REBOL v LISP
[1/8] from: gjones05::mail::orion::org at: 17-May-2001 8:11
Hi, List, Geoff asked some interesting questions yesterday, and I was breathlessly waiting for the answers, but I fear that the questions got lost in the debris of the other thread (maybe it was just thread fatique ;-). I re-present his questions with a new thread name. Thanks in advance. --Scott Jones
[2/8] from: carl:rebol at: 18-May-2001 9:17
Ok, from the horse's mouth... First, I imagine the message did not get replied because of the subject line. People on this list are pretty burnt out with language comparison discussions. Most of us have concluded: use the language that you like. If that's Perl, Python, Java, Lisp, so be it. Every language has its strengths. (Please read the intro to "REBOL, The Official Guide".) I created REBOL after 20 years of studying 50 other computing languages. I've used many Lisps... including several years on Lisp machines. I also wrote a commercial Logo implementation, which is a variation on Lisp. I've implemented and ported various compilers and interpreters. I studied under a Lisp master, who was a mentor for my early years. I deeply respect what Lisp is and what its strengths are. However, as a lisper, I've concluded that most users do not value the purity of it. Users are pragmatic. They want results. They want expressiveness. They want readability. They do not want a sharp learning curve but rather a smooth learning curve. Also, the primary reason that I created REBOL was that I wanted more than just a programming language. I wanted a way to write applications that would run on any machine, and more importantly, that could intercommunicate with programs on any machine. The primary concept behind REBOL is distributed computing... although many people find that it makes a great programming language as well. Maturity of a language is a nice thing, and as Lisp was invented in 1959, it is quite mature. However, although I like the looks of a 1959 Chevy, I drive a 1999 Chevy. It's a pragmatic thing with me. I've got to get places, not spend all my time under the hood or trying to get the radio to work. But, in the end, languages are a personal thing and, denotational math aside, their beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder. Ask Larry Wall. He'll tell you that Perl is perfectly readable. We all wear colored glasses. Carl Sassenrath Creator of the REBOL Language
[3/8] from: robbo1mark:aol at: 18-May-2001 13:11
Carl, Great respect! for everything you've accomplished with REBOL thus far, however at the risk pf being shot down in flames, nay probably crucified!, do you have any specific plans to *Improve* REBOL as a programming language? ( Rather than as means of creating distributed computing applications, which are rather nifty & cool too, it has to be said! ) There are numerous ways REBOL could be improved, or extended or altered, what is your take on what still needs to be done, language wise, and what are the major implementation goals on your radar? just curious, Mark Dickson
[4/8] from: charliew:drte at: 18-May-2001 13:18
The more I study Rebol, the more I find it a very interesting language. Could you tell me if rebol has any roots in Forth? Are the guts of rebol a a TIL with a minimal set of primatives? Charlie
[5/8] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 18-May-2001 14:20
Thanks, Carl! Bring the horse along anytime! Carl Sassenrath wrote:
> But, in the end, languages are a personal thing and, > denotational math aside, their beauty may be in the > eyes of the beholder. Ask Larry Wall. He'll tell > you that Perl is perfectly readable. We all wear > colored glasses. >
<ROTFL!> Now you're going to have to turn in your Dana Scott Fan Club membership card and secret decoder ring! </ROTFL!> -jn-
[6/8] from: pa:russo:perd at: 18-May-2001 21:28
>The more I study Rebol, the more I find it a very interesting language.
I couldn't agree more: the more I study Rebol, the more I find it a very interesting language. Language, not "programming language". Strange enough, I begin to write down the correct syntax and semantic by intuition more than reasoning. To write down the _uncorrect_ syntax and semantic has been natural to me since the first moment instead :-) -- Paolo Russo [pa--russo--perd--com] _________________ PERD s.r.l. Virtual Technologies for Real Solutions http://www.perd.com
[7/8] from: carl:rebol at: 18-May-2001 18:49
Yes... it will happen. There is more to come. This is chapter 1. -Carl At 5/18/01 01:11 PM -0400, you wrote:
[8/8] from: geoff:productivity at: 19-May-2001 14:08
> People on this list are pretty burnt out with language comparison > discussions. Most of us have concluded: use the language that you like.
I appreciate that this is a tiresome for those already working with a language. But there are only two ways to discover if it is likely to be a language that you like . One is to spend a few weeks learning it and doing some coding, the other is to ask those with existing experience. So I very much appreciate the time everyone took to respond - it greatly accelerates the decision process.
> I deeply respect what Lisp is and what its strengths are. However, as a > lisper, I've concluded that most users do not value the purity of it. > Users are pragmatic. They want results. They want expressiveness. > They want readability. They do not want a sharp learning curve but > rather a smooth learning curve. >
Yes, Lisp does seem to offer a very steep learning curve - even the Lisp environments are intimidating.... My first impression is that Rebol reveals its power in a more gradual way.
> Also, the primary reason that I created REBOL was that I wanted more than > just a programming language. I wanted a way to write applications that > would run on any machine, and more importantly, that could
> programs on any machine.
Point taken. I have taken a quick look at a number of less mainstream languages, and the libraries tend to be very incomplete. The developers seem to be more interested in the formal qualities of their language than in providing the library code people need to do work in the real world. The protocols and APIs you need to do real work just aren't on offer. With Rebol, it looks as if you can get right down to doing productive work. I think I will give it a try.... Once again, thanks for the input Geoff Caplan