A 2005 Goal: Open source code for a variety of modules
This is the first in a series of blogs about the development and marketing goals for REBOL in the coming year.
During 2005 we plan to make the C source code to a variety of REBOL subsystems available to developers. These modules include console handling code, windowing, graphics, fonts, event handling, time/timing, file interfaces, networking, and probably more.
This is the next logical step in our experiments with open source. As you may recall, apart from the open source nature of the REBOL code we publish within the SDK, the DRAW/AGG C++ source project is our first collaborative source project with other developers (Cyphre/Maxim). We think it has worked out well and we plan to release a beta version quite soon.
Here at RT we want our primary focus to be on improving the REBOL language itself - adding features and making fixes. Whenever possible we would prefer not to spend our time working on the text console, fixing strange bugs in X Windows, debugging fonts in Mandrake Linux, or diving into the details of porting REBOL to other operating systems (OS X and Win CE immediately come to mind but perhaps you can think of others). Don't get us wrong. We want to see all these projects happen, we just don't have the resources to do all of them at the same time.
From the legal side, we will be creating a special source code license that allows developers to make changes and contribute them back to the archive. The primary restriction of the license is that the source code modules remain owned by RT.
From the operations side, we will create a REBOL/Service for downloading code modules, uploading suggested changes, approving changes, documenting changes, etc. As improvements, fixes, and ports are made, we will generate new builds for testing and release.
So, onward with the next experiment. Personally, it's going to be very interesting to watch how this open source method turns out. There has been a lot of the "what if" talk over the years, so this is the next step. Will developers make improvements or bring REBOL to new OS platforms? Only time will tell.