Comments on: Crushed, pressed, and in the barrel
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Crushed, pressed, and in the barrel

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
15-Oct-2007 20:11 GMT

Article #0342
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It's done. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot 2007 vintages are now in barrels.

I would not want to be a professional vineyard farmer. Being dependent on nature and the weather is not fun. Now I know why my farmer friends have a difficult time smiling, and why around here so many people look relieved when the Pumpkin-fest (our local harvest celebration) finally arrives.

What kind of crazy year this was...

  1. We had three times greater yield than 2006, and I discovered that it is three times more work. Economies of scale don't seem to apply for the home wine-maker. All kinds of new problems pop up, like where do you ferment and store all that must (fermenting juice mixed with grapes)?
  2. We did a lot more pruning and vine maintenance this year. I've got more to say about pruning, a subject of some thought and best said in another blog.
  3. It took more than a month for the grapes to go from 23.4 to 24.5 brix (percent sugar). I thought we weren't going to make it. This year we went from normally being the first to harvest our reds (usually early Sept), to being among the last.
  4. The weather was really different. We had 60% normal rainfall, then a cool summer, with rain beginning in September, and a lot more rain now in October.

Of course, the wine being in the barrel does not mean that the work is over. The wine will soon need to be racked (removed from the lees that settle to the bottom), and I noticed one of our new barrels is leaking... just a bit, but that will become a problem that will need attention quite soon. (Isn't it odd that in 2007 the best wine quality still uses a technology from 400 or more years ago. It's been around so long that every part of barrel has it's own special name.)

So, how did the SassenRanch 2007 vintages turn out? I don't know yet. Tasting newly fermented wine is like... well... maybe like sipping perfume. It's the nose... so much volatile chemistry is still going on. After a few months in the barrel, it will calm down. Then, I'll have a much better idea about 2007, and where it's headed.



15-Oct-2007 15:01:45
P-L-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-Z Just one line/hint about R3? :-)
15-Oct-2007 15:37:04
I probably know some of the problems you are facing. I have to buy a new oak barrel for our wine. Good luck with you harvest!

P.S.: And R3 for public, please ;)

15-Oct-2007 16:15:28
I thought paraffin wax could be used to seal things like that. But, anyway, what do I know--I'm not into growing fields of grapes and such. :-) I did, however, buy three grape vines earlier this year (Catawba, Concord, and Niagara; red, purple, and white). Not about to start EyeAm's Finest or anything, though.

Oh, and didn't everyone hear: Carl has stopped Rebol altogether. Yep, uh-huh, I'm kidding. :-) Hey, it's almost Halloween, you need at least one good scare!

Carl Sassenrath
15-Oct-2007 21:14:44
Richard: Comments about R3 coming very soon.

Robolek: those pesky oak barrels. They are quite tricky.

EyeAm: I found that hot melt glue, under pressure, seems quite good for this. It's a lot like wax in that regard.

16-Oct-2007 5:20:53
Maybe if he gets to sample enough vino he'll loosen up a bit on R3... ;)



16-Oct-2007 8:10:29
So how much is a bottle of SassenRanch wine?

Carl Sassenrath
16-Oct-2007 13:26:35
Paul, we're not a commercial winery, so in fact the wine is free - when you are in the right place at the right time. It is interesting that you ask about that, because last night at a local fund raising auction, I was astounded when someone paid $200 for a bottle of our 2005 Cabernet. I guess word gets around. Of course, it is worth every penny. ;)
16-Oct-2007 13:36
*replaces Luis' nametag with "Tenacious L"* :-D

Oh yeah: 2008 will be the 10th Anniversary of Rebol's beginning!

16-Oct-2007 13:53:30

I am not sure it is 2008. Carl left Viscorp in 1996, iirc first rebol alphas were out in 2006/2007, version 1.0 in 2006? But, maybe true rebol started with Contra project, resulting in REBOL 2.0, in 2007/8.

So, maybe yes, 2008 is going to be next decade for REBOL. Hopefully new generation (3.x) takes off well :-)

16-Oct-2007 14:24:01
What a coincidence this blog entry is! After visiting the Rebol3 Altme World I could think of nothing else but lots of whine. : )

Just kidding...(Now they'll never help me)

BTW, Carl, how many acres does your vineyard consume?

16-Oct-2007 20:37:33
(at) -pekr-: Just going by the website, where it said 1998.
17-Oct-2007 5:48:09
(at)EyeAm: Thanks, I think... :)

Oh come on Mr Sassenrath, we all know you're just teasing!

Hey, you could call the wine 'Sassy' (well, there is one called 'The dog's -censored- reproductive fluid storage containers, 2 of -/censored-').

Ok, let's all sit around the table banging our cutlery: 'Rebol 3! Rebol 3! Etc'.



17-Oct-2007 14:30:07
Wow $200 per bottle. Sounds like it might be some good stuff.

17-Oct-2007 14:54:43
feed me!, feed me!
when do we have 'suppertime' ?

Seymour, working downtown, at
the 'Little Shop of Horrors'

18-Oct-2007 3:21:05
Well, it's nice to know the wine is doing ok, shame about the news about Rebol (ie: Lack of it). I suppose the general public is not privvy to build status. I suppose it's not that important for us to care where we should be putting our coding money on. I suppose it's best for us to forget Rebol's potential and follow the crowd, and leave Rebol to the few that are using it now. I'll be back, next year. See where we are then.



18-Oct-2007 4:25:59
I suppose it's best for us to forget Rebol's potential and follow the crowd, and leave Rebol to the few that are using it now. I'll be back, next year. See where we are then.

I applaud your decision! :-) Sit back, relax, work on other things and enjoy the times until R3 is ready to go public. Don't get too stressed up about its state of development. A good wine analogy would be that it currently somewhat tastes like gasoline with streaks of greatness, brilliant design and finesse peeking out some times. Being so concerned isn't healthy and neither is the extra stress on the developers working on R3, when the development stage has to be so public as it is now.

18-Oct-2007 8:06:01
Reply to Henrik, and then I'll be off:

Yes, sure. In the meantime I lose a years worth of background and coding (note: I adopted other tools whilst Rebol 2 was OS X unfriendly, especially the SDK). Looking at previous experience: What progress on Rebol 3 for OS X? Will it be left to languish? Will I get the 'It'll be ready when it's ready' reply to my email queries, just like I did for Rebol 2? How many more dropped adoption after 'small' concerns were left unaddressed? It's no good counting on the licences that 'could have been'. Stressed about its state of development? No. It's more concern. Concern to see something with such potential go down the pan. I got all excited in the recent (hmmm) posts that I thought I'd stir something up to keep the curiosity flowing.

I would have gladly, as previously stated, evangelised Rebol, if there was more communication.

I am concerned, and it doesn't stress me. Judging from the responses (read: lack of) from the developers, I very much doubt they are stressed. Really, how would someone who is not using their product (but would love to) cause them stress? As stated earlier, it's a demonstration of enthusiasm.

No, it's not a wine, unless wine is your income generator.



18-Oct-2007 9:38:45
*scans the crowd, and sees Luis...incognito, wearing a disguise and still there watching* :-)
18-Oct-2007 9:54:10
Looking at previous experience: What progress on Rebol 3 for OS X?

You can't apply previous experience to that, since the OSX port is not being done by RT, but by a Danish astrophysics student, who is very busy with his studies at the moment. So the pace of the porting process for OSX is determined by his coding abilities. If it languishes, it's not RT's fault.

Concern to see something with such potential go down the pan. I got all excited in the recent (hmmm) posts that I thought I'd stir something up to keep the curiosity flowing.

Go down what pan? It needs to go up the pan first. :-)

The only "concern" I have for R3 is that there were dates attached to when it was supposed to be released as beta to the public. Those dates were way too unrealistic, hence your disappointment. I personally believe that was a mistake to release any dates at all, since it's making you concerned, wondering whether it will happen at all, thinking that R3 is a quick little thing to finish, but Carl can't be bothered, so he goes making some wine instead. That's how it appears to you.

I would have gladly, as previously stated, evangelised Rebol, if there was more communication.

This is also my very personal opinion: There is actually too much communication right now! R3 doesn't need evangelising now. It will need it when it goes beta, where people have something to download and experiment with. Not sooner!

I really don't see it as RT's responsibility to communicate about products under development, since they may change at a whim, be delayed or changed in priority and feature set. If a delay happens, people get upset. They get upset, because they know about the delay. They know about the delay, because dates that couldn't be kept were announced. They have no idea about the intricate details about the delay, and exactly what caused it. In fact the delay might be a good thing in the end. But it always gets interpreted as: Delays are bad. This is what stresses developers, because there is now a responsibility to talk about R3 and defend delays or design changes. That reponsibility didn't need to be there in the first place had communications stayed quiet.

Sometime in early 2008, we might see the beta, looking at the current pace of development. Depending on Carl's plans, there may be a quiet (but public) alpha release in 2007, so the new DevBase can get tested properly among a larger group of developers. Yes, DevBase will allow updates and bugfixes of core elements, internal mezzanine functions, attach test scenarios to them and provide a much stronger pipeline from your changes to RT's source tree. This further decentralizes RT's involvement in trivial updates of R3.

18-Oct-2007 11:29:21
I don't think the R3 developers need more stress about the beta release. Put yourself in their shoes. Grief is not a positive movivator.
18-Oct-2007 11:57:29
Pardon my saying so, but I think people need to re-adjust their expectations. "Expect nothing, and be not disappointed." And when something happens, great! :-)

I've find, more often than not, that 'Happiness is relative to the speed or velocity at which one obtains a goal', and not just reaching the goal itself. Some evidence of forward movement with R3--that would be nice, and probably enough for many to settle down and wait some more. There shouldn't be stress in any of this. It's a creative process. The best stuff comes when inspiration strikes, and sometimes a long time passes before that lightning hits. No need to rush to mistakes (i.e., rushing frequently causes mistakes, or a need to redo something).

The best thing to give Rebol developers/ time and encouragement to take their time. I'm sure they know people get antsy and are enthusiastic; but just on the other side of that good measure of anticipation is disappointment in overreaching, from impatience.

The worst thing for them to be is incongruent to the natural process inherent to or dictated by the project. The problems and solutions to Rebol 3 or likely quite different than what Rebol 2 or previous software had. For example, as someone with a love of oil painting, I've found that some rather complex paintings can be created in a single sitting or a single day or even a few days, whereas sometimes one that seems rather simple can take a longer time; and, of course, there are those simple paintings done in a short time and complex paintings approximating expected lengthier working times. Just have to feel-out where the inspiration is and go with the natural flow. If it takes a long time, it takes a long time; if a short time,...yay. :)

There's no rush to Rebol 3.

18-Oct-2007 21:43:14
Luis is not wrong. Open source works: shareware works: closed source commercial software works. The "scraps from the high table" model doesn't I'm afraid. Penpushers and beancounters have a role in IT, and that is to kick the brainy guys up the backside, and to do the documentation, and to get the eggs to the market.

Is this a language for recreational or professional use? While Rebol has some great attributes, in my experience it won't get anywhere much in the corporate world without ever-present support, full reference documentation and tutorials for all language features and it must work properly on all the platforms it says it does.

No matter that the release is late, but how late will it be? That does matter: let's say I want to do a project in Rebol which will take a significant amount of time, sweat and money. Do I use the old version or do I wait? I cannot make a judgement on the basis of the news coming out of RT so I must write it in Lua, Python, Perl, .Net, Ruby or anything else instead.

For me, Rebol makes excellent "glueware", and in this regard a new version won't matter much. There have been and are problems between different platform versions of the current version, however, and these should not be allowed to stagnate.

I said in a comment to Carl's last blog that I have used Rebol in a large organisation. It's in the door, and it works well: it's justified on technical merit (the parser) and I take the "if it ain't broke" approach to software maintenance, but this is not standard within the organisation, where OS and application software patches are "de rigeur", mostly for security reasons.

My "techie" colleagues like the look of Rebol (even dyed-in-the-wool MS junkies can't quite believe how small it is!) but the reason the Ops and Security guys aren't asking nasty questions is that they don't know about it. If they did, I couldn't say hand-on-heart that it's well supported or what the turnaround might be on a critical bug, or indeed that it doesn't upload all our keystrokes to Afghanistan.

A couple of years ago I found a minor bug in Perl's DBI code entirely by accident. Within two days Tim Bunce and three others had looked at it and sent out half a dozen emails and effectively fixed it. I can't see Rebol being the same - it took a long time to fix a major problem with binary logic on Sparc and other platforms as I recall (probably of an "endian" nature), and then there's the Mac.

The fact that /Core and /View are free is probably an overall negative in corporate terms, particluarly since source code is not available. Paying for support would be fine, and I suppose I could say now to the IT accountants that we should negotiate some sort of contract with RT since it would be more than a nuisance if a critical bug appeared - but Rebol/Core is free for all use, so why should I? I do not think that we should have to become RT sponsors to buy support for a couple of hundred lines of code, and indeed what sort of support would it be?

I've just been watching a very British documentary on Andy Green, Richard Noble and their glorious supersonic land speed record - a total of 66 runs in a not-so-slowly disintegrating SR-71 on wheels. Technically brilliant, held together with daily doses of pop rivets, courage beyond the point of lunacy and accomplished on second mortgages and sleeping bags on trailer floors out in the Black Rock desert. The car held together just long enough for two supersonic runs, and has not moved under power again.

Rebol's not the same is it? In this case it's not getting there that counts, it's staying there.

ps & fyi I have a new Mac wireless keyboard after my coffee disaster. I managed to buy a French one on Ebay for 12 and swapped all the keys over - undoubtedly my best piece of work this week. A new career beckons.

19-Oct-2007 3:33:30
(at) EyeAm: Hmmm! Maybe Iam you and YouAre me... Of course I'll keep a discreet eye, it's in my nature to reply... :) But what I will not be back for is Rebol: I will keep an eye on the news. I've got work to do, now I return to the tools I've been using in place of Rebol.

(at) Henrik: So, the OS X port will lag behind/be non-existant again. No reflection on the student's abilities, more a reflection on RT's priorities. If his long-lost-second cousin was doing it, if his third-great-uncle twice removed was doing it, or whoever, I'd have no problem with it, unless one of them runs a full time sheep farm and the other is a world renowned collector of wallpaper shavings: Then I'd have a problem. The problem in your comment is that it is a student with other priorities and dabatable coding abilities. The point is focus: There's none for the OS X port from what you have stated.

By 'down the pan' I should have clarified: It's not looking like a tool I'll be able to use.

'There is actually too much communication right now!'. Ok, I know it's your personal opinion, but c'mon. Would you buy a product from a site that hasn't been changed in a year? Unlikely (not, granted, impossible). Nowadays we look at sites and see how fresh they are. I didn't want the blog to stagnate like the front page (yes, I know it hasn't been a year, yet... :) Whatever communication it is, be it questions about release dates, a new release of RebGUI, whatever, makes the site move, not stagnate.

Look, I'm not asking to release R3 sooner, but to communicate with us more often about where the product is! I know about product release cycles, and that some delays can benefit a project. None of that should interfere with communication. Would you rather your bank send you a statement once a year, or only allow you to check online once a year? Ok, I know, crap analogy, but I hope you get the point.

'I really don't see it as RT's responsibility to communicate about products under development'. Agreed, that's their choice. Doesn't stop me from exercising mine to ask, I didn't see that in any contract. In any case, they have posted a roadmap, and there is a dev log at 'Rebol Week'. Need more of this, centralised.

(at) Edoc: Who is stressing the developers? The OS X developer is studying, so he's got more important things to do. And, as Henrik stated: 'but Carl can't be bothered, so he goes making some wine instead.' Stress... Where? Anyway, they should be big boys by now.

(at) EyeAm: 'I'm sure they know people get antsy and are enthusiastic'. Exactly, just as they, as developers, will do the same for their IDE, for their new hardware, for their birthday. We are all the same.

(at) robbie: Yes, I'd like to use a glue that sticks! I could have really gotten Rebol spread over a wide net, but the lack of platform support threw me off. Had a nice line of apps ready to go. Now they are coded in another language.



19-Oct-2007 4:18:30
Hello Luis,

time to put my own pov here. Remember RT is looking for marketing guy, and one of required knowledges is to know "must know who pekr is"? :-)

Well, I think I can decode above chat as follows. And I strongly believe I am right, and most of the time, general audience tends to agree with me :-)

Just bullets:

- Henrik is a good guy. He is also a good developer. (He's responsible for VID3 look). But - Henrik is not official voice of RT's marketing, and I don't agree with him on that subject.

- The basic problem of RT is the lack of proper communication. I say "proper", as actually there is some communication, but I am sure it is not done the right way. Let me explain - Carl is a human, everybody of us is a human, and we have our social needs. I think I have a good empathy for how you feel about current situation - you feel excluded from the process, you feel not being properly informed. Then posts like last two blogs can easily make you upset. Not that Carl would not have right to blog that way in his PERSONAL blog, but when there is a lack of proper R3 info, blog about the wine does not help, or might be even considered being contraproductive. It simply depicts RT as a "one man" company, which does REBOL as a byproduct.


19-Oct-2007 4:39:33
Ah, wrong button ;-) Continuing my last post:

As for R3 as a product strategy:

- OS-X - it is not like it looks. OS-X is not done by some volunteer student, with no ability to code. First - Geomol is good coder, and it was just a try. But - that is not important. The model is important. And the model is clear - RT keeps platform independent static plus dynamic library. Easily ported. The rest is entirely upon the community. Find your best friend and let him port open-source layers of R3 to your OS of choice.

- Support infrastructure for that is close to be ready. It is called DevBase. So yes, current status of project is closed, but it will change hopefully soon enough. I (and others) created enough of stir about others not being properly informed, so I expect non-public but open release to those interested. Hopefully Carl says more here soon.

- So DocBase and DevBase should be open for anyone to participate, fix code/docs, submit new ones ...

- Website - is a disaster imo. But - the good thing is, that Carl knows that. And from my personal talk to Carl, is does even seem, that he regards it being tens of percent of importance of the whole R3 process. That is a good sign. I have to say, that Carl is very open to the ideas.

- as for further marketing, I would create group of Carl, Robert, EyeAm, Edoc, myself, to define marketing strategy a bit, and to outline new website. I really like three pillars, how EyeAm mentioned them - business/corporate, end-user, programmers. I would include redefinition of the purpose of, for developers, r-space for end-users, etc.

So - things might be moving slowly, but don't go away. I don't understand your motives to code some tools in other languages, unless the tool has technical limitations. I understand your frustration, and mainly that you have to feel safe about the tool, and as for R2 development and judging upon looking into site, it really does not feel safe. But - R3 process was started to cure all of those wrong aspects of R2 generation. It will just take a little bit more time.

Cheers, Petr

19-Oct-2007 7:48:47
Hi Petr

One reason for not coding something substantial in R2 is the (unknown) amount of rework involved in getting to an R3 version of the same thing. It's not a showstopper, but it's a sound reason not to use Rebol for the time being; the bigger the project the sounder the reasoning.


19-Oct-2007 8:34:22
You're certainly entitled to complain. None of us likes to wait indefinitely for something-- I certainly don't.

But let's put this in perspective. For most purposes, REBOL is free of charge.

The R3 project is a very big undertaking-- it's intricate and painstaking, built to fanatically high standards. This is very old-world, Swiss-watch quality handcrafting going on. And yet most of us will benefit from this product at virtually zero cost for years to come.

When I'm promised a free meal prepared by a world renowned chef, it seems impolite to complain that the meal is late. After all, R3 is not a debt that I'm entitled to collect. If you are desperate, use REBOL 2, it is still a great language to use for prototyping for R3 or any other language you may port to.

Like some people, I prefer not to count on the charity or good graces of others. Money is a more efficient way of supporting things that I value. And I want niceties such as documentation and support, and money often helps provide the conditions necessary for that to happen.

I will never understand Swiss watchmakers or their obsessions, but I am grateful for the beauty of what they create. With regard to R3, I did not pre-order R3 online, nor has RT collected any financial renumeration for the considerable efforts they have poured into R3. Therefore I try to keep my complaints and criticisms constructive so that my impatience is not confused with disrespect.

Best regards,

19-Oct-2007 9:03:08
I don't mean disrespect, either, far from it, but a computer language is not a free meal. It's something you have to invest heavily in, in other things than money.
19-Oct-2007 9:45:53
Hello Ed

Let's say you have a peanut allergy and the chef won't tell you the recipe. What next?

This is a proper and necessary debate to have, I think. If I were going to invest time and money in Rebol, I would want to know exactly what I was spending it on, and I don't.

For example, what and where is RT exactly? What size of organisation is it, what is its mission, where is the HQ, how many staff are there and roughly what do they do? Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places, but this information should not be hard to find.

I am effectively a hired-in problem solver in a very large company. I have freedom to use the best tool for the job, and have enough of a reputation to make suggestions that get some air time. Like all such companies, open source and free software are now very high on the IT agenda.

Rebol is "best in class" for some things, and the people seem wonderful, but I can't recommend it as I would like because I'm uneasy about its support structure and who's pulling the strings. And I am much, much more adventurous than most of my colleagues. Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM.

Regards, Robbie

19-Oct-2007 10:27:18
Hi Kaj--
Maybe the analogy doesn't fit perfectly, but I'm sure you understand the point. Until the day programs write themselves, your investment in R3 will be completely up to you.

REBOL scripts are the programming-world equivalent of standing on the shoulders of giants. This is probably true of all programming languages, but with REBOL the design leverage is palpable. The potential exists because of the formidable up-front, pay-it-forward, go-for-broke investment from Carl and team. Of course, it's up to you to unlock it. But let's not compare investments here. :^)


19-Oct-2007 10:55:32
Well, Carl and team are not the only ones.
19-Oct-2007 10:57:39
I should have said at the very beginning of the post above that Rebol is a wonderful gift as it is now, and that I am fortunate and grateful to have this complaint!

I have a big soft spot for Rebol: 15 years ago I did a similar language, more like Forth & Joy maybe. It wasn't going anywhere though - I got bogged down with data types and verbs manipulating lists and string versions of symbols, and a clear decision was finally made for me by a hard disk failure, when I learned the value of backups.

The "family thing" happens, the 24 hour day somehow turns into the 4 hour day, the hairline and the brain below it fade into the distance, nearly as far as the waistline. Sic transit gloriae mundi.

In short, I realise I'm not going to rewrite it, along with not winning the Masters or the British Open. Rebol is as close as I'm going to get, for which I am grateful!

19-Oct-2007 11:15:11
Hi Robbie--
As I wrote to Luis, I think we're entitled to complain. I do my own fair share of complaining. I think it's important for companies/designers to keep a dialog with customers/users and to avoid a bunker-mentality. But RT is not like a normal company; in my experience it's more like a girlfriend whose every action is clouded in mystery. Sure it's baffling, but maybe that's part of the allure?

If REBOL remains a commercial language, I'd like RT to behave like a mainstream company. I'd like them to observe some of the more common business practices, so that developers and partners understand how to forge a relationship with them. Like... predictability. For the record, I'd also like a pony to go with that. The truth is that RT is not a mainstream company-- imho, they're more like a research and development group.

This is not a trivial distinction. It has real repercussions. They're unconventional. Their socks don't match. They code in the middle of the night, in the backyard, in a shed. They don't do powerpoints. Ever. They write specs on whiteboards, if at all. They refer to Star Wars characters as though they're not fictional. It's a legitimate, chronic condition...

If I recall, for R3 there's some kind of partnership with Safeworlds whereby Safeworlds will become the public face of REBOL. Keep me honest here folks, I don't want to start any false rumours. Hopefully this arrangement may create the right kind environment to help foster the growth and communications R3. In this way, Safeworlds can translate the mysteries of CSSS (Carl-Sassenrath-Source Software) into something the rest of us corporate wage-slaves can live with.


19-Oct-2007 13:08:13
(at)Ed: I could be wrong, but I believe SafeWorlds wrote the "AltMe" software, using Rebol, and partnered with Rebol (Carl and co.)
19-Oct-2007 13:29:19
Regarding Safeworlds, my apologies if I just conjured a tale from my imagination. For some reason, I thought SafeWorlds would be the marketer/storefront for the R3 DLL... I don't have any links/references about this (other than 2007 priorities, which documents a logical convergence of AltMe and IOS), so please regard this as uninformed jibber-jabber.

Again, until further notice, please disregard my Safeworlds comment.

19-Oct-2007 20:48:08
Hi Ed

I can't really knock that programming paradigm - I'm one of the guys who doesn't get out to meet the public much, with my coincidental yet striking Chewbacca look. That's where the "suits" come in - necessary if unloved.

I do look forward to R3, and I think it will be wonderfully good. What then? Depends what Carl wants for his language. If I were he, with my financial constraints I'd be phoning the venture capitalists, or looking for an Apple or a Google to nurture my youthful enterprise.

Hard to avoid a buyout from a big computer company though, so the bankers might be better. With the money, get the boring plans, strategies, quality docs, safety policies, specs, projections, corporate responsibilities, graphs, business case, web site and even PowerPoints done, although the last surely should be a sackable offence in Reboland?

That's the ammo to outdo the myrmidons - noone will actually read the stuff, but it's there and a corporate image is built. Baloney, snake oil, smoke & mirrors all.

Plan "B" - go the celebrity route and get someone massive to endorse Rebol. Don't suppose Kylie, Elton, Tiger, Michelle, Harrison, Al, Nelson or Paris are tuning in to this thread? Delete where applicable!

How about the "green" path? Can there be a more eco-friendly language than Rebol? It's terse to the point of rudeness, and every byte has a carbon footprint these days. Having said that, it's time I stopped emitting.


19-Oct-2007 22:06:52
Eww. Sorry, but: How about the regular Carl Sassenrath route--him being him and doing exactly what he wants? :-) It worked with Amiga OS. Who needs all the Apple or Google or even venture capital sharks? Or even celebrities.

Build something sensible, and people will use it. End of story. If they don't want it, so be it. Never, EVER sacrifice integrity and one's own constitution! Not even for one's own dream.

Carl may have a different idea--may even go down one of the roads mentioned prior to this post--so who knows.

I personally think he might have a good thing (already) going here. It would be a shame to see it ruined by another corporate big-head with no brains. :-)

Money is not everything. I'd hate to see any shark or conman get even a tiny piece of what Carl has. In my best Chris Crocker imitation, "Leave Rebol alone!"

20-Oct-2007 5:31:09
Hello EyeAm,

I meet those sharks on regular basis. They know about REBOL already, as I don't hesitate to talk about it :-)

But - we have to help RT to outline their public image. They can present it either way - they can write about wineyard, skiing or whatever other topic, but some rules still have to be kept - certain ways of communication. Users/customers need to be sure, that they can get support, or they can buy it, whatever. Users have to feel secure, simply that there is always someone to answer my question. Community efforts might help in that regard of course (altme, ml, blogs ...)

20-Oct-2007 8:16:31
I'm pretty much with EyeAm on this. REBOL is a tool that is as beautiful as it is useful. I think that's largely due to the imprint of its creator. I think if you inserted business suits into the design/architecture or REBOL, you might have a more marketable product, but it would be more watered-down, homogenized and less interesting. That type of tool might end up being more popular, but my guess is that Carl does this for love, not money or fame.

I'm pretty sure at this phase of the web that investors would not be interested in REBOL as a language. The real value of a language is its user base. REBOL's goals right now are out of sync with the marketplace. The focus right now is web-based applications, and this paradigm will probably not shift back to the desktop for some time. The notion of building a new language for desktop applets and GUIs is very retro-- almost quaint.

I know that REBOL runs on the server -- and I've used it that way myself. However, all the market buzz is about massive scalability (e.g., can rebol cgi withstand slash-dotting?), parallel processing, tapping into web services and storage networks such as those provide by Amazon, Google and Facebook. REBOL may offer a simpler way, but market inertia and developers envision Web 2.0 as a mixture of HTML, javascript and perhaps Flash or Silverlight (which, I should mention, can be scripted in languages such as Python and Ruby).

I think that R3's success is more in our hands than Carl's. I'm sure that R3 will have great features that exceed R2 in many ways. But...

  • Will Carl provide enough specifics, hand-holding and encouragement to energize the community? I think that pre-releasing documentation and specs could be critical to enabling R3 apps to be available at R3's launch date (nothing worse than launching a platform with a paucity of real apps).
  • Will REBOL developers create new applications which are interesting/relevant in today's marketplace (i.e., avoid reinventing the wheel by creating commodity apps/utils which are primarily of interest to people already using REBOL)?
  • Will REBOL developers come out of closed enclaves and write blog posts and submit their RSS feeds to sites like dzone?
In my opinion, it takes a strong community to put R3 on the map. Updating is a good idea, but that would be such a minor footnote (since R3 is not truly FOSS, whatever marketing-speak is presented on will have little developer cred) in the overall picture.

I hope this has been a constructive conversation. Thanks for listenin'.


20-Oct-2007 12:46:22
Very true, not just RT's attitude needs to change, but that of the community as well. REBOL is almost invisible in modern channels, but we're doing our best:

20-Oct-2007 12:52:46
(at)Ed: quoting, "REBOL's goals right now are out of sync with the marketplace. The focus right now is web-based applications, and this paradigm will probably not shift back to the desktop for some time. The notion of building a new language for desktop applets and GUIs is very retro-- almost quaint."

I disagree here. And, I can elaborate why (see below), but let me just say I'm against things ever going 'dumb terminals' and having everything that we use being online. I think Rebol can leverage the current trend back toward the Desktop and Home Server in this way:

Let's imagine Rebol being positioned toward use in a 'Rebol Home Network' or 'Rebol Home Server'. An end-user such as myself would love to be able to install a single package (whatever OS platform) that lets me create a webpage in a folder which I designate as Public, and serve that up over my IP to the internet from home. From my own hard drive (capacity of the webpage being like the sky-is-the-limit, dependent on whatever size I've added or designated). Additionally, same package providing for doing email this way; peer-to-peer. FTP services, and so on. I know this is already done with packages like Apache, which I have installed. That, and the Perl package, is invaluable for testing CGI webpage scripts offline, or serving up a page via port :8080 through your IP (webpage only accessible when one is online, and has a domain registered and routed, of course). In the days of DSL and Cable, we're mostly online all the time, anyway, so maybe it's not a big issue after all.

If Rebol goes in this direction, I'll most likely be checking into that.

But if there's a 'Rebol Internet Operating System', I've just got to ask if it won't be capable of any of the above, out of the box. A way to send email, from computer to computer, without using online services like Yahoo or your Internet Service Provider (ISP). A way to do FTP, and have people access files, downloading and uploading, without a middle-man. A way to start collaboration on a file sitting on your computer, just by connecting with another user somewhere in the world (peer-to-peer) and, again, not using any other service or middle-man corporation. Free to do all these things as much as you want (after initially buying the Rebol package). That's what I'd be interested in seeing Rebol do. There's probably no end to what can be added--from internet phone service (from your home to the home of your friend who also has Rebol installed); FAX; on-the-desktop RebolDock (like Vista Sidebar, or Amiga's Dock) receiving live services (i.e., accurate to the atomic clock time; stock quotes; RSS feeds; Dopplar Radar and other weather-related feeds...). Just for starters.

21-Oct-2007 8:49:36
Hi EyeAm--
I'm not a huge fan of "everything in a browser" either, but I still think that is the direction of current trends. What your or I (or the Rebol community) prefer is only a miniscule datapoint in a very large marketplace. I should point out that I'm not an analyst of startups or the VC world, my thoughts are pure opinion. But having said that, I think that larger percentage of startups are being funded to develop web sites and web 2.0 / social networking sites than are building desktop applications. Those that are building executables to be installed are probably intended for the server, or for hand-held devices.

There are different forces at play here --- what consumers or people want, what developers want, and of course what companies want (startups, smb, mid-market, big corps). I think your ideas sound interesting, and I'd like to see Rebol lead the way for these types of uses. But I do not yet see a strong case as to why Rebol is so much more attractive (to the aforementioned groups) for making this type of application, such that a developer would choose it instead of Java/Ruby/Perl/Web2.0 FOSS (and former desktop RIA darlings CURL and Laszlo are opening up, see here and here). And I don't see why this scenario would need to be installed locally as a desktop applet-- after all, if this is a home network being run by someone with some technical competence and interest in running servers/web-sites, etc. So I would expect there is excellent WAN connectivity in this scenario. At least in the US, serving web pages from your home network isn't usually a great option, with security issues, dynamic IPs and uploads being much slower than downloads (in the cable modem world). Zero install sites like Blogger, Typepad and others seem to have struck a chord with content publishers, consumers & techies alike.

Note that Firefox XUL, Google Gears, Adobe AI and a few other techniques are emerging out there which can enable local desktop storage and off-line operation of Web 2.0 applications in (and out) the browser. I say this not to throw a bucket of cold water on any of the great ideas presented, but as a reminder that there are very large, smart, well-funded, fast-moving companies out there who are well poised to exploit the market in whatever form it evolves. Speed to market and adaptability are critical. This is one of the reasons I feel the grass-roots community is so important; it is one of the few areas where RT has direct influence, if it can summon what it takes to delight and empower its members.


21-Oct-2007 11:15:17
Edoc, we ARE the marketplace. :-)
21-Oct-2007 13:53:08
You know whats funny.. "You all talk too much" .. ;-)

21-Oct-2007 15:15:16
Guilty as charged. I guess some of us are chompin' at the bit because we don't have many details about a certain R3 beta...
22-Oct-2007 4:46:44
(at)EyeAm: You know, I'm really beginning to think you're my alter ego, or the other way round. Those ideas are very similar to what I had in mind.

I think the Web 2.0 debate should center on needs. I like the 'on the web' option, but I also like my desktop/platform apps. Others may prefer just the one option. I can see where most want it to go, doesn't mean I will be using the same road to get there.

I want to know if I should stare into the flames to see a Phoenix arise or settle for a poached egg supper.



Would post more, in a rush at the mo'!

22-Oct-2007 5:52:16
I want to know if I should stare into the flames to see a Phoenix arise or settle for a poached egg supper.

You'll know when a release of R3 comes out.

22-Oct-2007 10:40:32
(at)Luis: The only Phoenix rising *will be* Amiga Inc. with a new 64-Bit OS. Wait and watch. :) (oh, and no doubt it'll have Rebol)
23-Oct-2007 2:08:38
I mouth off how I feel about the situation. Big deal, that's me. Some prefer another approach: Nothing wrong with that, just another way. I would prefer that people see my posts as enthusiastic/concerned rants, rather than negative attacks, if not, well, that's the way it is.

What I see is that there is more that needs to be done, and I'm not the only one that can see that. RT needs to do something, anything.

Rebol is free, but so is the air I breathe. I work on breathing constantly, ceaselessly. The issue of Rebol being free and all the surrounding issues regarding what we get for what we give are moot points: We all have varying needs, abilities and moral guidelines - These not only affect how we shop at the supermarket but how we work. If you feel justified in complaining about delays, then you are justified. If you feel you want to approach your concerns by encouraging comments, then you are jsutified. Let's not assume we all row on the same side of the boat, but let's assume we want to get to the same destination.

What I don't want to end up being is in the R3 boat only to find the anchor getting caught miles from the shore.

(at) - pekr-: Erm which one is it? 'pekr' or 'petr'? One's a bit pervy... To a certain degree we all agree, we say it differently.

(at) Henrik: 'You'll know when a release of R3 comes out.' You sure you don't work for Rebol? :P

(at) EyeAm: AmigaOS has gone though so many changes I'd be surprised if it doesn't come out whiter than white. Rinse-Repeat-Rinse-Repeat.

What I would not like to see is RT regretting, a year or two down the line, not having pushed when it could have. Or worse, hearing Mr Sassenrath say 'You want chips with that?' and staring blankly as he hands over a sachet of ketchup.



23-Oct-2007 7:22:36

I know about "pervy" meaning of my nick, but after 10 years, I am still deciding, if I should change. Some friends call me simply pekr, and it has no particular meaning here in CZ (it was my first nick name for IRC, and it stayed it that way. It is abbreviation of my first and last name PEtr KRenzelok).

Let's get back to REBOL. I don't understand your last post at all. I would like to clearly state, what aproach to take do you suggest?

23-Oct-2007 8:19:30
I suggest we attach a red chequered pattern ping pong ball to a long stick and some string: Dangle it outside his door and wait for him to pop out - When his attention is fixated on the ball, pull the string and lead him all the way to this blog and ask him to post something.



23-Oct-2007 9:29:17
23-Oct-2007 9:43:33
(at)Luis: Hey, I like my OSes clean! ;-)

And fast. And with low overhead, and low crosstalk between user space and the kernel. Oh, and no need to have so much loading at runtime, either... (wanders off, muttering more about OSes and true pre-emptive multiprogramming, but only where necessary...)

EyeAm (with Carl mask on
23-Oct-2007 10:18:36
Hi folks. As you can see, I'm back posting about Rebol here. All is going well. Us creative people need our space, so please continue to wait patiently, everything is progressing extremely well. In the meantime, please feel free to help yourself to some of this here 2005 vintage wine. :-D
24-Oct-2007 3:05:33
Rummaging through Rebol Week/Month (slow morning...) I found this on the 'REBOL 3 - some history on making the Alpha' post:

'18-Aug-2007 1:36:34 AM DLL - Alpha 52 - Adds MONEY! as precision math datatype. - Very limited implementation, just for early testing. - + - * / only at this time - also MAKE money! works'

Oh, the cruelty...

(at) EyeAm (not fake Carl): I remember BeOS... Now Haiku There are others, seen a few assembly language OSes.

(at) Fake Carl: Does the wine come with a signed copy of R3?



24-Oct-2007 10:45:11
(at)Luis: Hmm. What cruelty? the only thing I think I can get out of that is: looks like an ad placed by Carl somewhere for programmers (other than you guys) to make money? Or am I reading that wrong?

BeOS. Ah yes, the Amiga OS wannabe. Haiku...heard of it, never seen it; never looked into it. Assembly--ah yes (holding skull and looking at it), "I know thee well". :-) Best language, in my opinion, in which to write kernels for fast OSes. Well, HLA works, too. (assembly-based exokernels, one for each CPU type, like bullets in roulette fashion, one auto-selected for install when software auto-senses the underlying architecture; in short, a kernel library). Okay, just thinking text here. ;-P

(dons Carl mask again, to answer Luis) No, no. You'll have to go through the 2005 vintage, and then the 2006 vintage, and THEN, if you're still sober, you'll see a signed copy of R3 with the 2007 vintage, but only after it's come out of the barrels, put in bottles, turned, all that jazz, and is ready for drinking. Of course, what you *see* might not be real, but hey... :-D

24-Oct-2007 17:00:22
Anyone looked at F-Script? APL meets Smalltalk then bumps into OS X. Smells good to an old dog like me.

Talking of OS - The Mac one is just becoming a vast Objective C / NextStep library, and apart from the CPU-specific stuff, why bother with Assembler at all? Been there, done it, even enjoyed it: life's too short though, and there's too much coding to do.

BeOS was nice - shame it died. Three seems to be the magic number - Windows for the proletariat, Linux for unreconstructed techies and Mac for Scotsmen.

Regards, Robbie
Och aye the noo

24-Oct-2007 21:52:26
Yeah, three is nice: AMIGA versus Apple, and Linux just there. :-)

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