REBOL Technologies

R3.0 Plan for October 2009

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
7-Oct-2009 23:01 GMT

Article #0432
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During September

September began with discussions and analysis about possible changes to the main web sites and thoughts about how to improve REBOL's message, marketing, promotion, etc. There were many comments on it, and I still go back and re-read, re-consider some of them.

All of this still weighs heavily on my mind. To most of techies, building and modifying websites often seems like trivial work... until you are faced with the realization that REBOL.com consists of more than 10000 files and REBOL.net has more than 64000. Then, you start doing the math... "if we can handle reworking 10 files a day..." It soon begins to look like a huge task.

That's when I become truly grateful that the site was built using REBOL, because many of those files can be rapidly reprocessed, reformatted, split or joined, or otherwise converted into whatever we require. For example, the new R3 Docs were converted from the old R2 docs (750 pages) in about a day. Certainly, there's more to do, but every bit helps.

However, I weigh that effort against the other side of the spectrum, such as clicking off 10 Curecode tickets a day toward the completion of R3. Frankly, that usually wins out because the R3 project has gone on too long to let it slow down now... as we approach the finish line.

And, with that being said, a lot of September went into parse improvements. It began with a few minor changes, but soon it descended into a full rewrite, twice. But, a lot was accomplished, and parse is really looking good. It's a powerful tool now, isn't it?

Last month I also gave out the Project Plan link for you to look over. Some of you were alarmed at what was missing. But, I would not draw too many conclusions from it. That page is now editable, so if you've got the power (you must have an adequate R3 Chat rating), you can edit it.

Also, start thinking about what you can do to help on that list. For example, a few people were looking for multitasking (smart-threads) on the list. While the lower level design already exists, various remaining issues can be solved by some of the experts in our development community. For example, what is needed on Linux and OS X to build a nice, portable threading model (with per-thread local storage.) It exists, but needs definition... and not a whole lot of code either. Another issue is which mezzanine functions require cleanup to avoid shared memory situations.

Goals For October

They're about the same as they were for September. But, actually, those were stated in a much too general way (not clear and measurable.)

  • Revise the Project Plan to make it clear what the next focus is and estimate how long it will take. For example, last month PARSE was the focus, it needed to be done, although it took twice as long as estimated.
  • Make R3 fixes to get CureCode down to less than 80 open tickets. Can it be done? Well... how's that for a measurable goal?
  • Continue to nibble away at document revisions for R3 Docs. I realize that programmers are not usually good writers, but even if you notice a line or two missing, or know of a good example, add it. (If you need higher R3 Chat ranking, mention it!)
  • A few offers have been made to improve things like the mailing list. Many developers would like to see that happen, so let's figure it out and do it.
  • Improving the main website is more difficult, but I do have a plan. I'd really like to take just a few days this month making changes. I think there are just a few beginning challenges, that once handled, will allow for more continuous updates.

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