Comments on: Progress report on Open Source REBOL
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Progress report on Open Source REBOL

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
5-Nov-2012 14:53 GMT

Article #0517
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Update: R3 source has been released. The source repository is: - as official releases are made, they'll be posted to website.

I have to tell you, this whole process has been really difficult for me. I believe in elegant, strong, long lasting cathedrals, not the twisty maze of pasted together bazaars. The deeper implication of that sentence is intentional.

So, every neuron in my brain resists this process. It's not natural to me. I hate being in this position. But there's a reality here, and I know what must be done. Yes, this is the future road that I must take - that we must take - a journey.

Some of you are really eager to get going. I respect that. I understand.

So, here's where it stands...

  • The source license will be Apache 2.0. In a nutshell, I selected it because I've found it to be more free and open than GPL. It's essentially a modernized BSD license. Yes, you can even use the code commercially and keep your changes secret. However, if you improve the code, I urge you to follow/support the spirit of our community and contribute back as much as you can.
  • I'm not going to dump and run. Some of you are worried about that. I care a lot about REBOL. Although I don't have much spare time, I plan to take one evening a week to follow developments and stay involved. Of course, I'll need your help sifting through activities. I've talked about that before.
  • I need a few "directors" or "masters" to help. Please email your suggestions to me at "open" at the domain of this site. Who do you think is best qualified? For the next couple days, I will confirm each email with a short reply. (So, if you don't see a reply, please resend the message. Email handling on this server seems a bit flaky at times.)
  • The copyright and trademark will be held by REBOL Technologies. This makes sense.
  • Official releases in source and binary will be made on at regular intervals.
  • The source management site will be GitHub. Really, it's not that complicated... it's just a bit different. I'll post a page that shows the few commands you need to get updates and submit changes. I'm also going to have a page on this site where quick fixes can be sent by anyone who doesn't have time for git - just to keep it really easy.
  • I'd like to find a forum for discussion. Of course, this blog is good for announcements, but we need more. It should be something that's public on the web, really quick and easy to use, simple to keep organized. The normal requirements. I'll open a new blog to post your suggestion.

All that said, what you really want to know: Yes, I'm working on the source code to get it ready for uploading to GitHub. I hope it won't take much longer. As I said, this does not come easy to me. Painful. And also, my time has been very constrained recently.



Alan Macleod
5-Nov-2012 9:05:01
It's he right thing to do if we want to see the rebol and it's philosophy live on.
Steve White
5-Nov-2012 9:07:42
A cathedral is just too big for a bishop to build all by himself. Let's hope the workers can keep a shared vision. Ad majoram simplicitatis gloriam, so to speak.
Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 9:29:39
I know it can be painful, and your understandable reservations about this. It really will be for the best going forward. We hope to salve the pain with further contributions to the cause, and the code :)
5-Nov-2012 9:47:27
Carl, thanks very much for the continued communication despite the process being painful.
Robert M. Münch
5-Nov-2012 11:34:05
Carl, that's a good license choice.

And, even cathefrals are build by generations of build masters. The Cologne Cathedral comes to mind. It was build over 700 years. And they mastered a continous style.

Anyway, we want to accelerate the progress of R3 and make it even more useable than it's already today.

Hence, sharing what is done on the core makes perfect sense. And, the second I get access to R3 sources, it will make me confident, that I haven't spend my time and money on a dead-end.

Looking forward to finally see the release.

5-Nov-2012 11:55:03
Apart from the clerical comparison that doesn't add up to me. (I think of all other languages like this, a giant box you cannot do with what you want: you cannot live there, cannot listen to a concert for the echo is terrible, you cannot sport there for the floor is too hard and you might destroy some icons, you cannot use it to build something else because it is too big, and it blocks the open view to, from and in every direction possible, to some it stands as a symbol for dogmatic way of thinking). I am happy with this decision.

No matter how beautiful the place to build, the stones and other building materials provided, it is always possible to design and build an ugly building.

To me REBOL should be the box with building blocks that is complete, there are no blocks missing and it still has all the blocks it originally was shipped with. You can build all you want with it no matter where you are. At home, at school, at granma's, on vacation on the camping...

Let's go everywhere with it!

5-Nov-2012 12:28:03
I fail to understand how the MIT license is "not worth using" (as Larry Rosen apparently stated?)

I would like someone to point me to the logic behind this?

This reminds me of loaning money to people. People who loan money with strings attached should not loan money in the first place.

Once you decide to loan money, write it off right then and there, and be happy when it is paid back. Do a dance when it is paid back with fair interest.

5-Nov-2012 12:33:49
Reichart. That is what bad investors do. Good, succesfull, investors want first to know and secure when they are payed back and when ROI is expected. Read Robert Kyosaki's excellent work Rich Dad Poor Dad. I look like a spammer now :)
Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 12:46:58
Reichart, the MIT license doesn't handle patent issues. Basically, with MIT-licensed code you could get the code for free and still not be able to use it. With Apache-licensed code, you also get a patent grant and some minimal defense. Altogether, it ends up being a little more free, at least in jurisdictions where software patents exist.
Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 12:53:22
This also goes for Carl using our contributions, so it's as much to protect him as it is to protect REBOL's users.
5-Nov-2012 13:30:30
Patent clauses are useless if the party suing you is not using the code. Which would be most parties in the world.
Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 14:02:12
Yes, the defense is minimal, especially against trolls. There's not much you can do to protect against patent trolls short of abolishing patents on the type of thing you're dealing with here (in this case software). But the grant is solid and protects against submarine patents from contributors. Nonetheless, there's no need to rehash that argument when he can go back and read it if he likes.
5-Nov-2012 15:19:39
Reichart, the Apache License is little more than a clarified MIT license with a patent clause. If you are not worried about the patent clause, Apache License or MIT License basically makes no difference at all. (My opinion only. This is not legal advice.)
5-Nov-2012 15:44:26
Thanks Carl.
Joe Latone
5-Nov-2012 16:09:53
5-Nov-2012 23:21:40
Thanks Carl for making the decission.
6-Nov-2012 4:43:20
Andreas, thank you. Is there a patent related to REBOL?
6-Nov-2012 9:56:03
Awesome choice, if I ever do get to use rebol at work would let me keep sync'ed up and actually contribute. GPL would have been a no go for me as there are ITAR restrictions on some of the code I work with.
6-Nov-2012 9:58:09
Carl, it's hard to hear you talk about how painful this is for you. I wish you nothing but success with REBOL, and I will do everything I can to help. I'm grateful for the tool you've created, and hope it lives on to do the same for others. I think there are many capable people in this community already, and more to come, who will help your baby grow up well.
Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
6-Nov-2012 11:50:54
Reichart, one of the most significant aspects of the apache license is that contributions are licensed (perpetual, free, sublicensable, unrevokeable), rather than giving up copyrights (even when unused), like most other licenses.

This allows much more freedom in contributions. Some commercial entities might not allow their employees to contribute company code if they loose rights by doing so.

6-Nov-2012 17:57:46
That's odd, because Carl stipulates that RT will own the copyright.
Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
6-Nov-2012 20:10:40
well, he keeps his copyrights, we keep ours. It's point #2 of the license. His copyright concerns the work as a whole, we keep rights to stuff we add to it.

We are allowed to license those (our) parts differently in other projects. The Apache license allows you to reuse the same function in an MIT project and license it there that way .

So, it only has the apache license when used/copied in/from the apache licensed project.

I think this is one of the places which causes friction with some copyleft licenses.

7-Nov-2012 10:24:03
I don't see how this has to do with the licence. It's a copyright issue. You either own the copyrights or you don't, and if you do, you're free to license the work differently in different projects.
Brian Tiffin
7-Nov-2012 21:34:25
Had to put this somewhere.

May the open force be with the REBOL forces

Carl Sassenrath
7-Nov-2012 23:03:30
Getting closer to release. Little details keep popping up. For example, does anyone care what line terminators are used on the source files? I normally work in Linux these days, so lines are LF terminated, but Windows developers prefer CRLF. Any preference for the "official" source?
8-Nov-2012 2:14:59
people will accept AmigaGuide format if thats what it takes :)
8-Nov-2012 2:28:56

By default it's probably best to satisfy the largest group of potential users. Which OS version of REBOL is downloaded most? If you have a valid reason to expect that your potential user base will congregate around an OS other than the most historically popular one, perhaps pick that.

And PS, this is getting exciting - thank you for the update :)

Allen K
8-Nov-2012 2:39:11
Carl, your child is moving onto a new phase of life. Spread your wings young REBOL. Make us all proud.
8-Nov-2012 5:43:23
For example, does anyone care what line terminators are used on the source files? I normally work in Linux these days, so lines are LF terminated, but Windows developers prefer CRLF. Any preference for the "official" source?

No. Choose one, and stick to it. So if the the files are LF terminated at the moment, just keep it that way.

8-Nov-2012 7:21:58
Line terminators? I suggest a new type of them somewhere between LF and CRLF so that must be the REBOL Line Feed RLF then.

I don't care, somewhere there is a script to convert them using REBOL. And on every platform a decent editor will convert them anyway.

Brian Hawley
8-Nov-2012 7:44:34
I think that Git has a setting to make line terminators translate automatically; don't know if Github supports this. However, REBOL uses LF in memory, R3's save saves with LF, and all programmer's editors on Windows and Mac support LF, so if the source uses LF already you might as well standardize on it. This would help with script checksums, since they're binary.
8-Nov-2012 8:07:47
Git is capable of doing the right translations on the right platform with a simple setting. It seems to be configured by default on installs like TortoiseGit, but maybe not if you just install the Git core:

My strong preference would be to use LF and to tell developers to turn this on. It's basically the convention as far as I can tell--I've not known anyone who does otherwise. You do read irate posts from people who find instances of CRLF in their actual repository, though...

Once proper translation is turned on, this really only matters to people downloading it in .ZIP or .tar.gz form. Though GitHub hasn't written any server-side logic to package different variations based on the extension, a source download from could send CRLF in the .ZIP and LF in the .tar.gz

8-Nov-2012 15:55:06
another way from the

"Make sure that you do not have Windows line endings in your checkouts, otherwise you may experience spurious compilation failures. One way to achieve this is to run

git config --global core.autocrlf false "

11-Nov-2012 10:32:52
Carl..Thank you for the pain it took! ;-)
11-Nov-2012 15:50:50
Brian Tiffin's "open force" when in Ottawa tends to arrive in January and makes it difficult to open doors, start cars, walk down sidewalks ;-)

Still hopeful ... although surprised there is no dialect named "Jaded" ...

11-Nov-2012 17:14:59
Buen camino. Una licencia mas abierta. Por favor evaluá a . Creo que es una buena opción.
12-Nov-2012 2:34:02
With the long delays without any visible progress this process seems to be just as painful for the REBOL community as it is for Carl :(
place your vote
14-Nov-2012 19:14:02
8 days since last update from carl and counting so is it another "2 more weeks" or "the situation where 'no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.:Krech and Crutchfield’s described it, in 1948" AKA Pluralistic ignorance
15-Nov-2012 20:15:15
Well, the homepage has been updated, so stuff is happening...
Carl Read
16-Nov-2012 0:29:23
Oops! Seems I placed the ID in the wrong box!
place your vote
16-Nov-2012 0:57:49
LOL Mr CS-0517 we now have definative proof the "2 more weeks" ami invention MEME works every time :(at) well done carl, we wait with baited breath
Some Rebel
16-Nov-2012 16:44:45
Carl, just release the code! It doesn't need to be perfect. The line endings don't matter. The license has been figured out. At this point there are no issues left that matter to us except having everything released. Having no updates or communication for over a year damaged REBOL's reputation and I think these delays are as well. We know you have the system's best interests at heart, but from the outside it looks unprofessional and makes people second-guess selecting REBOL for a project if they think deadlines will always be missed.
Rebelious Rebollion
17-Nov-2012 5:13:57
I anxiously wait for the release too...
17-Nov-2012 5:46:39
It's a shame that an elegant and beautiful technology like REBOL could end up in such a sad and frustrating state. I really hope that after the R3 sources become available things will move a lot faster and improve again.

Of course Red is there too but it feels like it's 2-3 years away from a complete and usable release with a self hosting AOT and JIT compiler, x86_64 support and GUI.

17-Nov-2012 15:03:47
I'll side with the "it doesn't have to be perfect" crowd. It can't be.

I realize that there's a temptation to sort out longstanding issues before sharing. Otherwise a suboptimal design choice might become embedded into branches, or second-guessed by two different parties in different ways. But all it takes is a comment that says: /* WORK IN PROGRESS: TRY TO AVOID EDITING THIS FILE */ to warn people away from things that are half-baked and likely to change.

The moment the source is released then there will be wikis cropping up to write developer documentation and build instructions. A 64-bit executable could show up in a matter of weeks. Individuals with licenses to complex static analysis tools may run Rebol through the gauntlet and offer up patches to longstanding bugs within days. Those experienced with Valgrind might find other bugs.

(I myself will be eager to run the system through a C++11 compiler, compare the size/performance of the executable, and look into surgical application of strong typing to catch mistakes. Then I'd submit patches to the C sources based on those findings.)

Sooner the release, sooner the wave of help begins. In the meantime, we're just losing mojo...

I spent Friday working on helping some friends recover control of their website because their web developer friend had gone into a coma. :-/ A sad situation, made even sadder because it's all PHP. Before time and circumstances has its way with us as well, we need to get the message out that programming does not have to be like that!!!

So please, please git push this and we'll get right on fixing what we can.

17-Nov-2012 21:28:50
its getting turned Inside-Out here its like asking what happened to Mick or why there is no real Siamese Shapeshifting FUSION today

and why is it open hardware Minimig ing continues to this day

did they all get KOSHed and loose their "MoJo" like fork's said or could they Do Now What Needs To Be Done Now and rise like a Phenixi with a few good Arm s and legs on the virtual design block machine perhaps someone can Transputer something or tensform something for xmos holiday markets if only there where a simple multi threaded Software "fighting back with the most powerful tool available: language itself." instead of open source software becoming the problem [holding people back], not the solution, where is the Git maybe someone else can trans[port] superfrog there too as a quick demo.

brought to you by a better class of key word "spam"., clean me,clean me as the actress to the bishop

18-Nov-2012 11:22:40

I feel your pain regarding the webmaster going into a coma. I was hired a couple of years ago when a webmaster died and nobody knew how to administer it. It took me forever to pick apart his coding "style"(if you could call it that) in order to work with his clients. Good luck on's an all up-hill battle unfortunately. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming..:)

19-Nov-2012 1:48:57
Siamese Shapeshifting Fusion sounds like a drink you'd have when you're practicing the Rebol Perfect diet.

(Speaking of spam, can everyone please block and report those Twitter accounts that keep advertising that? It shows up when you search on "REBOL"...and it's the only non-japanese characters in the tweet or linked post. What is the point of that anyway?)

While we still wait :( I'll offer a question to look at...and a reminder that StackOverflow and the StackOverflow Rebol chat is a good place to continue to build visibility:

19-Nov-2012 2:05:09
Fraser: +1 Fork: +1

About free/libre open-source: an interesting point of view (there is not much need to evangelize about open source here, but it doesn't hurt):

I think I saw an English translation somewhere.

I had a big hope on Rebol recently, at the time when I discovered the existence of Red, and shortly after, the announcement of Rebol to become Open-Source.

I am re-discovering the great pleasure to write efficient, simple code in Rebol (just wrote a good report generator 2 days ago). Although I sometimes have to put my head inside-out after having python programming for a while...

Now I'm sure that Rebol WILL survive, that the REBOLution WILL occur. Whether it will be a true rebolution or a redolution doesn't matter much, from users' points of view.

But in the meantime, people are kept waiting, no clear decision is made, and there is absolutely no way to decently communicate to the outside-rebol world. What a pity.

Time is of the essence, as one of my bosses used to say.

Brian Hawley
19-Nov-2012 7:55:45
Pierre, a clear decision was made, Apache 2 (read the post above, the one we're commenting on). He's just preparing the release now. I doubt there's as much swearing in the comments as there was in the Netscape code, so it's probably a matter of freeing the time, and getting the code out of the internal build process. You know, actual work to be done.

About that, +1 Fork.

Carl Sassenrath
19-Nov-2012 20:15:52
It took years to get to this point, and some of you worry about a few weeks. Sorry about that, but it will be better than no open source. I'm still working at how to set aside some time each week for tending to this.
19-Nov-2012 22:42:26
tantalizing ... *nix line endings, most definitely.
Carl Sassenrath
19-Nov-2012 23:08:10
Ah, ok. Was off at Hackers (#28) last weekend... so didn't get much else done. Inspiring group though - in many ways. Next year I'd like to demo R3 there... if we can get gfx running well enough.

Tonight getting reacquainted with git and github. This Ubuntu is a bit too old to have latest git via apt-get, so just rebuilt it. Install fails for some odd reason. Will fiddle around and try to get back into it. (Been on Perforce last two years. A different model... totally.)

19-Nov-2012 23:28:47
It is part of human nature to be impatient. Like kids eagerly awaiting their Christmas presents, the closer it gets, the harder the waiting.

So you stumbled upon a problem I already faced with Github too. Your version of your operating system was too old to be supported by GutHub.

So now you need a more bloated version of the OS that only slows your computer further down without much benefits for your day-to-day activities to host your to-be-open-sourced software that tries to defeat bloating software?

I like the humour in that.

19-Nov-2012 23:50:18
Carl, is it young enough for vm? Also, google asks, would this work?
And if you really go for christmas, thats cruel! :)
20-Nov-2012 1:19:41
Just to make my point a bit more clear:

Brian: I was not refering to the licence choice, but rather to the whole process.

Sorry if my words sounded like an impatient kid: this is not the case (although I love to play with Rebol). I'm just very worried by the fact that we do not get any news lately, and there is a risk that the Rebol History may get stalled, once again. The risk is that the community will get bored.

I liked a lot the first slides of a Red presentation from DocKimbel, showing the rebol community, a few years ago (revolution), and now (radeau de la méduse). Sorry for the French; I'm sure we all remember these slides.

I would not like the raft to sink...

Now, I fully understand how painful such an ("accouchement" => delivery? hm, this English word sounds more like a pizza: no; it is *much* more painful => a refinement: delivery/give-birth/big-baby) must be.

Carl, courage. Thanks a zillion times for all your work. Take the necessary time. Make it for whoever's birthday, it does not matter much. Just keep us informed, from time to time, so that we can still, on our side, make a bit of proselytism.

20-Nov-2012 1:29:28
Regarding ubuntu issues:

unfortunately, the model of Ubuntu, with versions, LTS or not, require complex upgrade processes, when you wish to get a newer version. I fixed a few Ubuntu boxes, stalled with no X after a distribution upgrade.

Back to basics: Debian is, by far, much simpler. If you just put "stable" for your release in your apt-get setup, the upgrade happens automagically. It just takes much longer, one day, to update everything.

A few years ago, I "debianized" successfully a Knoppix, which became a Debian/Sid machine. It worked perfectly, and this was my everyday machine.

Now, I'm not sure whether this is doable with an Ubuntu (I stopped Ubuntu since a few years). Worth trying.

My 2 cents...

20-Nov-2012 6:18:12
(at) Carl: I agree it's not the end of the world for things to take longer than expected. Besides the Rebol community's non-instant-gratification mentality, there's also Hofstadter's law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."

But there's a sort-of Jerry Maguire-ish "Help you!" aspect. I'd bet money that if you named the Ubuntu version and processor type, someone would fire up a VM...install that version of Ubuntu, and package up a download link for a working git. It would be in your inbox by the time you woke up the next morning. :-)

P.S. Can someone provide the rationale for why the behavior for EMPTY? on BITSET! changed in R3?

20-Nov-2012 6:36:34
Please Mr.Sassenrath don't work alone, DELEGATE!

Please start to post some incomplete work and leave other to complete it (or you when you have time).

Look at, it's one of the newer wiki about Rebol, but it's one of the most complete, since anyone can log in and contribute.

20-Nov-2012 10:21:17
Sorry Carl I don't freak out for some weeks but because you still don't know what comes next. And again you disapeared without notice...

Can you seriously foresee a rebol dev team working with that modality ?

We are month and half past the due date you announced Carl for rebol opensource release.

Now here is my set of asks: - Will rebol 2 be open sourced too? No offense but trashing rebol2 because it's complexity made your life a living hell isn't quite an argument enough to convince me. What you can't achieve alone in a week maybe 10 people on 3 month will achieve it. Since you consider rebol2 as dead I would say what ever if some freaks (or amiga fanatics :) ) still want to play with it? Your answer on this matter will really be interesting Carl.

After my ask is how do the things will be organised? The selected few overlooker is a process that is void. I would prefere you to teach your ways to the world instead if you allow me to give my sincere opinion. How can that be achieve? you dedicate 2 hours a week to rebol & Co (community) in those two hours you chat with people no mail no forum chat because chating is imediate way to interact with tons of people. And the bigger this scene is the best it is.

As for the tools ... well I like rebol and rebol has everything to build those tools· then it depends if you give the update of those tools to one guy or to a set of people that will auto organise release on a regular pace updates etc... was in the hand of one guy mainly and didn't advanced much. to upload a script it is still the same process than 8 years ago when you created it. To present scripts and make them apealing it is still the same concept as at the begining... Is that enough?

Altme didn't progressed for the same reasons ... it is in the hands of one individual that lost the volunty to enhance it.

and the list goes on and on and on... and this is really what this community is all about...

20-Nov-2012 10:35:45
MaxV... saying that Carl don't delegate isn't the truth... Carl delegated alot and we failed to organise a vivid community.

We can seek responsabilities but this is not a way to organise...

As we can't set to work together what we can at least is set a list of task to do and let freely people apport code propositions and discuss the modalities to implement that task the better and during that process Carl can give his wise opinion about thing and teach to the majority how to do things the right way.

Those exchange can lead then to deep documentation that leads to easy docs... I prefere complexe complete documentation that are adapted to dummies than the contrary...

All that is not only up to Carl it is up to each and every readers of those lines. And as a matter of fact good wills will come and leave this is sure.

Rebol will be what we do of it ... under Carl's wise lead.

Steven White
20-Nov-2012 12:31:23
That is a good point about REBOL 2. I can understand that Carl would not want to put any effort into it, but it would be nice if it still could exist until REBOL 3 has the same features (specifically VID). I have it downloaded and saved in several places, but there are some funny behaviors on Windows 7 and it doesn't work well at all on the Mac, so I do worry that at some point in the future it will be really dead. Since I do use it regularly if not heavily, a comment from the source would be comforting.
20-Nov-2012 19:02:35
Take a chill pill.

There are things to do and there is life to live. Let the man do things his way as if it's the last meal. Come back in three months and if still not done then start asking questions.

Steve Haney
21-Nov-2012 11:03:59
I am not a programmer (at least not a good one), and I have used REBOL for years. At my last company (I am now unemployed due to layoffs) I used REBOL to create programs for controlling protocol testers and interfaces to test communications equipment. They wanted me to use Perl. I knew better.

I will forever sing the praises of REBOL's elegance and simplicity to all who will listen and will be forever grateful to Carl and all supporters of this great language.

Wherever I work next I hope to be able to use it. It served me well in the past. I hope it does in the future.

22-Nov-2012 3:55:46
oh the has now got a 404 , so more things being re-organised today.

perhaps a rebol3 is being set up to better reflect the base dir, goes to look. nope, no or to replace it yet!

22-Nov-2012 16:06:32
Seems just got renamed to
26-Nov-2012 7:16:08
Ah, stupid YouTube copyright stuff took down my video. Here's a worse version of the "Service with a Smile" sketch, featuring Carl by proxy :)

26-Nov-2012 12:12:50
Rightly put Fork. And we will clean up the not so decent words in the comments and variable names too.

Carl is a perfectionist (personal guess) and has little time at hand to do this exactly right to please his mind/thoughts.

We, on the other hand, speaking majestic plural, would be pleased to fix even a broken, by some last adaptations made 'to get it right', version of R3.

The plans to make first fixes are already in the make.

REBOL Open Sourced will take off like a rocket, Carl, and it will move in the desired direction.

Giuseppe Chillemi
26-Nov-2012 15:00:33
Please, look at all the good things Carl and REBOL Tech. have given to the world.

Carl is an Human Being and he can make mistakes. He put more than 10 years in this project and he is giving it for FREE.

Could you say you did the same thing ?

Giuseppe Chillemi

Carl Sassenrath
26-Nov-2012 23:34:26
Thanks GC.

Update: made good progress over the holiday, powered by turkey sandwiches from France.

Prep of C source nearly done. See, not just a dump and run. Sure, a few problems came up, but I'm not going to hold up the release for them. You can decide.

Grabbed latest git source and built it for this dev box (which did not support 1.8 version as bin.)

Once released, I've got a number of notes to write up. Like how to quickly port R3. Takes about 5 mins if you know what you're doing. Got it up on ARM & MIPS Linux.

Also, I have some goals in mind. Android and iphone, that kind of thing. Getting graphics and sound back up. GUI and tinyGUI. A micro-R3 for smallish embedded systems.

There's a lot you can help with. Delegation, right?

27-Nov-2012 6:41:08
"Like how to quickly port R3. Takes about 5 mins if you know what you're doing. Got it up on ARM & MIPS Linux."

cool , perhaps you might find it beneficial to get it and the GUI or "tinyGUI" up and running on the Xcore, you know them as Transputer carl...

see etc.

27-Nov-2012 7:40:59

"Sure, a few problems came up, but I'm not going to hold up the release for them." ... "Once released, I've got a number of notes to write up." (emphasis mine)

Not holding up the release AND writing up notes *after* the release?? Now THAT's what I like to hear! :-) Thanks for the update, a little goes a long way...a daily tweet even if it's "not working on Rebol today, but it's sunny out; gonna go shoot some mountain lions" gives a pulse!

I'm a pathological code ferret, and it doesn't take me long to figure out what things do, even if I want to disprove them:

Thus I hope we can mostly agree on where we put and revise all these notes. BrianH and I had a brief period of hammering on DocBase articles via Wikipedia-style debate and revision...and while I don't think MediaWiki is all that, it works if people commit to it. But that was quite a while ago - I don't even think I have my password to that anymore.

Some people do their documentation in GitHub. Compared to a wiki it's a little laborious to go through all the pushes and pulls when you're not giving direct collaborator access to the repository. Some pieces of documentation will fit this model of belonging "with the source", and should probably use the .md format.

For "bigger things" I have a lingering (and perhaps vestigal) aspiration that there might be a reconciliation of Rebol and "Something-Von-Wolfshield"'s uber-task system (now renamed for legal reasons). Google Docs is more pervasive and evolving faster, but there's not much clout with Google to get changes or support. Some mediation might pull that back online. I'm making something interesting on that goal right now...

27-Nov-2012 11:27:04
"It took years to get to this point, and some of you worry about a few weeks"

I think the fact that it did take years to get to this point IS the point, and indeed the very reason to worry.

Anyone waiting for Rebol instead of contributing to Red is a fanboy.

Brian Hawley
27-Nov-2012 12:35:15
Yuri: Anyone waiting for Rebol instead of contributing to Red is a fanboy.

Agreed. There's no reason to not contribute to Red because you're waiting for R3. There's also no reason to not use or contribute to R3 because the Red project exists. It's dumb to pick sides when you don't have to. The projects aren't competing with each other. Feel free to work on both.

27-Nov-2012 14:45:41
(at Yuri) Some fanboys, perhaps. But also some C/C++ programmers who want to more easily integrate the interpreter with existing libraries, as well as take advantage of decades of progress in optimizers.

(I'd bet it will take years before Red's current codegen could compete with LLVM for performance-intensive applications. I can also give you an earful about R-value references and constexpr.)

Advocating and shepherding the open source Rebol initiative is not a waste of time. With people coming together and hammering out the Apache 2.0 license was decided--that was hardly an obvious choice at the outset of the process. Note that Red/System is bootstrapped on Rebol...and ideally there would be no time pressure to remove the dependency. With the release, excising that can be tabled until if-and-when it is convenient.

Though we haven't seen the R3 source yet, an open Rebol should hopefully be quickly adaptable to integrate Boron's variations and relieve it of independently maintaining a core interpreter. AFAIK, Orca will be deprecated entirely...because its mission ("Opensource Rebol CanBe Achieved") will have been accomplished. I don't know enough about Topaz and World, but they'll probably benefit in some way too.

Yes, Red is the first to really stand out as having a clearly unique philosophy yet be widely applicable. I dig it...and I've laid out a visual design for its logo and model based on towers of Hanoi, here's a rough sketch:

So it's possible to contribute to both. You don't have to see it as either/or, these systems can coexist and meet different needs. Red is introducing a system programming dialect that parallels C rather closely, it's going to open some doors for sure. (I'm surprised no one did it sooner...I've griped about the dearth of dialects.)

Once the release happens we'll be in the situation we've been wanting. If there's anything to be worried about, it's getting to the point where if Rebol isn't doing what you want, then the buck stops directly with the person you're looking at in the mirror!

28-Nov-2012 2:25:49
Carl, yes you can delegate, just write somewhere what do you need.
28-Nov-2012 3:35:24
"I have some goals in mind. Android and iphone, that kind of thing. Getting graphics and sound back up. GUI and tinyGUI. A micro-R3 for smallish embedded systems."

Game changers.

Daniel V
28-Nov-2012 16:04
A 'how to' quickly port R3 sounds genius.

And if R3 could be used for embedded systems than it would be extremely powerful.

I know people like myself that abandoned Rebol because it felt like it was missing loads of important low level integration, and there was nothing to do about it. And things that made Rebol usable wasn't free, but did cost money.

You couldn't take Rebol seriously before. You looked like an total as-hole if you used it. It was closed and you didn't have any guarantee that you could always continue to use this language. You didn't know if it was worth the effort to invest in it.

But now you could finally integrate it with loads of great stuff. I think this could beginning of something fantastic.

Opening up Rebol is probably one of the most important things ever in the history of computer languages.

If I only could make some phone applications with this also, with a non custom GUI. Computer languages that create their own style of GUI make the programmer look like a lame moron. If we just could get rid of Rebol custom GUI's that it creates, then there are no limits to how great this language would be.

Carl this sounds fantastic. I'm ready to start to use this language again.

28-Nov-2012 18:05:50
I hope porting R3 to Linux x86_64 will be just as easy and fast.
28-Nov-2012 20:15:25

"You couldn't take Rebol seriously before. You looked like an total as-hole if you used it." (...)

I think this could beginning of something fantastic. Opening up Rebol is probably one of the most important things ever in the history of computer languages.

The time has come, you guys.

We are finally going to fulfill our prophecy of meta-circular programming.

They laughed at us when we said that dialects were important.

...and they mocked us when we put our strings in curly braces.

But who's laughing NOW, huh?

That's right. We are. :-)

29-Nov-2012 1:13:51
"Takes about 5 mins if you know what you're doing."
You don't know what you are doing or you didn't have five minutes to spend on Rebol last year?
29-Nov-2012 1:43:48
At the moment priority is organization:
  • what is the status of source opening process?
  • Does Carl need help? About?
  • Who will admin the Git-hub source?
  • Who will publish news on
  • ...
All these informations must be public to create an big audience and a good development. It takes 1 minute to write these informations.

This way a lot of people can participate and remove some burden from Carl back: for example testers and builders don't require specific knowledge.

29-Nov-2012 15:57:40
"But who's laughing NOW, huh?"

"Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States"

2 for 2 fail, laughing inside ,these american colonies need to get their act together and start playing in the massive real [old] world sometime

29-Nov-2012 16:34:28
(I'd bet it will take years before Red's current codegen could compete with LLVM for performance-intensive applications. I can also give you an earful about R-value references and constexpr.)

then why not just integrate both red and rebol into LLVM JIT,ASAP if it makes both more portable and powerful creating an optimized assembly got your target device, but now we are geting OT for this blog entry.... A Basic Look At How The LLVM Compiler Works Posted by Michael Larabel on November 29, 2012

30-Nov-2012 3:26:02
(at) BugMeNot Red is not dependent of C nor C++. We can wait and patiently work on it. Progress is phenominal atm.

Had to visit wikipedia for the meaning of LLMV cause it was not obvious from the homepage

(all) 'It takes 5 minutes to port' only a lifetime to get to it.


30-Nov-2012 4:16:19
LLVM=formerly Low Level Virtual Machine.

we all know how the amiga emulator apps popularized JIT (Just In Time) optimization long before the main markets took it up or LLMV etc even existed , so it just seems responsible to consider that legacy and push JIT in whatever form sooner rather than later OC if its easy at to include at this point anyway. This chapter describes two new techniques: adding optimizer support to your language, and adding JIT compiler support.

30-Nov-2012 4:59:01 "Newer versions of the emulation software include a "just-in-time" (JIT) compiler, developed by Bernd Meyer, which, when enabled, can make the emulation of the CPU on average at least 10 times faster than without JIT. Benchmarks conducted with Personal Paint (color reduction and image processing tasks) resulted in speeds more than 30 times faster than without JIT."

as you might surmise if [Dr}Nernd's OSS UAE (Unix Amiga Emulator )code could provide that kind of improvement back then for CPU emulation, then making all our high level scripting app's should gain even better speed today on ARM etc, even if we use the LLVM as today's popular framework for the base, but whatever.

one things for sure, given where we are "the rebol blog" saying "We can wait and patiently work on it" doesn't seem like the best advice in retrospect ;)

30-Nov-2012 5:34
BugMeNot - some discussion towards Red and eventual LLVM support already happened, here's the link:!topic/red-lang/7soKR4faVsI
30-Nov-2012 6:07:58
(at)Fork: (I'd bet it will take years before Red's current codegen could compete with LLVM for performance-intensive applications. I can also give you an earful about R-value references and constexpr.)

It doesn't take years to build similar optimizations, the self-hosted Red compiler (2013) will be producing fast-enough code to be close to C compiled with -02. Actually, just fastcall cconv and good registers allocation only could get you pretty near that. Also, what matters the most now is not much the top speed you can achieve on one CPU core, but how well you can leverage multi-core architectures.

(at)BugMeNot: Red is a full-stack solution with no dependency other than the OS. Statically generating LLVM IR instead of native code could be done, but LLVM-based JIT can't be simply "integrated" with Red without breaking most of it. The whole Red tool-chain would need to be ported to LLVM. It would probably end up in a total rewrite of Red and Red/System in LLVM, loosing a lot in the process (like the unique approach of using Red/System generated block-level code as Red output). Also, remember that LLVM is a multi-megabyte library, LLVM runtime is huge compared to Red or REBOL. Using LLVM-JIT is good for languages built with it in mind since the beginning (and that don't care much about final user apps size).

Sorry for being off-topic.

30-Nov-2012 6:47:53
thanks Pekr ,Nenad makes good point there on file size, so whats the other potential options available right now, off the top, take Bernd Meyer's small (JIT) compiler code base, re-factor it to Red/Rebol needs, and adopt the x264 code style, (yes i know people keep coming back to that code base, but for a good reason).

that style being , write fully functional low level C code for all CPU/SIMD routines in a given API spec (Red,Rebol in this case),take their ingrained speed testing and regression_test C/Assembly app tools/checkasm.c and adapt that to our needs.

then write/copy over time, matching hand optimized assembly code of that C code for each platform CPU/SOC and SIMD, SSE2/AVX/AVX2/altivec/Neon etc.

testing your new patches every time with that checkasm to generate a report and so drive speed and quality and code size that beats all the other implementations just as x264 seems to do all the time with a tiny cross platform code base ... amiga style. \git pull it and have a look

git clone git://

Tony Casanova
30-Nov-2012 20:21:11
Thank you Carl!
4-Dec-2012 12:43:57
Let Carl take his time. He owes you nothing. At the very least, be respectful in how you express yourself. We are all looking forward to Rebol being open source, but bullying will not make it happen sooner. It's not like Carl is going to be more motivated to work hard when he reads the ungrateful comments here.
4-Dec-2012 14:21:27
Take the time you need, Carl. No problem.
The Long Road
4-Dec-2012 14:51:30
Maybe now rebol will escape the curse of being an eternal wall flower. Ever since the Dr. Dobbs article It's been a long slow courtship.

Rebol Might Be the Language for the Rest of Us

By Derrick Story, January 01, 2002

5-Dec-2012 3:08:48
I think that nobody is ungrateful to Carl, on the contrary everybody admire him.

In my humble opinion Carl approach to open source is too heavy for him. He wants to release a complete and perfect product, but most open source project are incomplete, buggy... it's normal for open source.

Open source way of development is public oriented, audience will fill all missing gaps and bugs. Nobody asks him to do all the job. He'll be always the leader, he'll decide what contribute include and what not. This way he will have more time to develop incredible features that only his genius can imagine or do other projects.

5-Dec-2012 5:15:50
Today would be a perfect day to start throwing some sources out in the open! It is the fifth of December after all. (Saint Nicholas' eve)
Not JM
5-Dec-2012 8:12:34
hey Arnold if that happened we could all sing the

song then :)

Anthony Meagher
6-Dec-2012 12:25:37

It is disheartening, after almost twenty years using open source software, to see the same expectation-based moaning about releases on this forum as on the multitude of other forums related to Open Source that I have read over the years.

I am guessing the project is no longer commercially viable? Be happy, and thankful, that the code will be released at all. I am sure that Carl invested heavily in the project, both emotionally and financially over the years. It must be heart-wrenching to have to do this, even though it is probably the only way of ensuring Rebol will survive going forward.

I first came across Rebol around 2004, and although it was not the development option i chose to follow at the time, I could see the potential of the language and where it might go.

I am sure the project will thrive in the Open Source community. However, it would be wise to create some publicity for it to gain wider recognition, acceptance and usage. Aside from development, testing, debugging, documentation etc... this is where the community could play an incisive role in the future of Rebol.

I applaud Carl for his decision and for his hard graft and innovation on the language over the years. Please try to be patient and respect Carl's time and the effect the emotional aspect of this decision is surely having on him. Also remember that he cannot simply dump the code into a repository given the current licensing and patent quagmire we find ourselves in. A project of this duration and complexity surely has many loose ends to tie up.

Finally, Open Source is usually developed and supported by people on their own time and at their own expense. Therefore deadlines will sometimes slip, or possibly never be fully realised. So, either accept these facts, contribute to make life easier, or don't use Open Source at all. It's really that simple.

Good Luck!

7-Dec-2012 7:08:34
Well, no, it's not as simple as that.
droid rebellion
7-Dec-2012 11:33:27
Anyone remember the SCO and Unix court fight over software ownership rights?

There maybe a major problem on the road to a clean, legal release of Rebol.

Carl no doubt signed a contract with his current employer about the ownership of code he produces while under that contract.

The tricky legalese clauses in any good software developer contract will lay claim to ANY and ALL code produced by the developer while said contract is valid, even code produced outside of work at home.

I have signed one with my employer, even though I do not develop software for them, any programs I make at home belongs to them! I AM NOT KIDDING! I have to ask their permission first if I would want to sell an app, so it doesn't conflict or use their proprietary technology.

Since Carl's REBOL source code has never been made public before, his current employer could claim that REBOL code belongs to them if it is now released while Carl works for them! How does Carl "prove" he didn't write it while under their contrct? And, if Carl used ANY Rebol code in their products, even by accident, it is NOT free to be used as open source code anymore!

Carl no doubt has many efficient software design patterns commited to memory that he develop while creating Rebol. It is that world renown software expertise that his current employer is paying Carl for, am I wrong?

So... How does Carl now "prove" that he didn't develop some parts of Rebol while working for his employer, even if just one line of code(the one that cures cancer and feeds the world ;) He has stated that he has on this blog. Like getting Rebol to compile on new platforms in 5 minutes, etc. That's software development 101 folks!

Even if his current employer agrees Rebol belongs to Carl now, a future evil buyer of that company (only interested in selling assets and extorting money for "their" patented software), could come back and say Rebol actually belongs to them!

Does anyone here NOT think that Rebol is extremely valuable? Even if the greater world doesn't know it yet?

Rebol on Android or iPad could take over the world!

droid rebellion
7-Dec-2012 11:41:44
Proof that this legal ownership stuff gets very stange..

From a Google Search:

George Lucas Owns The Term DROID, Motorola Pays a Fee to ... - Cached - Similar Nov 6, 2009 ... George Lucas Owns The Term DROID, Motorola Pays a Fee to License It. George Lucas Owns the Droid: the Name, Not the Phone ...

Lucas: droid rebellion, I am your father...

Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
7-Dec-2012 13:17:37
(at)droid, I can tell you that we are not waiting after legalese.

Though there have no doubt have had some legal issues to wrangle, Carl wouldn't have started this process if it where tied into such issues.

Carl is simply putting the required time to convert a private project into a publicly viable one. It takes time and Carl doesn't have much of it.

droid rebbellion
8-Dec-2012 0:06:29
No, it is good Carl takes his time to rethink this release. I am sure Carl had the best intentions to release Rebol 3 source codes in the beginning. But Rebol 2 is not being released, why?

Well, people paid for Rebol 2 development by Carl, hence it can not be true open source code. Carl reused some code, myabe a lot, from Rebol 2 for Rebol 3. Am I wrong?

Explain how is the Rebol 3 source code is not contaminated by Rebol 2 restrictions?

I can not take OS X Mountain Lion, make some few changes, add pictures of cute kittens, and rename it Cautious Kitty and not expect people to notice it is the same as Mountain Lion? How is this different? I know Carl wrote both Rebols, but I mean the legal restrictions? Rebol 2 is restricted by the contract Carl made with his paying users (written or implied) who bought Rebol 2 support.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, (even by programmers!)

This is not a stupid thing to ask because my company's IT department has strict rules on software we can and can not use at work. It would be a shame if Rebol 3 is on the banned software list!

Brian Hawley
8-Dec-2012 1:05:25
Explain how is the Rebol 3 source code is not contaminated by Rebol 2 restrictions?

Rebol 3 was a ground-up project, based on a different system model. Carl only ported over code from Rebol 2 that he had the right to do so. Even then he only ported over the stuff which worked with the new system model, which wasn't as much as you'd think. The rest was filled in with open source code and community contributions, or written from scratch by Carl.

Rebol 3 is a new project. Even the mezzanine code is different, and was also more often than not contributed as open source from the community. This is why it doesn't make any sense to say that R3 removed features from R2; they weren't removed, they were never there in the first place.

Carl no doubt signed a contract with his current employer about the ownership of code he produces while under that contract.

No doubt, but it's unlikely that he would sign away the rights to Rebol. Any experienced developer would read the contracts ahead of time and not sign anything that they wouldn't be OK with (or maybe that's just me).

Nonetheless, it doesn't matter, because Carl took a break from the R3 project to work at his current employer. He wasn't working there when he was active on the project, IIRC. He didn't have time to do both, something we expect to continue to be the case for the most part.

11-Dec-2012 0:43:52
Zzzzzzzzz.....neurons of the Brain are still resisting....
11-Dec-2012 3:43:09
Carl should just release what he has an let us take care about the cleaning up. We will get it compiled, maybe not the way it was thought to but at least things start moving forward.
Brian Hawley
12-Dec-2012 8:40:26
Released! No need to wait anymore, get to work!
12-Dec-2012 22:54:36
Thank you Carl.
17-Dec-2012 15:57:15
Yes, Thank you Carl, for all of your hard work. I hope this will get more exposure and excitement to go the Rebol way!
Lijo Joseph
25-Feb-2013 8:49:30
I love REBOL!! Thank you Carl!! You are awesome!!!
22-Mar-2013 12:20:53
Does anyone in this discussion remember Hypercard?! I'm not the geek looking inside-out, but the average user looking outside-in! I'd love something like Hypercard reincarnate, with the heart based on REBOL! Hope you get what I mean.... or am I a geek knowing my languages?! ;)

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