Comments on: New REBOL Quick Start
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: New REBOL Quick Start

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
17-Oct-2006 23:35 GMT

Article #0299
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This time of year, a lot of REBOL beginners, many of whom are students, write to me to say that they are having trouble getting started with REBOL.

Even with the excellent new tutorials (such as those linked on the new REBOL.com tutorials page), some students have problems with the basics. I've heard this from a number of teachers and professors as well.

I have to say that for many years I regret not writing a decent REBOL introductory course. The REBOL Steps and other docs just don't go far enough. Each time I get a feedback from a troubled beginner, it makes me want to do something about it.... but, I always tell myself that I have more important tasks.

Well, tasks are only as important as you make them. Last weekend I received an email from a new user, and that was the final straw. I gave in and took out a few hours to try my hand at some very basic intros. They are not intended to be a replacement for the other tutorials, but to provide a really basic starting point for new users. Eventually I will fold a few of the older docs (like Ten Steps) into this one.

With REBOL 3.0, my hope is that we can build a larger userbase, many of whom might in fact be new to programming. (For example, consider how many artists and non-programmers have created nice web pages or even Konfabulator widgets). So, the new doc is just one small step in the right direction.

Click here to read the REBOL Quick Start pages.

5 Comments

Comments:

-pekr-
18-Oct-2006 3:14:53
Hi Carl,

I really do like how Quick Start pages are organized. I like incremental oportunity to learn. Simply as user feels he/she wants to go to next chapter, he/she can ...

btw - on page of Part 3, there is the image missing ...

cheers, Petr

Henrik
18-Oct-2006 5:05:25
This is good! At least it's a step in the right direction.

From learning a bit about various other programming environments like XCode, nothing beats a video tutorial with a person holding your hand through the basic concepts.

Sure when you want to demonstrate dialects or other abstract concepts, it's better to resort to text, but for me it helps to actually watch how things are done when you want to see something concrete, like putting up a layout window or the console and type some stuff in it.

I have been experimenting with it myself for a bit, and it's fun to watch "myself" opening up the console, and start typing some simple layout code and bring up a View window, just to show that it takes seconds, not minutes or hours to do this.

Now if only we had a screen capturing and playback tool in REBOL to do this. :-) I had to resort to Python and Flash to get it done, but here it is:

http://hmkdesign.dk/rebol/old/movies/rebol.html

There's no sound and I might be typing a bit too fast, but I think it's pretty clear what's going on.

What I would like to see, would be very short tutorials, perhaps 1-2 minutes long that demonstrate perhaps one or two functions on a very basic level. Short enough to be bearable to download over modem.

On a playback tool: This would be so cool to have inside the Viewtop! You could go to a directory in the Rebol Central Folder and you'd have a list of tutorials viewable from there, wouldn't require any videoplayer, just REBOL. Click on a tutorial and a window pops up immediately and starts playing the tutorial (with sound of course). There are a lot of technical hurdles, but they should be reserved for a separate discussion.

Anton Rolls
18-Oct-2006 11:12:59
Broken link: http://www.rebol.com/docs/quick-start.html has a link to http://www.rebol.com/docs/tutorials.html but I think it's supposed to be http://www.rebol.com/tutorials.html
Mario Cassani
27-Oct-2006 10:45:57
While browsing I met this tutorial about the
Fifteen Exercises for Learning a new Programming Language...

R. Kuranda
1-Nov-2006 6:22:14
As a means of getting started, the Quick Start pages were good.

I would not have chosen the clock script to start with.

It is tedious to read about programming - for some. But some fundamental REBOL concepts must be set out from the beginning, the series for example. Only a very few concepts though, the relevance of them all at the beginning might not be obvious.

A set of Rebol scripts, each one adding more one or two more steps or details might be an easier method of instruction. After the illustration set, a related task might be presented, and a link to a solution. Then people may learn by doing.

If there is an issue in getting started in Rebol, it may be that the necessary detail or information is not at the fingertips of the new user. The information is available, but is, in my experience, only to be found by research in response to a requirement of a script.

How does one change the color of the text-list dragger and bar? Of course, this can be done, but I am not sure it is to be found in a sequence of illustrations that explain how to use the text-list. So it is hard for the new script writer not used to researching, or even able to spend the time to do so.

...step by step, like script writing.

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