things. Overall, I think a mix is best. Taking the base out of open-source, adding value to this base to create uniqueness, make money from it and give back some money to the community to sponsor it. A win-win is required.
> I certainly agree > that whining and moaning are not professional, but I do believe that > calm, rational discussion of the pros and cons of alternatives is > also legitimate.
;-) As said, I wanted to provoke a bit. Robert

 [15/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 12-Feb-2004 11:01


On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 17:19:15 +0000 (GMT), Ged Byrne <[gedb01--yahoo--co--uk]> wrote:
> If the code was open source, users would have the > opportunity to add these features themselves, possibly > based on the efforts of other open source projects.
Hi, maybe, but I'm mostly sure we will use the homogeneous setup we get with Rebol. The danger is to get to many incompatible forks. It's not easy to keep this organized and on track on an open-source environment. Yes, there are examples where it works, but let's face it. Those groups are pushed by a very small team, the team keeps that small because the effort to get into the project from some point on is very high... The setup has some self-restrictions to keep it going ;-)) Can you add a new feature to Perl in 1 week?
> What benefits could Rebol/Core gain from cross > fertilisation with other open source projects like > OCAML and PLTScheme?
I don't know. We can create a Rebol standard library as well. The guys from Rebol.org are doing a very good job to setup a CPAN like model.
> RT are already giving away REBOL/Core, so it doesn't > make them money.
Which is generous I think.
> The product they do sell, such as the SDK or IOS could only benefit from > an enhanced > core.
No, I don't agree. These can only benefit from higher sales numbers. It's a business questions, not a technical one. Robert

 [16/40] from: maarten:vrijheid at: 12-Feb-2004 11:41


>>The product they do sell, such as the SDK or IOS could only benefit from >>an enhanced
<<quoted lines omitted: 3>>
>No, I don't agree. These can only benefit from higher sales numbers. It's >a business questions, not a technical one. Robert
+1 from me. The SDK is an attractive offer, as it allows you to spread small single-click executables. If you use the Roxy install toolkit by Gregg (who will document and release it Real Soon Now) you even have a professional installler for your programs. Compare the value of that $250 with that of Delphi or so (featurewise w/o IDE, thus networking, security, database, cross-platform, small standalone .exe, GUI, library interface, shell interface ....) My statement: the business proposition is a good one. --Maarten

 [17/40] from: gedb01:y:ahoo at: 12-Feb-2004 23:20


Hi Robert, --- ""Robert_M._M=FCnch"" <[robert--muench--robertmuench--de]> wrote: >
> On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 17:19:15 +0000 (GMT), Ged Byrne > <[gedb01--yahoo--co--uk]>
<<quoted lines omitted: 10>>
> > make them money. > Which is generous I think.
Generous, yes, but I think it also makes sound commercial sense as well.
> > The product they do sell, such as the SDK or IOS > could only benefit from
<<quoted lines omitted: 3>>
> higher sales numbers. It's > a business questions, not a technical one. Robert
Sorry. What I mean is that an improved technical core could only be beneficial for the products built upon it. I did not mean that this was the only way possible. Sales numbers would be great too. I've been spending sometime getting REBOL to work on my upcoming website and it takes a while to realise why things are done the way they are. I think that this has altered my perspective a little. Open source languages tend to lean towards 'least suprise' rather than internal consistancy. Perhaps a strict control of the core really is necessary in order to truly innovate. I'm giving it some thought.
> -- > To unsubscribe from this list, just send an email to > [rebol-request--rebol--com] with unsubscribe as the > subject. >
________________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger - Communicate instantly..."Ping" your friends today! Download Messenger Now http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/download/index.html

 [18/40] from: krobillard:cox at: 12-Feb-2004 20:34


I'm not a Java expert, but I assume that there is a formal specification for Java and that there are many implementations (Sun, IBM, Blackdown?). That may explain why people would be comfortable adopting Java but not REBOL. -Karl On Monday 09 February 2004 19:32, Peter WA Wood wrote:

 [19/40] from: david:feugey:eqrd at: 13-Feb-2004 10:20


Karl Robillard a =E9crit :
>I'm not a Java expert, but I assume that there is a formal specification for >Java and that there are many implementations (Sun, IBM, Blackdown?). That >may explain why people would be comfortable adopting Java but not REBOL. >
Bof... There are also big issues with portability. Anyway we have R# ; this is the first step to give people a second choice, even if nothing can be compared to "RT-Rebol". I think RT made the right choice : no OSS version of the language means no fragmentation of the source code. Of course that does not mean that OSS implementations dont have to exist, but just that the main implementation is not and that the other one cannot be called Rebol. It's the same for Java with Kaffe (for example). Bye, David

 [20/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 13-Feb-2004 13:13


On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 11:41:49 +0100, Maarten Koopmans <[maarten--vrijheid--net]> wrote:
> +1 from me. The SDK is an attractive offer, as it allows you to spread > small single-click executables.
Yes, that's why I bought it. This product needs to be pushed much more and IMO it's much underestimated.
> If you use the Roxy install toolkit by Gregg (who will document and > release it Real Soon Now) you even have a professional installler for > your programs.
:-) I'm looking forward to see it. IMO this will make the tool-chain a step more valuable and raise it to the next level.
> Compare the value of that $250 with that of Delphi or so (featurewise > w/o IDE, thus networking, security, database, cross-platform, small > standalone .exe, GUI, library interface, shell interface ....)
I agree. The SDK is really a one-click-to-result product.
> My statement: the business proposition is a good one.
;-) and no open-source is required for this. -- Robert M. M=FCnch Management & IT Freelancer Mobile: +49 (177) 245 2802 http://www.robertmuench.de

 [21/40] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 13-Feb-2004 9:40


Hi, Karl, Karl Robillard wrote:
> I'm not a Java expert, but I assume that there is a formal specification for > Java and that there are many implementations (Sun, IBM, Blackdown?). That > may explain why people would be comfortable adopting Java but not REBOL. >
The authoritative page is http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/ The Java Language Specification, Second Edition - Written by the inventors of the technology, this book is the definitive technical reference for the Java programming language. If you want to know the precise meaning of the language's constructs, this is the source for you. The book provides complete, accurate, and detailed coverage of the syntax and semantics of the Java programming language. It describes all aspects of the language, including the semantics of all types, statements, and expressions, as well as threads and binary compatibility. The entire spec is available on-line in HTML, downloadable in HTML and PDF (both ZIPped), and orderable in dead-tree form. Having a definitive specification makes it possible to learn more efficiently then trial-and-error or ask-somebody-when-stumped, and also makes it possible to distinguish implementation defects (bugs) from cases of I-didn't-understand-that-feature. -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446 Enron Accountingg in a Nutshell: 1c=$0.01=($0.10)**2=(10c)**2=100c=$1

 [22/40] from: SunandaDH:aol at: 13-Feb-2004 10:54


Sunanda:
> If anything is going to nudge him further down a collaborative > approach, perhaps leading to a more open source model, that > experience may form an important part of it.
Chris:
> I think the 1.3 project shows that Carl and RT as-is can > use those additional resources very well ...
I'm no prophet or Kremlinologist. But: The REBOL.com home page has recently changed to replace "Mission" with About . Follow the link, and the text has changed dramatically. One part now reads: We believe that an open collaborative development community is key in creating and expanding on the fundamental technology and inspiring an exciting variety of applications and methods. For the previous mission statement, check at Archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/20030620144159/rebol.com/mission.html Whether this has anything to do with View 1.4 or open source is another matter. Sunanda.

 [23/40] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 13-Feb-2004 10:06


Hi, David, The punch-line (from my perspective) is at the end. David Feugey wrote:
> There are also big issues with portability. > > ... no OSS version of the language means no fragmentation > of the source code. >
That simply doesn't follow. Perl, Python, Ruby, etc. etc. etc. have been open source from the beginning, and don't suffer from the oft-threatened specter of fragmentation. It simply hasn't happened. What has happened is that those languages are available on a very wide range of platforms, and are even capable of being embedded into another program as a "macro language", thus providing even more (domain-specific) platforms where knowing the language can be an asset. Ask yourself what benefits there might be to REBOL if a team writing the next "killer app" could decide to use REBOL as the built- in scripting/macro language within that app.
> Of course that does not mean that OSS > implementations dont have to exist, but just that the main > implementation is not and that the other one cannot be called Rebol. > > It's the same for Java with Kaffe (for example). >
No. Java is a *language*, not an implementation. It is defined by a specification, which makes it possible to check whether any specific *implementation* (Sun's JDK, Kaffe, Jikes, Blackdown, etc. etc.) correctly implements that spec. Of course the holder of a trademarked language name for a language with a published spec is perfectly within rights to insist that the name only be used with implementations which conform to the spec. This is *not* parallel to the case of R# and REBOL. REBOL is an implementation, without a publicly available specification. That means that any effort to create another implementation is based on inferences, guesswork, etc. etc. etc. and can't be guaranteed to match precisely the behavior of the implementation from RT. Are the current limits on number of global words, depth of recursion, etc. actually part of the "hypothetical spec" of REBOL, or are they just limits of the current implementation? If the R# team guessed right on everything else, but allowed more global words or deeper recursion, would that be "correct"? Who's to say? PUNCH LINE: Most of the recent discussions re open source are irrelevant, and there have been many assertions made which are simply contrary to fact. REBOL isn't open source because the creator/owner has decided not to do that. Period. And he has a perfect right to choose how to make the fruit of his labors available to the rest of us. However, if we're going to discuss the pros and cons of open source in an attempt to persuade him to change his mind, or to persuade others on the list that his choice had general benefits, we need to stick to the facts and look at what has actually happened in the arena of open-sourced languages. -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446 Enron Accountingg in a Nutshell: 1c=$0.01=($0.10)**2=(10c)**2=100c=$1

 [24/40] from: petr:krenzelok:trz:cz at: 13-Feb-2004 17:16


Joel Neely napsal(a):
>Having a definitive specification makes it possible to learn more >efficiently then trial-and-error or ask-somebody-when-stumped, and >also makes it possible to distinguish implementation defects (bugs) >from cases of I-didn't-understand-that-feature. >
Yes, but I also wonder WHO of us uses Java productively? Because, last time I talked to Cyphre - who did some game in Java for his company, complained about how BAD acutally compatibility is, and wonders if SUN cares about QA assurance, as it does not seems to be so. According to him it looks more like each cell phone company implements functions by themselves, not by porting some standard code. So I think even with Java it will not be so all-works-as-expected, although I understand your point in regards to rebol ... -pekr-

 [25/40] from: andreas:bolka:gmx at: 13-Feb-2004 18:09


Friday, February 13, 2004, 5:16:27 PM, Petr wrote:
> Joel Neely napsal(a): >> Having a definitive specification makes it possible to learn more
<<quoted lines omitted: 4>>
> looks more like each cell phone company implements functions by > themselves, not by porting some standard code.
Please don't mix up Java and J2ME. The latter is only _one_ part of the former. -- Best regards, Andreas

 [26/40] from: tomc:darkwing:uoregon at: 13-Feb-2004 9:18


On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 [SunandaDH--aol--com] wrote:
> Sunanda: > > If anything is going to nudge him further down a collaborative
<<quoted lines omitted: 10>>
> creating and expanding on the fundamental technology and inspiring an exciting > variety of applications and methods. "
Ah must have woken up one morning and figured the corporate starship Enterprise was not going to come and beam them up ... Scotty might as well go native!

 [27/40] from: david:feugey:eqrd at: 13-Feb-2004 18:15


Joel Neely a =E9crit :
> Hi, David, > The punch-line (from my perspective) is at the end.
<<quoted lines omitted: 7>>
> have been open source from the beginning, and don't suffer from the > oft-threatened specter of fragmentation. It simply hasn't happened.
It is... When you want to make a GUI with Perl, you have the choice between about 10 toolkits. None of them is standard or widely used (sorry, I call this fragmentation). It's the same for CGI, network, image reading, etc. Of course the core of Perl is not fragmented between different projects, but it becomes less and less specific (or more and more generic, just choose). I have no real fun to work with Perl now... The spirit (vision ?) is gone. On one hand it's good (choice, open source, generic) on the other hand it's not so good (too generic, too much choice). But sometimes it works (Tcl).
>>Of course that does not mean that OSS >>implementations dont have to exist, but just that the main
<<quoted lines omitted: 6>>
> *implementation* (Sun's JDK, Kaffe, Jikes, Blackdown, etc. etc.) > correctly implements that spec.
OK OK, I mean, official versions of Java... Kaffe is not certified and has many problems with some Java applications.
> This is *not* parallel to the case of R# and REBOL. REBOL is an > implementation, without a publicly available specification. That > means that any effort to create another implementation is based on > inferences, guesswork, etc. etc. etc. and can't be guaranteed to > match precisely the behavior of the implementation from RT. >
Yes, you're absolutely right on this point... specifications should be public.
> However, if we're going to discuss the pros and cons of open source > in an attempt to persuade him to change his mind, or to persuade > others on the list that his choice had general benefits, we need to > stick to the facts and look at what has actually happened in the > arena of open-sourced languages. >
Pros and cons for both... even if I prefer an OSS model. But Rebol is pretty good... Appart from the licence (still not clear) it's a good language, and for me it's essential. Bye, David

 [28/40] from: david:feugey:eqrd at: 13-Feb-2004 18:20


Petr Krenzelok a =E9crit :
> Joel Neely napsal(a): > Yes, but I also wonder WHO of us uses Java productively? Because, last
<<quoted lines omitted: 5>>
> it will not be so all-works-as-expected, although I understand your > point in regards to rebol ...
I dont think so... Certified implementations all support the same API and functions. The problem with Java is that sometimes you must make things in an "unportable" way (file access is still a good example). Now that Java is big big big (compared to the 1.0.2 version I was working with) there are probably many more portability issues. Bye, David

 [29/40] from: rgaither:triad:rr at: 13-Feb-2004 12:29


On Feb 13, 2004, at 11:16 AM, Petr Krenzelok wrote:
> Yes, but I also wonder WHO of us uses Java productively? Because, last > time I talked to Cyphre - who did some game in Java for his company,
<<quoted lines omitted: 5>>
> it will not be so all-works-as-expected, although I understand your > point in regards to rebol ...
From what I have seen in the Java world this is an interesting point. On the one side Java is being used for big projects, internal or as the basis for web services, where the portability is of little value. It is used because it is the "hot" language. It is easier than C++ and has a big community of developers and libraries. On the other side I see products like jEdit (www.jedit.org) and Eclipse where the portability is important. In these two products you can see some of the "not" all works as expected, yet it works well enough to be cross platform and functional. I don't use Java as a developer myself but I am now using Java based products every day. This is quite a switch from a couple of years ago when I wouldn't have touched a Java based product for any number of reasons - performance, non standard UI, install and version compatibility headaches. Of course part of this is due to decent Java support on Mac OS X and the lack of some products on that platform. Still, it now has me using jEdit and Eclipse on Windows as well. If I used my Linux machine as anything other than a server Java tools might play an even bigger role for the portability factor. FWIW, Rod. Rod Gaither [rgaither--triad--rr--com] Oak Ridge, NC USA

 [30/40] from: david:feugey:eqrd at: 13-Feb-2004 18:36


Rod Gaither a =E9crit :
> I don't use Java as a > developer myself but I am now using Java based > products every day.
I would like to do that with Rebol applications :)
> Of course part of this is due to decent Java support > on Mac OS X and the lack of some products on that > platform.
Yes, a very good support, and very bad for Rebol. But I'm on Linux, so :) Bye, David

 [31/40] from: tim:johnsons-web at: 13-Feb-2004 9:19


* Joel Neely <[joel--neely--fedex--com]> [040213 07:34]: <..>
> That simply doesn't follow. Perl, Python, Ruby, etc. etc. etc. > have been open source from the beginning, and don't suffer from the > oft-threatened specter of fragmentation. It simply hasn't happened.
But a cautionary tale *would* be that of the split between GNU Emacs and Xemacs. I really don't know if that did the community(ies) much good. The schism was quite a passionate one at the time. <..> tim -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]> http://www.alaska-internet-solutions.com

 [32/40] from: maximo:meteorstudios at: 13-Feb-2004 14:06


I find rebol's community fascinating. We all like rebol because its different and allows the control of changing everything to our taste in a very easy manner. Its just TOO easy and addictive! so stop talking about unity... argghh ... grin .. huggggh.... and compatibility .... .... we hates it ... yes, yes .... we hates it .... ;-) I just see gollum strugling with his open source other self... I like rebolers. Strong hearted, polite and respectfull. Try to say to the python list that open source is not the solution to hunger and you will get much less respect. On all topics, people on this list are open to say what they feel and without judgment. democracy. keep it comming! we likes it... yes, yes ... we do :-) -MAx

 [33/40] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 13-Feb-2004 15:08


Hi, David, David Feugey wrote:
>>>... no OSS version of the language means no fragmentation >>>of the source code.
<<quoted lines omitted: 7>>
> (sorry, I call this fragmentation). It's the same for CGI, network, > image reading, etc.
That has nothing to do with closed-source-vs-open-source issues. If two different programmers write, and offer to the world, two different solutions to the same problem domain, that doesn't mean that "THE SOURCE CODE" of the language itself has fragmented (which was the original complaint). Andrew's ML dialect is one solution to generating HTML/XML/SGML/etc. Someone else could come along and write (and give away) a different solution to that problem. That isn't fragmentation of the language itself. Perl was invented before the time when people considered full-blown graphics to be a part of a core language. (Some people still don't consider that to be so...) Different people wrote graphic libraries and frameworks (or adapters to externally-existing libs and fws) for use in writing graphic applications in Perl. That doesn't mean that the language itself is fragmented, any more than the independent existence of MySQL and Oracle mean that any language that can talk to both of them is fragmented.
> ... >>This is *not* parallel to the case of R# and REBOL. REBOL is an
<<quoted lines omitted: 5>>
> Yes, you're absolutely right on this point... specifications should be > public.
I still believe that this would be the biggest single step toward facilitating the growth of REBOL.
> Pros and cons for both... even if I prefer an OSS model. > > But Rebol is pretty good... Appart from the licence (still not clear) > it's a good language, and for me it's essential. >
I agree that it's a good language. I just want us not to be caught comparing apples with Thursdays when we talk about the pros and cons of different distribution/development models. ;-) -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446 Enron Accountingg in a Nutshell: 1c=$0.01=($0.10)**2=(10c)**2=100c=$1

 [34/40] from: maarten:vrijheid at: 13-Feb-2004 23:11


>>>implementation, without a publicly available specification. That >>>means that any effort to create another implementation is based on
<<quoted lines omitted: 10>>
>I still believe that this would be the biggest single step toward >facilitating the growth of REBOL.
Even if it is a book, think of what it would teach us. I would pay an SDK fee for learning all the things Carl and RT put in REBOL. --Maarten

 [35/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 14-Feb-2004 18:25


On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:29:51 -0500, Rod Gaither <[rgaither--triad--rr--com]> wrote:
> I don't use Java as a > developer myself but I am now using Java based > products every day.
Hi, that's what I try to avoid too. As I'm doing a lot of software & project proposal evaluation for my customers, the first questions to vendors is: Hmm... it's a Java product. Why? Java didn't work on the desktop, why should it on the server? If they can give me a reasonable answer and show that it's working, OK. If not, they are out. -- Robert M. M=FCnch Management & IT Freelancer Mobile: +49 (177) 245 2802 http://www.robertmuench.de

 [36/40] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 16-Feb-2004 10:52


Hi, Robert, Robert M. M=FCnch wrote:
> ... As I'm doing a lot of software & > project proposal evaluation for my customers, the first questions to > vendors is: Hmm... it's a Java product. Why? Java didn't work on the > desktop, why should it on the server? >
You must have an interesting definition of "didn't work"! Just two examples should suffice: Eclipse (desktop) and WebLogic (server) work quite nicely. -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446 Enron Accountingg in a Nutshell: 1c=$0.01=($0.10)**2=(10c)**2=100c=$1

 [37/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 17-Feb-2004 19:15


On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 10:52:14 -0600, Joel Neely <[joel--neely--fedex--com]> wrote:
> You must have an interesting definition of "didn't work"!
Hi, of course this depends on the situation. And "does work" includes, cost effective, low complexity, low bandwith etc. always total-cost-of-ownership.
> Just two examples should suffice: Eclipse (desktop) and WebLogic > (server) work > quite nicely.
WebLogic IIRC is an application server? That's just a technical part. I'm taling about solutions, like PPS Systems, document management etc. Most solutions I have seen didn't hold for a TCO analysis and had a way to high complexity. But I'm sure there are stories, where people are happy with their solution... it's always a question to what you compare ;-) -- Robert M. M=FCnch Management & IT Freelancer Mobile: +49 (177) 245 2802 http://www.robertmuench.de

 [38/40] from: maximo:meteorstudios at: 17-Feb-2004 13:38


Wasn't java supposed to take over IT as the provider of top to bottom tools which every one would want or could not resist!?!? IMHO Java is dying... slowly but surely. probably because microsoft split the java idea with their own Jscript and encouraged as many different java platforms, in order to discredit it in the long-run with fragmented developer/code bases. seems nowadays, everyone is rushing to support python... oh, I guess it has nothing to do with the fact that it is 100% open source. (sorry, I coudn't resist ;-) I hope MS does not do this with python, but I'm sure they are considering something. Is C# their answer to python and rebol ?? -MAx --- You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution, but in the end, being part of the problem is much more fun.

 [39/40] from: AJMartin:orcon at: 18-Feb-2004 9:10


Max wrote:
> I hope MS does not do this with python, but I'm sure they are considering
something. Is C# their answer to python and rebol ?? No. C#, BASIC.net, Java.net and JScript.net are their answer to Java and JavaScript. :) -- Andrew J Martin ICQ: 26227169 http://www.rebol.it/Valley/ http://valley.orcon.net.nz/ http://Valley.150m.com/

 [40/40] from: robert:muench:robertmuench at: 19-Feb-2004 9:17


On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 13:38:59 -0500, Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch <[maximo--meteorstudios--com]> wrote:
> Wasn't java supposed to take over IT as the provider of top to bottom > tools which every one would want or could not resist!?!?
Yes, and I hear it again and again once a while.
> IMHO Java is dying... slowly but surely. probably because microsoft > split the java idea with their own Jscript and encouraged as many > different java platforms, in order to discredit it in the long-run with > fragmented developer/code bases.
Good analysis! Most people don't see this. But I think C# is a much better tool for this. Yep, fragmenting the market is a very efficient strategy if you are the monopolist. You know, that I see fragmentation of our all efforts WRT Rebol as the main problem, we don't made it to a level like Perl or Phyton (yet). The new 1.3 development process is very promising and if we can keep it going like this, things will change. Fast!
> seems nowadays, everyone is rushing to support python... oh, I guess it > has nothing to do with the fact that it is 100% open source. > > (sorry, I coudn't resist ;-)
;-)
> I hope MS does not do this with python, but I'm sure they are > considering something. Is C# their answer to python and rebol ??
That's the answer to Java. MS is playing on an other level, neither Phyton nor Rebol is any threat to them. Maybe Phyton can become on the mobil market. But I'm sure MS is tracking this very close, and in these areas they don't make many errors. Robert

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