R3.0 Plan for September 2009
It was a busy month. A lot happened in August:
- The extension mechanism was finally released, along with documentation and examples. The mechanism is quite easy to use, and it did not take long for developers to report successful interfaces. There is, of course, more to do to make it fully capable, but now we have a reference frame for such enhancements.
- Automatic text conversion has been added for READ and WRITE. You no longer need to use TO-STRING when reading a file... simply use the /string refinement. And, to WRITE, the UTF-8 encoding conversion happens automatically for string arguments.
- The COPY and MAKE object functions where revised based on a clear definition for what deep copy means. It's easier to remember now: basically, strings and blocks are deep copied - but, nothing else is unless you specify it. Also, you can specify what types you want copied. Quite useful.
- More security has been added and sandboxes were put into operation. This is both good and bad. It's good because your system is more protected, but it's a bit annoying to see errors from security violations, now that we've been using R3 to run various scripts.
- The SYSTEM object is now protected. But, this has been a lot more difficult than anticipated because various subsystems modify the system object.
- Numerous other bug fixes and enhancements where added.
Goals for September
It's time for some major decisions. Here's what's going on:
- We need to move to beta. And, we really need your help to do that.
- Just like R2, we need to split R3 into a "core" (for servers and scripts) and a "view" (for GUI's and apps.) Doing this allows us to finalize the R3 kernel and move it into beta, and that allows users to put it to work on servers, websites, CGI, etc.
- We need a "hit list" of remaining tasks, and you need to make sure that anything critical is listed. There is actually a draft of such a list, and it gets updated about each week. It's at this location on the doc wiki, for your reference.
- The CureCode database is the other "hit list" of things to do. As you can see, a large number (935) tickets have been processed and completed. There are 172 open tickets, and 78 that are in "waiting". Some of these things are essential, but others will need to wait for a subsequent release. Certainly, serious bugs must be fixed.
- The REBOL 3 Documentation needs your help. I think maybe it's time to come up with a more detailed plan of action. This is a wiki for a reason. If you're not able to edit it, but you want to, please post a note on R3 Chat. (That system controls user access to the wiki.)
- It's time for changes to the main RT website and how we market and promote REBOL. Plans are being made. Your input is appreciated.
Many of the remaining tasks for beta release require your inputs and/or code contributions in order to finalize the design.