REBOL Technologies

Communicating with REBOL Technologies (RT)

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
26-Nov-2007 19:59 GMT

Article #0346
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A thread in the REBOL mail list (ML) has been pointed out to me, to which I want to reply more publicly:

The question has been asked: does RT participate in discussion with developers. The answer is: yes, of course we do!

It appears that the source of this question is that RT rarely replies to comments made on the ML. It boils down to this: the ML is hosted on a donated server (which we greatly appreciate), but it's not our primary method of communication. In 2000, the ML was. But, these days, we use other methods.

Personally, I use email as little as possible. Instead, I have several more direct methods of communication that are 1) more reliable, 2) instant, 3) use my time much more effectively. (Remember my 2001 quote "email is dead". I stand by that. Who has time for all the noise of that 1978 communication method?)

If you are wondering how RT communicates, the information on this page is still accurate: REBOL Support.

There you will see a list of various discussion forums. Of those, AltME instant messaging is the one that works the best for my busy schedule, and the email list... well, unless someone tells me about a specific message, it's not even on my radar.

On AltME, I personally write hundreds if not thousands of messages each week, related to a wide variety of topics. It's very busy, and the way AltME works makes it very efficient for me.

Yes, I realize that AltME runs as a "darknet" - it is private. You may consider that a flaw. I guess it depends on your point of view. It could be a flaw, but it can also be a feature.

First of all, the private nature of AltME cuts the noise way down. Second, knowing discussions are private allows a lot of messages to be more frank and direct. A user can say: "there's a serious problem" and we can reply "yes, it does look serious, let's fix it." The reply is direct. We don't need to wrap it in a protective layer of marketing hype because we are worried about Google (or anything else) indexing and referencing it.

That's just how communication works. There are things you say openly, and there are things you want to discuss in private. Even within the private framework of AltME itself, there are public groups and there are private groups. They both have specific purposes aimed at getting things done. And, for the most part, things do get done - quite rapidly in most cases. AltME also has checklists, tracker, calendar, file sharing, and all of those help us to collaborate on goals.

Of course, yes I am aware that to the rest of the world surfing over the web or using email, it appears nothing is going on. And I do think that can be a problem. We need to talk more on that topic.

In addition I know that AltME requires an IP port connection that you must allow on your firewall. (And, I know that AltME will be fixing this by allowing port 80 (HTTP) in future versions. But, I should also comment that if your corporate firewall is going to randomly block specific ports, they can just as easily block ranges of IP addresses. Yes, they can make the Internet quite useless and ineffective to their employees. If they want to live in 1990, that's their option.)

Ok, so how do you get an AltME account for talking about R3? Well, it works a bit like this: if it's important to you, or you think you've got something important to say that helps the project move forward toward release and improvement, then by all means, ask for an account! (Post a comment to this blog, on the ML, or directly to someone you know is in the AltME world.) On the other hand, if it's just for amusement or to nitpick, well sorry, I think I speak for the group that we're too busy for that right now. We recommend that you wait for release and the new open AltME system and participate that way.

So, I hope I've addressed some of your concerns. I realize that when we're burning the midnight oil to build a new release, various problems with general communication bubble up and start to boil. I think there would be some advantage in finding a REBOL spokesperson to help us handle such things. If you've got ideas on that topic, please tell us.


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