REBOL Technologies

REBOL Bloat Busting

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
4-May-2006 16:44 GMT

Article #0274
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I've received a few feedbacks from people who are worried about REBOL 3.0 becoming bloated. Comments like:

I like the fact that REBOL/Core is only 220K and does not require
special libraries or installation. Please do not change that.

And, this one is even more blunt:

I have a concern that REBOL 3.0 will try to become more "like
the others" -- garbage like Python, Ruby, et. al, designed to
pander to the Corporate CIO brainless.

To this I say: Do not worry!

REBOL is all about being powerful but lightweight, and we're going to keep it that way. That's the REBOL way.

So far, even with several new datatypes and features, REBOL 3.0 is actually smaller and faster than prior versions. I cannot promise 3.0 will remain smaller (there's still more to do) but my point is... we're going to keep REBOL being REBOL: lean and mean.

I think part of the problem may have been the term programming in the large that I used in the REBOL 3.0 Roadmap. This term has a special meaning that could be misleading.

Programing in the large does not mean that the REBOL system or its programs must be large. You can still write a 10K program that does amazing things. The term actually means that if you do write large programs, you will have better internal mechanisms to manage them. For example, modules (namespaces) allow you to write sections of code without worrying about global words colliding with other parts of your code. Tasks allow you to easily create asynchronous sections of code. Object attributes let you control how object fields are accessed and let you attach documentation to your objects (similar to functions).

So, let's keep REBOLing. Bloat is dead. Leaner is smarter.

Personal note:

I think most software and systems are insanely out of control. As a result, not only do they crash (e.g. my satellite TV receiver crashes almost daily), but they do not improve and adapt to user demands quickly. I think the world is doomed if that bigger-is-better approach continues to dominate modern software designs.

I cannot wait for the day when REBOL 3.0 lets us get our little reblets running not only on the desktop (all of them), but the same code runs on the set-top (TV) and the cell-phone!

"I want a REBOL-programmable cell-phone, and I want it now!"

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