REBOL Technologies

R3.0 Plan for March 2009

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
9-Mar-2009 21:59 GMT

Article #0399
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Better late than never, here's what's going on:

During February:

  • A huge effort went into updating the official REBOL developer documentation. This issue has been looming on the horizon for quite a while -- because with the 3.0 update, we also need newer and better docs. The main goal was to convert the Core User's Guide, a static document that's been unchanged for years, into a new documentation wiki that can be easily updated as often as needed. We succeeded, and the new R3 Docs are now online.
  • In order to accomplish the above, the WIP wiki system that manages and builds all the REBOL Web sites (for more than five years), was redesigned and re-implemented, along with a new version of MakeDoc. All of this was done over a two weeks span, and the new wiki now contains more than 740 pages of documentation.
  • Linux and OS X versions of R3 were released. These versions, although not perfect, ran well enough that the DevBase chat system worked well enough that I could view and send messages from Linux and OS X machines. In addition Kaj de Vos was able to get this R3 release running on the Syllable OS.
  • Some important core bugs were fixed, namely problems related to change and insert that prevented older scripts from working properly. With this change, many more scripts should work.
  • It was a goal to have R3 running CGI, but it has not worked so far. I hope we can get it running soon, because the DevBase Mobile feed could use it, among other things.
  • DevBase (RebDev) user accounts were opened again using an email validation method as found on most web sites. We took a few steps toward solving issues related to Unicode on DevBase, but more testing is needed.
  • The Filesharing mechanism for RebDev was build and put online. Although functional, more work will be needed to make it user friendly, mainly when a GUI layer can be put on top of it. However, right now, it's actually possible to obtain source code the things like the R3 mezzanine functions and the current GUI system. Here is some info on Filesharing in RebDev/DevBase chat.

Goals for March

I'm going to trim back on the list this month, because there are a few things that really need to happen:

  • The R3 GUI has been running for several months, but it needs a few more key components. For example, we can ask why the new DevBase (RebDev chat) runs in the console, not in the GUI. The reason is simple: the GUI does not yet have an efficient table display style. So, although it does have dozens of other widgets, a way to display and scroll large message lists is really the key here. I will be happy if this can be accomplished this month, and we can begin using the R3 GUI for an actual application.
  • I've been wanting to get the R3 Host code released, but I've been dragging my feet on it. The reason is that it needs rebin to isolate the host from the core lib, but that's not how it works right now. Without that isolation, we'll be forced to keep the host and the core DLL completely in-sync. There are not that many interfaces currently, we're better off doing this now, not later.
  • So, because the primary interest in the Host is to be able to interface R3 with external libs, I think it's more likely that we can get the R3 Plugin mechanism released much faster. This will allow you to write a wide variety of external interfaces and operate them from R3. It will also give us the chance to debug the rebin method in smaller steps, working out any problems before switching the host over to it.
  • Here and there, as time permits, editing will continue on the new R3 documentation wiki pages.

I'm going to stop here on the list. That's quite a lot to do, and although there are many other things we'd like to see done, if we can simply accomplish those above, it will be a great month of progress.

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