REBOL Technologies

REBOL to become open source

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
25-Sep-2012 8:05 GMT

Article #0511
Main page || Index || Prior Article [0510] || Next Article [0512] || 198 Comments || Send feedback

Update: R3 source has been released. The source repository is: https://github.com/rebol/r3 - as official releases are made, they'll be posted to rebol.com website.

The time has come for REBOL to be released as open source. This is the only way I can see it regaining some degree of momentum and renewed interest -- not just within our REBOL community, but for many yet-to-be users who possess the curiosity or motivation to learn new and powerful programming concepts and techniques.

Here's my proposal

  1. The R3 source code will be released under GPL 2 (most likely - still open to discussion.)
  2. The official source release distribution (rel-src) will be made available from the REBOL.com site.
  3. Developmental sources (dev-src) will be available on GitHub (or a similar service.)
  4. From time to time the dev-src will be reviewed, selected, debugged, polished, and integrated into rel-src releases.
  5. A small group of REBOL Masters (maybe three for now) will be in charge of such rel-src review, selection, revising, debugging, integration etc. as well as develop or encourage the development of new features, ports to new platforms, optimizations, etc.
  6. My role will be to advise and guide such decisions to keep REBOL consistent with its principles, and I will hold the final power of veto, in cases where that becomes necessary.

What I ask in return

If this proposal seems acceptable, there's one thing I ask in return. That those of you who wish to influence and extend the design of REBOL do so with a full understanding of its principles. REBOL is not like other languages, and you will soon discover that REBOL source is not like other source. Architecture and design are important.

Although it is unrealistic to assume we can filter/fix all impurities that might come about in an open environment, we should all strive to minimize the degradation that comes about by seeking an easy solution over the proper and well designed form of such a solution. Even the naming of each symbol, function, and datatype is worthy of thoughtful consideration. That is how I've always treated it.

In the end a language or system should help developers make their programming tasks easier and their products more timely, affordable, manageable, and agile. Too often, it becomes the opposite. Let's always keep that in mind.

What's next?

So... this is it. Once R3 is released our course becomes irreversible. We'll all start paddling our canoes like mad in a small but rapid river... but one which I sincerely hope will carry us to a much larger ocean.

Please offer your comments and advice on any of the above. This is the final call. If you posted a comment on the prior blog that you want me to review again, please note its date and time. I'll go back and take a look.

My schedule is to finish this up next weekend and make the release by October 1st.

198 Comments

Updated 28-Jul-2014   -   Copyright Carl Sassenrath   -   WWW.REBOL.COM   -   Edit   -   Blogger Source Code