Comments on: R3.0 Plan for February 2009
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: R3.0 Plan for February 2009

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
2-Feb-2009 19:42 GMT

Article #0389
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Pleae let me know if you find these "monthly plan" postings useful. The intent is to give you a better idea of how things have progressed and where we're headed.

During January, here's what happened...

  • Released R3 alphas 26-33 with fixes and improvements.
  • Mid-month we reached a milestone of making R3 public for testing and greater participation and feedback of developers.
  • Added a web URL for downloading latest versions.
  • Created a new welcome/intro page for R3 alpha users. It's purpose is to cover all the basics user need to know to get started. We've really tried to keep it short and to the point, and all users need to read it.
  • Implemented an update mechanism for R3 (the UPGRADE function). It checks your version, and downloads the latest (compressed then expanded, so its faster).
  • Merged in DevBase contributed code into new releases. (Thanks BrianH!)
  • Implemented the LOAD-GUI function. You can put this at the top of your test apps to automatically download the latest GUI module (via HTTP). As features are added, you'll automatically get them.
  • RebDev (the future DevBase) began serving as our primary development communication channel. (Hooray!) Although AltME worlds are still available, most of the "official" dev talk is in RebDev now. Various new content sections have been added.
  • RebDev server and client development continued with dozens of enhancements. 24 official versions were released (0.1.1-0.3.5), with some as major rewrites. See section #115 for the full list.
  • Wrote a RebDev Quick Start to get new users up-to-speed quickly.
  • File-sharing for RebDev has been implemented, including submission, acceptance, and denial mechanisms. But, we're still thinking about how best to structure these directories. The main issue is if we should allow files to be posted under message sections, or if they should be a separate tree.
  • Moved RebDev to a faster server due to overloading of our primary rebol.net server (most likely due to Mediawiki use of MySQL and PHP.)
  • Opened RebDev to more users, and it quickly grew to 50 accounts, at which point we discovered a problem with Unicode and had to limit new accounts. The problem is that the RebDev server itself is running R2 which does not support Unicode. The fix is pending, as it requires we code-walk the entire user-management module of REBOL/services in order to support Unicoded accounts. Another possibility is to move the server to R3.
  • RebDev cell-phone viewing client is online and provides a good way to read messages when you're not in front of a computer. Although optimized for the Apple iPhone (and other larger screen mobile devices) it seems to work well for other devices (we even read it regularly the Sony PSP handheld game device and it looks great).
  • The dev community began specifying requirements for the R3 DLL interface. The main objectives, specs, and comments were published on DocBase. (Thanks Robert!)
  • Added a community page to our primary website. Comments and additions should be posted to section #831 on RebDev and we'll make them quickly (contact Petr). The older support page will be deprecated, as the times have changed in the world of software.
  • Began the monumental effort of updating REBOL's primary documentation base for R3. With approximately 1200 pages involved in this effort, we're not convinced that our current DocBase wiki (powered by the Mediawiki system) is the best approach. The core issue is avoiding complexity. Right now we can easily manipulate the entire archive using simple REBOL scripts. We'd like to keep it lightweight like that. Current thought is to keep the primary documentation in its MakeDoc format, but link to MediaWiki database for user contributed sections. The decision is still pending.

For February, here are the goals...

  • Continue to grow the R3 user base and encourage participation in code, documentation, and websites.
  • Begin revising main websites clearing away the old and bringing in the new. Also look at including better descriptions of benefits of REBOL (i.e. a "marketing refresh").
  • Build preliminary Linux R3 (for servers and scripts mainly, graphics later.)
  • Finalize the structure for filesharing on RebDev, and move the DevBase source archive to it.
  • Determine what additional source version support features we need. Most of this involves calling a third party app, such as a diff/merge program. In addition we need a basic version tagging mechanism.
  • Fix the RebDev user account problem and open RebDev back up to all interested users.
  • Investigate shifting the R3 host archive to Rebin encoded interfaces (to isolate all host code from future R3 internal datatype changes). This may require major effort, but will also payoff for open projects like the DLL interface.
  • Move the R3 HOST source C/C++ code archive into DevBase (RebDev).
  • Resume work on the R3 GUI. The primary focus needs to be on styles for lists and tables. Also the GUI source merge (carryover).
  • Update/revise an R3 tutorial for new users, covering the basic examples for getting started.
  • Organize and update demos in order to build developer interest in R3.
  • Continue with primary documentation restructuring and updates for R3.
  • Module system finalization (carryover)

23 Comments

Comments:

James_Nak
2-Feb-2009 13:21:20
Yes, Carl, I find these helpful. Keep em up.
Rod Gaither
2-Feb-2009 13:43:44
I too find these monthly plan/status posts very helpful.
onetom
2-Feb-2009 14:15:15
I have no job, no money now, but have a brand new thai wife and her daughter.

My former boss was strangling me, so I reported it to the police and started a lawsuite against him here in Singapore.

I don't want to be an employee again for a while..

Now I'm a full time tourist in Asia.

=== I want to build my family's future on REBOL ===

Consequently it is VITAL for me being updated on the progress :)

Now I own an iBook and a Linux Eee PC only => cannot use R3 :(

....

-pekr-
2-Feb-2009 14:36:31
Cart - those updatest are very cool, keep them, please. You can also create wiki page for them - it is still interesting to read, what was planned last month. Good to hear some progress with core features is planned ....
kib2
2-Feb-2009 14:38:38
Carl:

I just want to tell you a big thanks for making R3 public so soon.

Keep the good work!

John Niclasen
2-Feb-2009 14:39:59
I feel, it's a very good way to get info about the front line of REBOL, also when I can't follow all the communication in the other channels.
Paul
2-Feb-2009 15:33:41
I would like to see all the new functions/additions (as a start) be searchable via a search field on a webpage (wiki or otherwise) that would link specifically to a webpage that contains the help and examples for the new added functions/features, etc.. Ideally to include a comments section for that page where the community can contribue concerns, questions related to the specific function or feature.
EyeAm
2-Feb-2009 16:15:39
1200 pages documentation?! :-O Um...simplicity? :)
Giuseppe Chillemi
2-Feb-2009 17:02:34
Maybe I'll skip this phase and get back when the GUI and GUI version of RebBase will be available. I feel I can't give any help until then as changes going on are too deep for my level. However I'll keep being here in Read Only mode.
Will
2-Feb-2009 19:22:27
that's lovely, thank you Carl 8)
AdrianS
2-Feb-2009 20:11:51
Is the word browser from R2 something that could be ported to R3 relatively easily? I found it a very useful reference.
claude
3-Feb-2009 0:35:27
thank you a lot for your works. keep going
DideC
3-Feb-2009 0:43:32
Plan is good and usefull. Thanks.

If you are going for more transparency on the overall progress, it would be also welcome to stated an the last month plan status.

With any plan, there is things that goes well and others not. What are in time, what did not happen, difficulties meet, unpredictable events...

Norman
3-Feb-2009 4:33:30
Since when is C++ introduced into R3? And what is the 'real' reason...
Luis.
3-Feb-2009 4:42:06
(at)EyeAm: Maybe they are small pages... :)

Cheers,

Luis.

Luke
3-Feb-2009 11:55:03
Updates are very useful. Keeps us all from losing faith and wondering what is happening. Would be great to hear what are the plans to allow different rebol hosts and when we might see something showing us an example of doing that for ourselves.
Brock
3-Feb-2009 14:35:01
We need to make our own Graphical Demo app. Adobe did a nice job with Tour de Flex
Brian Hawley
3-Feb-2009 17:17:04
Norman, the AGG graphics library that Draw is based on is written in C++.
Brian Hawley
3-Feb-2009 17:21:02
EyeAm, it takes a lot to explain the subtleties of all that simplicity :)
Luis.
6-Feb-2009 1:34:02
Ok, a tad OT, this strapline came to mind this morning:

Complexity Stops Here.

Cheers,

Luis.

Endo
8-Feb-2009 8:37:32
Yes, this update infos are very helpful. thanks.
Bo
16-Feb-2009 16:47:23
Thanks Carl. I've been looking forward to R3 for quite some time. I suspect it will require a lot of changes to my existing library of Rebol scripts, but I welcome the new changes!

I think R3 could be the start of large-scale worldwide Rebol acceptance.

It is also my goal to support my family off Rebol someday.

EricB
25-Feb-2009 7:26:51
Hi Carl ("Mr. Sassenrath" feels clumsy, although more correct),

You may have noticed an occasional comment I have submitted onto the Rebol technologies site from time to time. I have mentioned one or two aspects pertaining to my two "real world" long-term projects, and also urged that Solaris OS not be ignored completely despite limited company resources, in the past year. BTW, the recent reference you made to AREXX inter-process functionality is a very good example of how Rebol can appeal to this market segment.

I'm an 'Amigan' from the old days (since Feb.1986) and still have my A4000 networked on my intranet to access old data or routines I wrote, from time to time.

Today I am writing to bring to your attention two issues. The first is software called Clearsilver, an ongoing project that may well address important concerns of HTML output and presentation. There are examples provided showing good integration with Python. When I see such development with language technologies that are inferior to Rebol, it just makes me want to win a lottery somewhere and hire ten more programmers or software engineers on Rebol's behalf.

And, while there certainly is great importance in providing a robustly implemented composition and UI-rendering system within Rebol such as View, given the strength of participation in the most widely distributed technologies, obviously being largely Microsoft Windows[tm] OS and Internet browser installations, I wondered if you are familiar with this project that looks stable and is in use by an active community.

Someone of your aptitude and experience can no doubt quickly evaluate and assess their relevance, which I think is most succinctly stated here: http://www.clearsilver.net/docs/apples_to_oranges.hdf.

Whether or not you would consider any interfacing or further examination of their software, it does seem to me that some of the points they raise are an intelligent way to approach the issues involved.

The second issue of potential concern is that of featuring database interfacing and integration. I believe that it would be difficult for me to over-emphasize the importance of this issue in fostering the adoption of Rebol in IT departments and data centers, as well as advancing its "mindshare" amongst CIO's/CTO's and consultants, as well.

Thank you very much, for opening up R3 for development on a beta level; I currently do not have the resources to contribute to the project and also pursue the other two projects to which I have referred, but have been keenly interested in employing R3 going forward; avoiding engagement with Perl, Ruby, Python, etc. (although at least reading some Javascript seems impossible to avoid).

Thank you also, for continuing to promote and develop worthwhile technology even in the face of long time malfeasance practiced by various power abusive forces within the IT industry, and in a practical, 'non-Quixotic' manner.

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