Comments on: Should R3 use a new suffix?
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Should R3 use a new suffix?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
15-Dec-2008 18:54 GMT

Article #0382
Main page || Index || Prior Article [0381] || Next Article [0383] || 30 Comments || Send feedback

As you know, REBOL uses .r as its script and data file suffix.

This is done by convention. It is not an enforced rule. That is, you can use whatever suffix you want; REBOL does not care. You can evaluate a .txt file as a script and that works fine.

Of course, the suffix is useful within the context of an OS -- for general identification of the file type, such as within your favorite text editor. In most OSes it also associates the icon and default action.

So, in order to avoid problems between R2 and R3, I am considering changing the suffix. And, such a change will also help on systems that use .r for other files types. However, it might create some problems for HTTP server downloads, MIME type, etc. But, those should be solvable.

What do you think?



John Niclasen
15-Dec-2008 11:49:43
I like .r for being so short, and I don't have conflict with other file-types.

It would be nice, if it could stay, but that R3 somehow could figure out, if a script is a R2 script and then start up R2 in that case, else just continue as R3.

Is this possible without too much hazzle? And does it makes sense to go down this road?

Manuel Moreno
15-Dec-2008 11:59:30
I like .r3, it's short and I thin it help to R3 promotion.
15-Dec-2008 12:02:15
REBOL3 [ file: %rebol3-script.r notes: {R2 scripts will not recognize this as a R2 script} ]
15-Dec-2008 12:04
Why not keep it just .r? I thought that 'Needs header field would solve such problems? R2 vs R3 execution environment is just dependency as any other dependency in your code.

OTOH users might be annoyed, finding plenty of .r scripts on or elsewhere, being curious why it does not run in R3.

The question is also related to some former blogs - new REBOL name, new VID name. Or - think what happens when there is R4 released? Do we go for rename too?

15-Dec-2008 12:11:09
I also do remember REBOL app packed format - .rip. We might as well go with .reb, but it is not as pretty as .r3
15-Dec-2008 12:20:57
PHP uses a voluntary convention of .php3, .php4 and .php5 for various suffixes and .php for a general one, so I wouldn't mind with an .r2 and .r3 suffix as long as .r stays.
Brian Tiffin
15-Dec-2008 13:04:14
I have problems with R (S-Lang) scripts and REBOL scripts, but I always associate .r with REBOL and take the hit on the R side (using .R instead and/or forcing KATE and Vim into R mode when needed).

I was going to vote with sticking with .r but I wonder how often REBOL/3 will find user.r files and trip up?

So I think I vote (while we can still DO %script.r if we wish), that REBOL/3 does NOT load user.r or rebol.r by default. Other than that, go to town.


15-Dec-2008 14:08:52
Henrik has posted exactly what I was thinking.

Rebol 3 should recognize: .r# (the .r and|or the number after .r).

Legacy doesn't have to be seen as 'old' (or even legacy) if it still does the job, or a good job.

What really counts: .r What wont' hurt: .r3, .r4, .r#

Huayin Wang
15-Dec-2008 14:56:50
.r is also in conflict with "R" - the popular statistical analysis software.
15-Dec-2008 15:10:17
I prefer .rbl as it is clearly a ReBoL file and quite frankly am surprised it hasn't already been suggested. There is already a program that uses this extension, but it is of little significance from what I can tell. .reb has also been suggested and was recommended in the early days of Rebol before .r won over as the convention. I however think it is too close to 'web' and although Rebol is great at the web, would be a mistake from a naming perspective.
Peter Wood
15-Dec-2008 18:00:05
.reb would be perfect for me - and no conflicts.

.r is inconvenient on a Mac.

.rbl would be okay but it is close to .rb (ruby) and is used by RegexBuddy Library.

15-Dec-2008 20:08:19
Wow, I didn't realize there were so many! That list (above link) puts a different perspective on it. :-o

15-Dec-2008 20:49:19
15-Dec-2008 20:58:10
I like the idea of .r being associated with Rebol2 and .r3 with Rebol3, so that scripts run in the correct interpreter. That's my preference, but I also like the phonetic look of .rbl .
maxim olivier-adlhoch
15-Dec-2008 21:08:59
.r3 .r4 .r5


- Like for php, its extremely usefull for managing what interpreter to use for what script versions.

- none of the above are being used by any software according to wikipedia.

- deep down, its already in our hearts ;-) We've already been using r3 to refer to rebol 3 for what... 2 years now? ...

15-Dec-2008 23:07:25
how about ".rebol"? :-)
15-Dec-2008 23:57:06
EyeAm - .rebol would make Windows guys crazy, they are used to count to 3 max :-)
16-Dec-2008 0:29:49
+1 for .r2 .r3 (version specific) and general .r extension.

But, as point by over, we need a way to specify in the header that its a Rebol3 script (that will default to r2 if not).

I'm not for changing the rebol [] header, but rather to put a lit-word in it if possible :

rebol [
   title: "Blah bla..."
16-Dec-2008 0:49:59
.r3 doesn't look nice to me, would prefer .reb or .bol
Carl Read
16-Dec-2008 2:59:54
I support .r3, .r4 etc. too. Though ideally backward-compatibility would be built in from now on - in which case .reb would be the way to go.
Steve, the eFishAnt
16-Dec-2008 5:03:31
Seems like this is an installation-time decision.

For a new user, if no older versions of REBOL exists, then an R3 installation could simply uses the .r association.

If a previous version of REBOL is detected, then you get into the tougher choice what to do. Then you give the user options how to install it. Along with this a simple tool that allows the user to adjust associations from within REBOL, with safe defaults.

16-Dec-2008 5:10:46
+1 for .r3, .r4 So we can run & test old and new rebol scripts/applications just with a double-click.
Paul LYS
16-Dec-2008 11:47:38
one more vote for .r3
16-Dec-2008 14:20:11
I'm already using .r3
17-Dec-2008 0:32:53
gimmi sumpthing to use it on and I'll get back to you ;)
17-Dec-2008 2:07:22




17-Dec-2008 9:53:51
Users of newer MS Office software have four characters: .docx, xlsx, and so on. While I think .rebol would be very clear and non-confusing, either .reb or .rbl is also clear, and is shorter.
18-Dec-2008 1:32:45
The suffix is external to the script. That has some advantages -- it is usually visible. But also some disadvantages -- it can be easily or accidentally changed.

A REBOL script should not _depend_ on an easily changed external marker to run correctly.

  • REBOL3 [] header
  • REBOL [ ... needs: R3 ...]
Or some other internal indicator would be easier and safer.

Currently, of course REBOL does not *need* a .r suffix. That's just convention.

22-Dec-2008 23:20:05
+1 for .reb im not sure about versioning, tho. and btw, we just have a psychological medical-record handling application which uses R to visualize the progress of the patient. its quite confusing to have .r for both scripts :)

17-Jan-2009 8:58:52
I like the simplicity of .r

The only problem I've had related to file suffixes is that I accidentally execute modules and subscripts that are supposed to be ran by the main script :)

Post a Comment:

You can post a comment here. Keep it on-topic.


Blog id:



 Note: HTML tags allowed for: b i u li ol ul font p br pre tt blockquote

This is a technical blog related to the above topic. We reserve the right to remove comments that are off-topic, irrelevant links, advertisements, spams, personal attacks, politics, religion, etc.

Updated 24-Nov-2017   -   Copyright Carl Sassenrath   -   WWW.REBOL.COM   -   Edit   -   Blogger Source Code