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

Comments on: R3.0 Plan for December 2009

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
1-Dec-2009 18:35 GMT

Article #0443
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During November

Main developments during the month were:

  • Major progress was made on the R3 host environment source code release. Initial versions are now compiling and operating under in MinGW and MS Visual Studio 2008. Although we missed our goal last month, we're almost ready for a small group of first developers.
  • We spent quite a lot of time reviewing and analyzing the REBOL web sites and our community feedback on it (thanks!) These are big websites with more than 75000 pages in total. Yes, too much. Of course only a dozen of those pages really matter to new visitors. So, we know our marketing "message, motto, and image" we want to project, and we have a new layout structure for the site... with a more standard structure. I will admit that graphics has been a challenge.

Goals for December

  • The Core host environment will be released, with major updates each week until it is stable, acceptable, and documented for initial developers. I'll be "in the cave" until this is accomplished.
  • Personally, I'd like to see the View host environment also released. This would enable development community progress to resume on graphics, the GUI, and also on ports to other systems, such as OS X. Maybe some Christmas candy, but no promises.
  • If possible, we'll bring the new website online. If you have website graphic design experience, please contact me.
  • Minor fixes to the blog RSS feed. Just some quick ones to make it more presentable in a few readers.
  • Enjoy a great holiday and have a happy new year.

12 Comments

Comments:

-pekr-
1-Dec-2009 23:55:31
I am interested in knowing more about the outcome of website needs analysis, and about the proposed layout (wireframe).

May I also suggest outsourcing of design work? Those home-made attempts in the past did not result in the modern and trendy website. Remember - "design sells".

von
2-Dec-2009 12:50:24
I realize the importance of web design but without excellent content then it's pretty on the outside but lacking and dead on the inside.

The Rebol 2 company and community has scratched the surface and I wish there was more content (e.g., books, tutorials, examples, heavily commented code) available. I'm well aware of the different, helpful resources but I still find it to be to challenging for a new developer so I've had to rely on a different web scripting language.

I remain hopeful as my skills improve with Rebol. I'm attempting to use Rebol 2 for a new web site so wish me luck :-)

cgm
2-Dec-2009 19:41:28
Hello ! I come from Taiwan . I think REBOL is a very good language . Now , it supports Unicode. However , Chinese characters seems not work well on GUI program. Would you please add the feature ?
-pekr-
3-Dec-2009 0:02:23
(at)von - yes, R2 docs are a bit scattered. There is many of them, they cover things from various perspectives, but they are there. I also suggest you to join AltME or ML, where you can post your questions and get answer in minutes. As for R3, there are new official docs forming, I hope we make it better than with R2.

(at)cgm - Unicode is supported in Core (kernel) level, but not in GUI yet. It surely gets fixed in few months, once we are back to GUI.

von
7-Dec-2009 15:50:34
Thanks -pekr-! I'm amazed of the power behind Rebol. I just wish I was a lot better accessing that power more efficiently so I can be more productive with my projects. I've been following Rebol for years, off and on, so I'm part of both the ML and AltME. I'll take advantage of AltME more when I need assistance.
Andreas Schipplock
9-Dec-2009 7:00:11
I am someone who is having its main programming language which I am being productive in but I am always looking around for new ones so on some day I met rebol and liked the idea of being simple, easy and incredibly small but as someone earlier mentioned already the resources to dive into rebol are non-existent. I realised there is a tutorial at http://re-bol.com/rebol.html but this tutorial is one of the worst I've ever read. It more or less starts with creating guis :>...- long deep breath - and I don't want to create guis before I know the basics of the language. You'll see 8 chapters, before it even mentions something like an "object".

However, despite this tutorial being the only useful resource for rebol I already have no motivation for it anymore because I don't know how rebol3 will look like...spending time on a dead horse sucks :).

The other problem...money...what reason could I have to buy rebol other than I just like it and want to support it? Really, there is no reason...I get fastcgi and dll access when I pay the money but other languages provide it for free, working, proven and ready to use, opensource and ready to experiment with. I'm not an expert to say how a language can be successful but I'm quite sure that this way isn't the best one. I always imagine a problem with some part in the fastcgi code and me being unable to resolve the problem because the code for it is closed source. The whole rebol thing is.

What also strikes me is the shop...do I have to buy two licences when I want to develop on windows and linux? And how is the deployment done? In theory I am giving away the fully fledged interpreter of rebol...

What I initially wanted to say is: make rebol opensource.

Cheers, Andreas Schipplock.

-pekr-
9-Dec-2009 10:42:22
Andreas,

I really don't understand your point.

First - there is plenty of resources you can learn REBOL from. There is an official Core only guide, no GUI in there.

Second - how is that everybody knows, that DLL and Shell access are not paid anymore, and it is so for more than 2 years?

Third - the business model for R3 is going to be different. You might know it, if you would spend 5 minutes reading about R3 architecture. I even don't know, if R2 products are sold. We are preparing for new generation of REBOL to arrive. But - if you are really interested to know - why not to contact RT then?

So - if all you wanted to say is - make REBOL open-source, then you should at least use more fair arguments ...

batman
13-Dec-2009 9:36:12
2 things :-

( 1 ) I'm relatively new to the site however it appears that at the beginning of every month there is an R3 plan for the current month.

Is there an overall plan that we can look at ? when is R3 planned to be released? in 1 year, 2 years, 3years etc ?

( 2 ) I agree with andreas , the documentation really needs to be improved. I did add a similar comments somewhere a few days ago. see http://www.rebol.net/cgi-bin/r3blog.r?view=0290#comments http://www.rebol.net/cgi-bin/r3blog.r?view=0291#comments

One example, the official vid document on this site, doesn't show drop-down is available. and yet the tutorial "submitting data form to server" on 23 rd nov 2009, shows that there is a drop-down field available. since when was that available? how come it's not showing up with example in the docs.... what else is not documented?

this is especially hard and discouraging for newcomers. besides you cannot expect them to go to the source to find everything , that would take years and is not practical. they will give up pretty much after a few tries.

Hopefully R3 will be addressing all these documentation issues.

So why don't we generate automatically all the docs from the source code? I think I read that there is a tool for that in another blog somewhere on this site.

after all those code were done by RT and would have followed the proper standard of commenting and coding , wouldn't they ? In which case it should be easy to generate all the documentation.

cheers

batman
13-Dec-2009 10:02:53
In addition to my previous comment, maybe the format of any function docmentation should be:-

Function : (function name and parameters)

Description : (one line description)

Returns: (what does it return ? rebol follows a functional paradigm and yet the doc doesn't seem to show what the functions return in numerous cases )

arguments/values/refinements : (details about all arguments, values and refinements)

More detailed description : (including examples)

cheers

Henrik
14-Dec-2009 1:35:32
So why don't we generate automatically all the docs from the source code? I think I read that there is a tool for that in another blog somewhere on this site.

We already do for the function reference:

http://www.rebol.com/r3/docs/functions.html

Plus, each page is a wiki page and so, contains extra information about each function, not available through the REBOL executable help.

The main website is quite a mess right now, I'd agree, and this is mainly because most of the main site is still related to R2 rather than R3, and that most of the main site hasn't changed for 7-8 years. The website will hopefully be a lot simpler and easier to navigate in the future.

Andreas:

It more or less starts with creating guis :>...- long deep breath - and I don't want to create guis before I know the basics of the language.

Although, I'd agree that it's very important to learn the basics of REBOL, starting out with creating GUIs in a few lines of code is really one of the main selling points of REBOL. The language is designed around the support for dialects and Carl wants to show them off. You are supposed to be impressed by that and then begin learning the rest of the language. :-)

batman
14-Dec-2009 19:54:33
henrik: thanks for the details provided.

however I check the rebol 3 functions page. Let's look at one example

ask function

what data type does ask return ? a string ? a number ? a series ? etc... this is the kind of thing that should be clear .

this is why I had Returns in my previous post as one of the thing that should be defined in every function document. It's missing in a lot of places.

I again want to stress, this is not meant to be a criticism, it's meant to be a suggestion for improvement and I hope this will help a lot of newbies. I am facing it myself being a newbie here.

cheers

Henrik
16-Dec-2009 1:53:25
Batman, that's a good idea. I'm the one writing the function reference (though on a break right now), so I'll try to get that in, when I get started again. Thanks.

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