Comments on: We need a new REBOL Forum
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: We need a new REBOL Forum

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
5-Nov-2012 15:43 GMT

Article #0518
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Where can we find a good home for REBOL discussions? AltME served this purpose for many years, but it's time to move to a web site. I know we're difficult to please, but I'm sure there's something that will meet our requirements.

Post suggestions here. Thanks.



5-Nov-2012 9:23:52

- threaded discussions - automoderated - dev friendly - visibility

Steven White
5-Nov-2012 9:30:20
This is not related to discussions of R3 and its development and direction, but does seem to be a part of the bigger picture of REBOL and its longevity. I personally really miss that email list of old, where the REBOL experts seemed to monitor it and where a person could ask a question and get an prompt answer. There are similar resources now, but not official REBOL ones, accessed from the REBOL web site.

As for the topic at hand, discussion of the development of R3, I myself am not qualified to be a contributor, but as a user I would be very interested in how things are going, how the next version for Windows 8 might be coming along, what big known bugs there are and if they are going to be fixed, and things of that nature. So you might not want me contributing, but I might want to be observing. Maybe that helps dictate the home and the format of the discussion.

Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 9:34:16
Having a Reddit presence would be good for visibility, but it's not that great for collaborative development, the way AltME has been. Still it might help for more general discussions. How is it with posted code with line endings and indentation? Many of our discussions take that form.
Brian Hawley
5-Nov-2012 9:38:59
Yes, as Steven suggests, somewhere lurker-friendly. I'm on Windows 8 as well (and 7 and XP, some VMs, OSX, Android, etc.), and still up for contributing and testing.
5-Nov-2012 10:20:05
I hope the R3 open source project will make good use of the collaboration features provided by GitHub like the bug tracker, wiki and the Gist service to paste and share code snippets.

It works very well for many projects including Red.

5-Nov-2012 10:29:48
There may also be the option of restarting R3 chat, although it's currently not as accessible as a webforum.
5-Nov-2012 10:31:06
Google? Sites for presence, drive for realtime codesharing, chat, hangouts, mailinglists, maybe g+. Also they have app-scripts extended to do web-apps, drive sites and spreadsheets. In javascript, but there is topaz.
5-Nov-2012 11:02:16
Most used forum scripts are probably phpBB and vBulletin.
5-Nov-2012 11:26:03
phpBB, vBulletin?
5-Nov-2012 11:51:39
We might want to think about a short-term solution that is non REBOL-based with something built on the R3 chat backend as the longer term approach. Having a great forum/chat system created in this language might be an ideal showcase app. It seems to me that typically used forums have not evolved too much - especially when it concerns collaboration and support for development workflow.

Forums are one of the first things an emerging community builds and if we had something visibly better than the rest, I'm sure we'd see high adoption rates and visibility for the REBOL languages.

5-Nov-2012 12:29:25
The HAIKU project ( ) is using for years. Red is using
5-Nov-2012 12:53:06
Thank God we can get rid of the awful AltME, but I thought there were better things to spend time on than re-invent the wheel and write forums in Rebol :/
5-Nov-2012 13:01:43
GrassRoot - and I doubt you ever used AltME and frankly, I don't really care. It is like comparing IRC channel to web forum. Totally different channels for totally different purposes. I would welcome, if you guys really grow up, and stop comparing appless to oranges. It is not AltME's fault that no web forum for REBOL took off ...
5-Nov-2012 14:12:31
As Omei mentioned - Google. In particular, Google Groups ( ) for discussions. For example, the Go lang community ( ) and ( )
5-Nov-2012 14:26:39
AltME served many purposes. Some were social--sharing of funny links/etc. But it's a different world now, and anyone who relied on that for news or cat pictures can do that without Rebol being involved. (Google+, Facebook, Twitter...pick your poison.)

As far as chat goes, I'm going to beg and plead to give StackOverflow's chat functionality a chance. They've oriented chat specifically to the interests of programmers, which is good. I'll share and/or relinquish control of the Rebol room to Carl and this isn't a trick or anything:

It's all public, so that's good and bad...but fitting with the open-source mentality. It logs one's late-night drunken rants but moderators can delete things if necessary. Each message has its own link, and visibility on StackOverflow is a good thing at this point in time.

Come try it out with me. At the very least you can gripe and say things about how mad I make you. :)

As for bug databases/etc, well why don't we discuss it in the chat room?

5-Nov-2012 15:04:46
I was thinking more about peer-programming.
5-Nov-2012 16:17:41
The best forum about Rebol already exists and is:

It's ready to use with antispam, threads and all needed to works well.

Issues, bugs database and wiki are inside Github, so don't waste time and energy on other sites.

5-Nov-2012 16:27:33
the open you are the most efficient the colaborative work will be.

Sorting informations is important. Althought linux kernel was initially done using a mailing list majordomo thing...

Altme is like that but you can't freely register to it.

Maybe it would be just enough to have altme added more sorting and an automated registering procedure through a website form.

What altme lacks really is lisibility. All topic around a same subject let says r3 GUI are stored into a single folder there is no rafinement all discussions mix and colide and are wasted with source codes...

It is impossible to follow a thread seriously. and if you want to know what an organised set of discussion looks like I invite you to see phpbb forums where you have main topics holding subtopic level1 holding subtopic level2 etc

so we can have r3-gui topic holding several folders and organised that way


+ widgets

++ bugs

++ source code proposal

++ free talks

+ engine

++ design

++ bugs

++ free talks etc isn't that a way better way to organise and filter information without having people wasting the fun with irrelevant blabering?

moderation is important too... with a phpbb you can organise every messages and orient then to the proper container which is what moderation is all about. Moderation isn't about raming the face of the people you don't want to hear about into the ground by banning them... It is orienting the discussion and storing messages in the proper location which altme can't do...

5-Nov-2012 16:30:24
responsible evolving admin /moderation team is a must have Carl. You can not say that the altme admin /moderation team was the most active in the past years...

I understand that people interrest can change focus can be lost that is why teams are made to evolve.

5-Nov-2012 16:42:41
after more than 10 years around in the rebol community. I can only say what where our doom falls:

- multiplication of communication tools. Creating that each and everyone of us preferes to say important things on side supports and use altme as smart "advertising" tool...

- Problem in administration message filtring ( endless jesus talks on a rebol technology dedicated altme world ??? banning people (me for instance) that tries to put things into perspective talks about rebol and try to see where all that is going ???? is that what we can call a wise and adapted moderation?) Admin that are absent and says to you someone told me you behave badly so you will be banned... and don't ask him about the details he have no idea what it was all about...

- Disapearation of peoples in responsability. If you accept responsabilities then you have to move your ... feet to create a momentum and make people interrested this is not a one time thing! (not only Carl is in that basket... if you want a list with names and dates I will gladly provide :P )

- Ability to store several information layers around a convergent topic. (explained above this is ABC of project management)

- Easyness of accessibility. People have to reach the info easyly and participate easyly. Admins are there to filter. Ofcourse if they are not willing to do that duty why they are in charge in the first place. Yes I like to have several way to reach a medium but I want that medium to be centralised and not exploded into blahblah world, serrious blahblah tech chat, blahblah mailing list, blah blah forums etc...

5-Nov-2012 16:46:50
... blahblah blog, It's great that github don't allow people to talk cause we would have a blah blah github too !!!
5-Nov-2012 20:34:38
keep in mind anywhere or anything that required you to register just to post a comment is a bad place for the likes of old school posters.

most register to post message boards are tiresome today and stops potentially good contributions and idea's from many casual people.

sure deal with spam, but not at the cost of freedom to post anomalously if wanted...

these blogs .r script with cacha blog id are fine ASAIC

5-Nov-2012 20:57:02
id forgotten all about Graham's Synapse scipts, i seem to remember i didn't used to need to sign in there Once Upon a Time just to post , so ill not be using that i guess,shame.

but apart from that, REBOL is supposed to be different or did that idea chance while i was gone (perhaps).

but why settle for generic x86 web message board styles when we should be using in browser white boards and real time collaboration sessions and screen picture in picture streaming video to advance the web in 2012/13 not settle for the Status Quo.... but maybe thats just me

5-Nov-2012 21:17:03
I've been playing with for about a week now and I think that its voting feature could prove invaluable. Voting means that the community would organise the code base themselves which would reduce administrative burden significally and enable new users to find interesting code quickly and easily.

The most popular code could be found by clicking on the "top" links section. Reddit also has a great forum system. I've uploaded some example posts.

web irc - takes 10 seconds to setup The new "go" programming language from google uses it and so does the red programming language.

These tools are light weight, fast, low barrier to entry, and easy to use.

Carl Read
5-Nov-2012 23:10:13
For those wanting an email list again, note there's already one on Google Groups:!forum/rebol
6-Nov-2012 0:07:15
Is AltME a chat because you
- can't move messages?
- can't easily quote an old message?
- can't attach images to messages?
- can't use code with syntax coloring?
- the server can't remember what you have read?

Apples or oranges. AltME is a chat because you choose to call it that. I choose to call it a crappy forum.

6-Nov-2012 0:25:56
GrassRoot - you should better know what you are talking about. AltME of course perfectly remembers, what you have read. It also provides you with the file-share, off-line reading, etc. Stop shooting at AltME, and rather set-up some forum server and attract ppl to that! There were already 3-4 web forums, it just did not took off. Maybe because RT never endorsed any of them being official. And THAT - is hardly a fault of AltME.

Those who prefer real-time chat, will value tools like altme any day instead of crappy let's-pretend-to-be-real-timew web forums. Those ppl will either use AltME, IRC, whatever IM tool. We imo need both tools, easy as that - even ppl living daily on AltME do care and post on forum.

So - we either need to install some phpBB or other SW on some rented/cloud server running at attractive domain, e.g., etc., or use already available solutions like Google, StackOverflow, etc.

Carl Read
6-Nov-2012 0:36:36

Wouldn't be the natural place for an official REBOL web-forum? (Or, eventually, multi-platform forum. ie. with smart-phone clients and such as well.)

Ken Singleton
6-Nov-2012 0:41:08
AltMe is down anyway - go to the site and you get this message:

This site is currently unavailable

If you are the account holder, please contact customer service. Our customer service center is available 24x7 via phone, chat, or email:

Email: support(at) Phone: 888-321-4678 (757-416-6575 Int'l)

We cannot disclose any information regarding this account if you are not its owner or authorized party. For the security and privacy of our customers, all account requests are verified prior to the disclosure of account information

Personally I think something like MM Fusion's forum is nice. It is clear, organised and easy to contribute to it:

6-Nov-2012 1:01:46
"AltME of course perfectly remembers, what you have read."

Try to use it on two different computers then ;p

6-Nov-2012 1:25:02
C'mon guys, throw me a bone here. Try StackOverflow. It's OpenID so you don't even have to make an account if you have a Gmail or whatever:

The thing is, sometimes a question should be an "issue" (like a bug, or a language detail, or whatever). But there needs to be a "lobby" for everyone who is awake, to triage and help the other people who are awake. AltME's channels were a lousy having a single level filesystem to sort your files. Stack has the idea of the "whoever's up to triage" as well as an integrated Q&A and a good interface to that Q&A.

Sad "x86" (?) PHP bulletin boards have low visibility and are garbage. The only major drawback to StackOverflow chat is that it's all public...but use email or Facebook or whatever for personal matters.

Clicking refresh on this blog is a painful way to find out about new info, and it would be great if y'all might actually join the world of the living. :-/

6-Nov-2012 1:26:17
I vote for a forum, and if you don't like the synapse one:

let's add one to, just add another button with FORUM. The grand part of the open source php forum are very good, just choose one.

6-Nov-2012 2:55:06
perhaps it's a good idea to choose something 'common' or let's say 'expected by the folks' instead making it more complicated as it is. keep altme for those who like to use it and add the most common forum and location currently used by other OS projects. Just stop to try always to create the 'eierlegendewollmichsau'.
6-Nov-2012 4:36:26
I'm in favor of a forum wrtien in rebol... and to go on par with phpbb not being a useless limited toy!

But for that it means that we will have to have a true dev team that spend more than 2 days on the dev... And that my firends I doubt you can affort that.

Is that so difficult to do a postgres based forum in rebol? comon ...

6-Nov-2012 4:49:09
as for the hosting, if you write a great easy to handle manage forum based in a full rebol solution (cheyenne! postgres protocol, parse based html rendering engine) You could have a show room for rebol technologies, have a big project to motive and make people code in rebol, From there you will have more people interested in solving rebol VM bugs, this is how you set motions...

as for the registration process... sure you have to be register identified to be able to participate to anything on the internet but you can use your facebook account to log to the forum then no need to extra registration (that's how it is done in real world now in days everyday in fact...) you can offer people to log with their facebook acount and allow them to use a nickname to make them less "trackable". The registration process in altme is at the discretion of the guy reading or not the email people send to register. This is why I say it is unpleasant process.

By doing self sufficient unrelated to anything tools like altme all you show is that you try to be original by reinventing the wheel ending doing it like a wheel have to be .. round.

Did I said Carl had to do it? no I said you have to do it! And if you for once in a while you want to listen to the reason and do the stuff the proper way you could be suprised and count with my help !!! Yipeee !!!

Then again what means do the thing the properway is starting with a skeleton and have people participate in the everyday building.

none here told about rebelbb from digicamsoft... REbol culture is lost none the less... And you call yourselves rebol gurus ... Oh please!!

6-Nov-2012 4:56:03
and by the way you can start by taking rebelbb source code (250 lines or so...) add to it a database feed instead of the IMAP feed. you can had folder system to store and sort the messages, then you will have to had a "moderation" dimention but serriously it's less than a week of work for the clever and talented guys you are.(I can do it in half a day:P)


this is why I consider all this useless blabering.

And I will not provide anything that is a lone one sided project like I did those 10 past years because it is the best way to have noone involved and caring for the project other than me!

6-Nov-2012 5:00:50
as for the code colorise it already exist. Several rebol script around that topic CArl and many others writen it and it produce html already no need to once again

Don't tell me you can't go to the script library and harvest the parts of code you need to build up a great evolving full rebol based forum...

Recycle make use of the tons of works that your predecesor made and then try to be original and propose new stuff. Start with that and you will see things are not as impossible to do as they look.

6-Nov-2012 10:08:49
Just wondering if you have looked in the mirror recently?
6-Nov-2012 11:43:58
ignoring the slight message board negativity creeping in here, slax seems like the perfect fit at this time as that too has not had any rel activity in a very long time too.

as stated elsewhere slax has restarted and Slax 7 release candidate 1 is out but not got the standard Development tools module as yet so no easy way to make a new REBOL 3 module for it yet and try and get it included before final, but then theres still no R3 source to build a slax module ether... 1 file

Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
6-Nov-2012 12:02:05
why not just use:

For now. it's simple, clean. If it becomes the main discussion base, we could simply add a few little features to it...

6-Nov-2012 12:04:03
oh , so there may be a way to make your rebol modules and included scripts, if your capable, so what rebol scripts would compliment slax at its base...

" [12] Tomas M wrote 24 days ago: It is not possible to support old LZM. One thing is that old LZM files contain incompatible binaries in most cases (linked to very old libs, the software inside lzm may have even problems to run at all), and other thing is LZM support in kernel, which does not exist since it was replaced by official squashfs with XZ (lzma2).

You can, however, extract old LZM files using the old unsquashfs tool in old Slax, then use new mksquashfs from new Slax to re-pack it to .sb (slax bundle)"

Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
6-Nov-2012 12:04:41
Use the INTEGRATED R3 CHAT by building a simple http service over it.

The code is all there, all we need is to make an http bridge for it.

6-Nov-2012 12:39:32
Not everyone is or wants to be on Facebook or Google -a REBOL solution as a showcase, as noted above, would serve multiple purposes. (I'm taking privacy as well as technical considerations into account.)
6-Nov-2012 13:57:20
You're welcome to use the program at, alter the source however desired, etc. That was a quicky script, so it could use some serious improvement, but it has been in use for a while, there's no sign up required, has effectively beat spam for a long time. It's simple, bare bones, and easy to modify, and is all REBOL code. The group could add changes and improvements as needed. I'd be more than willing to donate time to help with the forum, whatever code is used, wherever it's hosted, and in whatever capacity is required.
6-Nov-2012 15:15:58
now that what we are talking about Nick, Real collaboration and idea's to actually move forward, great and thanks for your functional script.

i hope the others will also pull themselves out the doldrums and write/modify existing code to work with OSS Rebol ASAP

come on people, pull it together, you are about to get what you always wanted and open rebol, innovate and collaborative to show how its done.

could we have cleaned up and listing new/working R3 scripts on the front page before the rush for newbies to look at, use, and re-up their new script creations etc...

Brian Hawley
6-Nov-2012 15:43:24
Be sure to pick something that already exists, for now. We don't want the project to get derailed at the beginning by drawing effort away from the project in favor of project infrastructure. That was a good idea at one point, since it served as an example app for REBOL that led to improvements in the language, but we're past that point in R3's development now. If we want to reinvent the wheel, it's better to at least give ourselves enough time to figure out what the project needs that isn't served by existing services, many of which didn't exist when R3 got started.

As for existing services: If we use Github for the source distribution, it may help to also enable its use for bug tracking and such, if only because that's the first place new users will look. We may keep using CureCode for future bugs, or just to clear out the existing tickets, time will tell. For forums, Reddit and StackOverflow are at least worth paying attention to for marketing purposes, since that is where a lot of developers would first think to ask questions. Don't know beyond that, but I'd prefer something that also has a mobile client.

Something based on R3 chat's backend might do good for us in the long run, but if we wait until there's a web-based front end for it then we're stalled. In the short run, it'll be better to export what's in there already to a service that is already up and running, or just leave it there for archival reference.

6-Nov-2012 16:22:41
I'd love to see one web based script that brings together all the varied communication 'feeds' and serves as a central meeting place for the community to connect. already contains a searchable history of the mail list and AltME. Maybe Sunanda would be interested in working with me to organize a script that collects postings from the existing forums, chat, mail, etc., and allows everyone to respond in one place, using the web based forum interface. My script currently does RSS, so people can subscribe if they want. It would be nice to satisfy everyone's preference for communication, without fragmenting the community. Making it easy for new parties to find listings of every post from all the feeds, search for answers, and ask questions, all in one easy to find location (a prominent link on, would only help.
6-Nov-2012 16:35:28
PS - I also like the idea of people using Reddit, Github, Stackoverflow and other popular web sites, because active developers are there, and it's great for marketing purposes. Make it easy to add any topic, conversation, etc. from those web sites as a feed on a main forum, and nothing would get lost. Instead of fragmenting, feeds would add to the richness of the community and the completeness of the main forum. I wouldn't be too hard to write parsers for each of the popular web site layouts, to clean up submitted conversations and add them as individual topics on the forum. Users could submit links for review and addition. If approved, they would be automatically updated by the forum script, and the entire active community could congregate at one place to take part in the conversation, search, etc.
6-Nov-2012 16:50:11
I think Brian, Max and others are right, though - it doesn't really matter what features it has right now, as long as there's one web based place users know to visit, linked prominently on, so everyone goes to the same site to communicate. The benefit of using a REBOL based application from the beginning is that features could be added as needed by the community. Security features, display options, feeds and other interesting ideas - anything we can imagine could be added by us. If we start with a PHP project or use any of the popular web sites, we'll probably be stuck with whatever features we start with.
6-Nov-2012 17:15:32
+++ what BrianH said +++ (pretty much verbatim)

There's a spectrum of when a datum is a "bug" or a "Q&A" or a "chat". I'd encourage—from experience using StackOverflow—that more Rebol users become fluent in that particular Q&A medium. It's good exposure for the language, has high Google-trust in search results due to moderation, and a pleasingly usable system that is very powerful.

A lot of the concern about having different chat channels (as in AltME) is for cases that I don't think linear chat was what people actually wanted. It reminds me of that quote about how people would have asked for faster horses, instead of making the jump to visualizing a car. :-/

The wiki/forum/voting amalgamation that underlies S.O. is very effective once you adapt to it. And what people thought of as listening to particular "channels" can be addressed by the slick tagging system. If you do it right then it can be a good way of letting a "conversation" seamlessly evolve into institutional knowledge.

I will add that StackOverflow is friendly to "flash mobs" (or script-based importation of FAQs from languages, even):

The StackOverflow web-chat feature is kind of orthogonal, but pretty nice. It does dovetail well with participation in the Q&A, and I feel everyone should have a presence there. But Freenode IRC has an ecology of tools built up around it and is popular for other reasons. There's pros and cons to each—but either is better than these silly PHP forums that are yet another administration bottleneck for someone who shouldn't be bothering.

GitHub seems like the obvious winner for issue tracking. I'd expect it to be something that will have momentum, and if people already have GitHub accounts that's a vote in its favor. Also they have an API and they're not antagonistic about getting your data in/ why not just script something to pipe all the CureCode stuff in?

These commodity tools should not be the showcase for Rebol. Make another showcase that doesn't get derailed by the development process itself! Pick a binary in /usr/bin and implement its entire functionality in fewer bytes with no library dependencies, and then see if you get someone's attention...

6-Nov-2012 17:56:07
"Nicolas 5-Nov-2012 21:17:03 I've been playing with"

as -J- points out iv no interest in signing up to Facebook or Google or reddit just to post a comment on a thread

as for using OpenID and its new age ilk ,i don't and never did transcribe to the "its easy" and people you don't know and will never meet can "friend" you so become popular...

they do have their place when managed properly in person but the simple fact is the web is a very dark place and all these tools can and are used to track you and collect your personally generated content for their own profits at best, on the flip side you better not post something to piss off the wrong "friend" while logged in on OpenID and its new age ilk today, you have more enemies than friends out there that you didn't even know existed so wheres the "enemy" option in all these for profit PR OpenID commercial users, nowhere as it restricts their profits...

6-Nov-2012 21:13:07 is free for open-source projects. for development/issue/bug tracking it is a very effective platform. it has an API too, so custom interfaces are possible (and available).

from experience i can tell it promotes a software development workflow which far the best i have ever worked with. it very well stays out of the way too. the start->finish->deliver->accept/reject cycle pushes development towards a clear statement of an acceptance criteria upfront, which helps cutting up work into accountable and estimatable pieces.

The "Inside government (GOV.UK)" is a good example:

It also off-loads and structures development (be it new feature or bug) related conversations from forums and chat rooms.

For a nice and short quick intro, skim through:

(There is too of course but that is not gear towards software development specifically, that's why I wouldn't recommend for R3.)

Brian Hawley
6-Nov-2012 23:20:18
I use Pivotal Tracker at work. As a company we haven't really bought into the particular agile model it embodies, but we've found it to be really useful. There are times that we're fighting against that model though, and I'd expect that REBOL's practice of careful decision-making is at odds with the velocity scores.

It might also put the accept/deny phase too late in the game, after the work has been done. The R3 project in particular has depended on being able to reject inappropriate stuff at the proposal stage, so we don't waste too much effort on it. Delaying the denial until after the work has been done makes it less of a design decision, and more of a customer choice.

Pivotal seems to be better for developers that have customers that are the final word as to whether things get accepted or not. It's not quite as good for when these decisions are made internally, based on design criteria that are a mix of practical and aesthetic.

Still, it does make it possible to keep discussion related to the problem. I haven't seen a way to move comments from one topic to another if it was posted in the wrong place, something that development conversations in R3 chat have benefited from so far, but maybe I missed that in the UI somewhere. The email notification feature is nice too, since it's easy to miss new changes or messages in the UI because the notification effects only last a couple seconds.

7-Nov-2012 7:25:24 isn't free, if Rebol will spread and get donation like Firefox, it'll pay for some solution.

Now we (Rebol community) need something simple and free.

I vote for phpBB on

and a page with contribute to rebol with:

  • Suggest changes and features (linked to )
  • Report bugs and issues (linked to )
  • Contribute code (linked to )
7-Nov-2012 12:11:37
MaxV, if you consider pivotaltracker not free, then I would consider github not free either... Both have paid plans... But both are free for public projects.

I have seen a lot of struggles and failures with all those open source bug/issue tracker solutions, but pivotal tracker comes with a well documented advise on how to actually use it, so it helps as opposed to getting in the way...

The people I met so far, who didn't like pivotal tracker, were all misguided on how to use it. As it turned out they havent even read the Quick start docs and even if they did, they had tons of questions left unanswered and just never bothered to discuss those with anyone. Tools are just half of the equation anyway...

Brian, I smell a similar issue in your case too. You are assuming the stories should be some kind of documentation of how certain features being built and they MUST end up as something tidy. Well, you can write stories for creating specifications for features (preferably in form of automated tests) before it actually gets implemented or gets rejected based on philosophical grounds. Also there is no harm in implementing something, because nothing reasons better for the quality of an idea than an actual implementation of it, which anyone can play with...

Brian Hawley
7-Nov-2012 14:06:14
Nope, I'm going by the actual process flow in the Pivotal UI. The "State" of a story has 6 choices, which are chosen in this order:
  1. "Not Yet Started", where you get a "Start" button to take you to the next state.
  2. "Started", where you get a "Finish" button.
  3. "Finished", where you get a "Deliver" button.
  4. "Delivered", where you get "Accept" and "Reject" buttons.
  5. "Accepted" or "Rejected", no more buttons.

As long as we can go from "Not Yet Started" straight to "Rejected" without doing any of the intermediate steps, that will work. Or we could not put anything into Pivotal until it is approved elsewhere, and just consider the "Delivered", "Accepted" and "Rejected" statuses to be copies of the Github patch integration status.

Does Pivotal integrate with Github, to make this more automatic? Or for that matter, does Github have some kind of built-in project tracker capabilities?

Also there is no harm in implementing something, because nothing reasons better for the quality of an idea than an actual implementation of it, which anyone can play with.

We've found that to not really be the case.

Most of the time you can determine whether a REBOL enhancement proposal will work and fit in when it's still a proposal. Often in REBOL the implementation is so trivial that it doesn't matter; everything that you need to decide whether it's a good idea or not can be determined at the spec phase. In those rare circumstances where the implementation is non-trivial, people often become emotionally invested in their implementation and get offended if it's rejected. It takes a thick-skinned developer to be able to throw away code that they spent a lot of time making, especially when it's tossed for good reasons. It's better to avoid that if possible.

Still, that would be nice.

Brian Tiffin
7-Nov-2012 15:01:06
I'm open for anything, but would suggest a system that can keep moderators and administrators happy. I tried a phpBB setup once and I was overwhelmed with robot spam and account requests. It ended up being many (wasted) hours of human filtering. Signal to noise was about 1 to 100.

Most forums and communication channels feel unwieldy at first, then you grow accustomed, then you feel comfortable and eventually end up willing to press +1 Like and cheer lead it's use. When the subject matter is of interest, the discussion tool quickly becomes a tertiary issue. Pick something that has robust spam fighting capabilities (or offload that fight to a service provider).

Having said that, one feature I'd would like to see is a voting system. That would make running the annual user.r rebol Of The Year awards a lot simpler and very likely increase voter turnout. Not a show stopper by any means, as running the roty's over the last few years on AltMe has been a grand pleasure and time well spent. Adding a quick thanks and congratulations to the esteemed list of recipients so far.

7-Nov-2012 15:18:28
Generating possibilities in advance of an open-sourcing is good (just to know what the landscape is). Yet if Carl speaks about difficulty, I interpret it's precisely because the nature of open source is that these things will sort out based on relevance. Whoever is developing the system most rapidly will drive the medium of contact. It was like that before, this will just be more "democratic".

"Democracy is the worst form of government (except all the others that have been tried)"

In other words: when the source comes and we see who is both able to read it and modify it for advancement... that will dictate the tools. Trying to agree in advance assumes that everyone posting is a C programmer and language designer, and all votes are equal. I don't believe that's true.

We should not hold up a source release because these decisions aren't made yet. The reactions and evolution of the source is what will determine these decisions based on the contributors who create value. That's how this game is played now, painful as it may be.

7-Nov-2012 18:08:57
We can try forums before the source is out. We had some questions, like: which forum? Which license? How about: The advocates set up a thread (stackoverflow, reddit, others?). We meet there for some days and continue discussions.
7-Nov-2012 21:02:48
"Omei 7-Nov-2012 18:08:57 We can try forums before the source is out. We had some questions, like: which forum? Which license? How about: The advocates set up a thread (stackoverflow, reddit, others?). We meet there for some days and continue discussions."

if you read the thread and worry its getting OT here being a blog we cant add threads to its simple ... "Nick 6-Nov-2012 13:57:20 You're welcome to use the program at"

so why not use this for now just jump between locations until something turns up....

in fact

7-Nov-2012 21:27:20
Brian Tiffin 7-Nov-2012 15:01:06 ".... Having said that, one feature I'd would like to see is a voting system...."

so write/modify one like this "Title: "Vote on RAMBO tickets" Author: "Gabriele Santilli" Version: 1.0.0"

or pull in any number of others around the web, a voting system doesn't seem hard, but remember the collective vote means nothing without consensus of a smaller tech group after real consideration ,and the will to say no.. because bla bla, and heres how it might be done instead

7-Nov-2012 21:46:28
The forum from mentioned above is a pleasure to use. Maybe the avatar image size is a bit too large, but other than that, I thought it was great.

Graham has been working with Rebol for some time. Seems a natural choice.

8-Nov-2012 0:56:34
I support phpBB on I can't visit google+,twitter,facebook in China,and AltMe don't support chinese
8-Nov-2012 2:19:24
Hey Brian,

Interesting insights to your processes. We do pair-programming and many times we also rotate on the same story if we can't finish it in 1 day. This avoids to build up to much emotional attachment to the code and avoids very biased solutions. (be it algorithmic, data structure or simply formatting choice, there was more than 1 human looking at it).

We write tests 1st, which gives ensures very good test coverage, which in turn promotes refactoring, during which we regularly deleting code.

The test 1st approach also allows you to try your non-existent code 1st! Which is exactly the reason why you can throw away an idea before completing or even just starting its actual implementation.

Now regarding Accept & Reject, it is just like closing and reopening tickets in bug/issue trackers. When you have decided not to implement a story, you are still Accepting this decision and the story becomes Done. It's not a positive ending of a story but nevertheless it's ending, since no more work is going into it anymore. That's how you should think about it.

Finding the right story granularity also helps abolish such dilemas. Never make a story bigger than 2-3 days of work. Break it down 1st before you start. Then for example a "Matrix datatype!" story can turn into small thing like "Gather possible syntaxes", "List valid matrix! op! datatype! combinations", "Test suite for number! * matrix!" and gather all of these under a "matrix" epic.

8-Nov-2012 2:43:21

The main thing that has to be added to that script, before it's used for anything serious, is a permalink feature. Add one more field to the data structure, containing an auto-incremented index, and use that as the permalink. Currently, 'topicnumber changes as topics are rearranged by date, and it's used in the display link (very bad design decision, but easy to fix). Maybe someone could also help me improve some of the HTML display handling, when HTML is included in a topic.

8-Nov-2012 5:55:26
8-Nov-2012 8:45:58
If is going to have a forum (which I do not believe is a good use of resources given the alternatives) at least use a subdomain.

I'm certain Carl wouldn't want PHP running on the computer that "picks up the phone" at the IP address mapped from With subdomains you can map to an entirely different machine, and delegate its administration to someone else.

8-Nov-2012 10:04:10
Sorry for misunderstanding, I clicked on pricing and "free public project" was so small and at the bottom of the page that i completely missed it.

It's ok for me pivottracker too

8-Nov-2012 14:43:50
I'd suggest we need to fora ... one for public communications where users can get their issues resolved, and one for developers.

I quite like the forum I'm using at as referenced by MaxV, and it has other features which have not been implemented as we didn't need them for our purpose.

For collaboration, are there anything out there better than the free versions of Atlassian products such as Jira etc?? They'll even host them for your open source project.

Maxim Olivier-Adlhoch
8-Nov-2012 21:06:15
PLEASE don't consider jira... it really sucks.

For bug tracking, I think curecode is really nice.

9-Nov-2012 5:06:09
I prefered rambo for code tracking ... more open source code you have to register and be acknoledge to post your bug reports on it...

As for the guy saying that we need to be register to participe in every thing I would remind him that Ï am not register to post here. and this is why the talks happends here and nowhere else.

Instead of spliting dev and regular forum I would urge you to use the same entry point. One forum can be openwide visible and postable by everyone the other dev forum on the same web site can be just hiden from guests and registred users that has no dev rights.

I want the discussion forum (the community one) to be the most flexible, administrable, opened possible. If you have active modos even spam bots are not a problem. You ip ban them and that's ip.

All is said ... active people ...

10-Nov-2012 6:19
Today Sunanda wrote that he's interested in working with me to organize a script that collects postings, and provided some initial instructions about how to harvest data from He's going to be away for a while, but I'll get started. Whether or not this idea is used as a primary forum for Carl's needs, it should provide some interesting improvements for
12-Nov-2012 9:19:14
"He's going to be away for a while, but I'll get started. Whether or not this idea is used as a primary forum for Carl's needs, it should provide some interesting improvements for"

So typical of rebol community... I will grant you my help I'm super interrested in what you do our the idea you propose but I'm not available right now ... let say sometimes betwin the end of the galaxy and the end of times....

12-Nov-2012 10:16:33
Shadwolf, Sunanda has always been active member of the community. He's in Cyprus with limited Internet access next few weeks.
14-Nov-2012 8:01:55
Nick yeah really active to say "if you want change things come with your ready to deploy proposition"

Sorry, I don't waste my time coding for no results.

If sunanda say "hey this is interresting! I will integrate your work here is the code you can work on it then I will deploy it ready for the next day!"

That is what I call being active...

As far as I know he never did that and I'm not the only one the noticed or experienced that with Sunanda. But probably I'm not in the right circle like you Nick :P

21-Nov-2012 22:55:39
thats nice tomc, push people away.

"Fork 6-Nov-2012 1:25:02 C'mon guys, throw me a bone here. Try StackOverflow. It's OpenID so you don't even have to make an account if you have a Gmail or whatever:"

Hmmm, i didn't have "a Gmail or whatever" ,but i just joined now on your professional advice, asked a rebol beginners "question" and im sat here watching as they vote my question down, so that place stinks as im not a Pro dev and the question is too unworthy for an answer only a click down -6 so far in 3 minutes.

and YOU want new rebol users to use that place, no thanks

21-Nov-2012 23:02:17
and 5 minutes in, its "closed" , that stinks
22-Nov-2012 0:20:08
(at BugMeNot) I understand some of that "initial reaction shock", and I'm a hearty advocate for StackOverflow improving its sensitivity to new users. Programmers often don't have a lot of tact (especially the ones who spend all day and night on Internet Q&A), so they don't empathize well with how something feels or sounds to someone who doesn't yet "know the ropes".

I assume this is the question to which you are referring:

If that's what you're talking about, then I see it got one upvote and one downvote, which is a net reputation benefit. (Downvotes on questions are -1 point, Upvotes on questions are +5) You came out ahead, actually.

The only thing people were saying is that the question was too brief and nonspecific. It's not a personal referendum on you, it just says "hey, maybe you could include an image of what you're thinking of" or explain a very specific desire. Very short and open-ended questions aren't considered a good fit for the format; it's not a discussion forum, it's a Q&A board. Great conversation topics are often considered to be poor questions, and if the moderators seem somewhat snippy about it that's kind of a by-product of having to triage a huge number of posts per hour.

I don't often vote to close questions, myself, unless they are duplicates (there's a "close as duplicate" which lets you specify the link to the question you believe it copies, and removing the redundancy is good for everyone). But I'd definitely say your question could have been expanded and more specifically "answerable".

It takes time to cultivate that sense, so please don't be discouraged! Ask some Rebol questions--we need 'em, and the only people who'll read them will be friendly to the cause. Let me know if I can help, I'm trying to stick around in the Rebol chat room when I'm around.

22-Nov-2012 0:24:28
Perhaps obviously, previous post is from me. And I know why this error happens.

It's because of the now-very-common chat idiom of putting (at)PersonsHandle as the first thing when you are responding specifically to another person's post. You rarely think about typing in your own name (implicit), but you think about typing in *theirs*

25-Nov-2012 1:27:24
Any change to have formal specifications for rebol R3 ? The aim is to structure the way rebol core will grow. It could be useful to have a way like scheme's srfi to append functionalities and after build a next revision of specifications. an 2 cents contribution
27-Nov-2012 0:47:22
The only public source of Rebol3 by now is

It's an old source...

27-Nov-2012 13:48:47
Quick on topic post. I would like to cast my vote for google groups. It is already set up, active and has enough features for most of us.!forum/rebol

28-Nov-2012 17:32:32
Are we going to stop drinking our own Merlo? The best place for a Rebol forum is a place that is written in Rebol. AltMe worked pretty well for a while. A website maintained by Rebol would work as well.

Chris RG?

29-Nov-2012 0:57:56

Are we going to stop drinking our own Merlo? The best place for a Rebol forum is a place that is written in Rebol. AltMe worked pretty well for a while. A website maintained by Rebol would work as well.


100% agree with that! Why not adapt blog.r script to become a forum engine ?

29-Nov-2012 1:40:35
Well, modifying Nick forum in a real forum needs a lot of work:
  • anti spam
  • user, topics, posts databases set up
  • syntax highlight
  • a web hosting with Rebol
  • ...
At the moment we don't have Rebol3, does it make sense spending all these energies on a new forum?

There are hundreds of forum in PHP free and ready to use.

At the moment priority is organization:

  • what is the status of source opening process?
  • Does Carl need help? About?
  • Who will follow 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 5:14:08
I'm not sure what (if anything) Google Groups is good for, but it is a terrible place to do any Q&A. It's not future-proof, it doesn't self-organize to put the most relevant final answer at the top of the thread. An answer which becomes outdated cannot be edited like a wiki. Mistakes in the question, bad code sample formatting, or even just grammar cannot be corrected by others.

(When Reboltutorial was posting a mile a minute, we could correct the questions and reign them in. I don't need to tell you how useful that is.)

A sticks-and-glue PHP board is generally even more disastrous. The 90s called, they want their BBS back.

Look here at how DideC was able to revise and update his answer about CSV on StackOverflow. Besides the slick display of deltas (all additions in this case), each snapshot can be permalinked. And the site gives you a 5 minute grace period to do corrections to an update without declaring that a separate version:

StackOverflow has an API. So if one wanted to write a mirror of the Q&A tagged `rebol` on (or wherever) then you can scrape it out on a daily basis and keep it in sync.

The links to questions are numeric, but it will accept any string in the URL after the number...which defaults to a cache representing the current title. So you can get a sense of what a question is about just by looking at the URL.

Unlike focusing the community on some "rebol-only" group, the crossover between tags will increase the visibility. People who weren't looking for Rebol might find an intriguing application of it to the problem they were searching on. Imagine someone wanting to parse a CSV file and hitting my question linked above, who might go 'hey this looks cool...'

Resistance to this is not reasonable. The system is simply too good and enhancements come online with regularity.

It takes a little bit of time to earn reputation points, but it's not actually that difficult to do...and they are purely optional for those who are interested in unlocking moderation features. It has nothing to do with the Q&A itself. I offer my help to anyone who is having trouble getting off the ground with the system.

Come on guys! As Jerry Maguire said: Help me, help you. Back me up...Chris? Earl? BrianH? Graham? Sunanda?

29-Nov-2012 6:35:29
Does StackOverflow also handle the community/OT things, like forum/ML/altme do? If so, how? How does it deal with beginners who dont know the rules? Will their questions stay visible long enough, like with ML?
29-Nov-2012 8:08:55
(at Omei) StackOverflow's question display logic is dynamic. What you see depends on factors like what tags you have chosen to "favorite" or to "ignore".

Beyond telling SO what you like, you can subscribe to certain tags (people here would choose to subscribe to Rebol, obviously). Or you can watch certain users. It bridges to when you're not logged in...someone used the API to build "Stack2Rss" which offers more more fine-grained RSS than what the site supplies. So you can actually subscribe to just my answers (and not get the questions I ask pulled in too).

Each question can have up to 5 tags. You can view by tag, so if you want to see all the Rebol questions you can do that. You can combine tags and find all questions tagged [rebol] and [parse]. If you go in the search box and type "[rebol] [parse] thru" then it will search for the word "thru" in the text of the Q&A for all the rebol parse questions.

When a question is voted up or down, gets an answer or comment, or is edited then that causes a bump in score, and it will show as having "new activity". You can set up your preferences for how to view it or do what I do and just use the "Interesting" feature where it notices what kinds of things you tend to look at and heuristically shows those to you. There's a bookmarking system where you can star a specific question if you want to follow activity on it.

If a question isn't getting enough attention, there is a bounty system where you can get your question bumped into the "featured" list. You do this by offering to trade some of your reputation to whoever turns out to have the highest ranked answer.

For the off-topic general discussion stuff, come try the chat to get your Rebol fix. We're trying to get the ball rolling in there by yakking while we wait for the source. :)

The site is insanely popular for a reason. It's still made up of people--on the Internet--so not every part of it is perfect. As mentioned I'm a constant advocate for better new user help. And they've been working on usability features to do things like try and guess if your question is a duplicate by showing you a list that refreshes as you type the warning you if the title of your question uses "subjective" terms that may lead it to be closed.

I've been around now for a while there and and can certainly help direct, just ask whatever you like in chat and we can walk you through it.

29-Nov-2012 8:55:05
I like AltMe. It's useful, quick, and mostly targeted. Somewhat off-topic, my favorite reference in REBOL/View 2.x is REBOL Word Browser (Dictionary). Hmmmm...
29-Nov-2012 9:59:52
I use Altme for everything. All my work is contained inside the AltMe sandbox, though not always published. I can't tell you how many times I've been able to install AltME on a random machine run a batch file or set up a cron and pull AltME off without a trace. Website maintenance, you name it.

I've set up temporary worlds for discussions and projects that may last a week or two and then simply nuke the server. Everybody has all the comms and files, and I have the histories on my server machine.

I would love to see the next more robust version of AltME become the forum discussion, with a public interface that doesn't violate the darknet (or darknets) underneath.

Giuseppe Chillemi
29-Nov-2012 12:39:33
+1 to Scot

I would like to see an AltMe version which support threads. It ould be the perfect solution.

Carl Read
29-Nov-2012 13:27:57
Fork said: "I'm not sure what (if anything) Google Groups is good for"

It's good for those whose primary method of communication is still email. Anything else requires another website to remember to visit (and to learn) or another client to install (and learn). So it's good to have available for those new to REBOL who want some quick, hassle-free answers about it. Not so good for heavy, technical traffic.

29-Nov-2012 18:05:35
We are trying to solve a number of overlapping problems :-)
  1. A place for discussion about Rebol. Think .advocacy from the usenet days.
  2. Curated Q&A for sharing technical questions and providing clear coding examples
  3. Dissemination of news to this and the wider community

My preferred options to solve each requirement:

  1. I propose that an existing forum would be well suited as we have limited time/resources and need an easily managed and publicly visible discussion location. My vote still lies with something like google groups, but I am open to persuasion ;-)
  2. Stackoverflow wins hands down for me and is a great place for clear code examples and tricky technical questions.
  3. Quite happy to stick with blog.r although we need to confirm if we can continue to host it at or if we need an alternative location.
  4. To facilitate answering 1. I have created a quick poll summarising the options presented in this thread.

Carl Read
29-Nov-2012 20:15:28
My feeling is a general discussion forum (which is partly aimed at promoting REBOL) should be on Apart from it being the obvious place people would expect to find it, it'll allow the REBOL community to have total control over it. This is important for something you want to last long-term, as sites controlled by others come and go, get sold, or have changes made to them you don't like.

So I'd suggest installing a suitable and mature open-source forum on, with the long-term goal being to replace it with a REBOL version when someone gets enthused enough to start the project.

30-Nov-2012 3:08:02
+1 Carl Read
30-Nov-2012 3:14:34
+1 Carl Read

Except start right away after OS'ing R3 and host it using a Cheyenne server.

30-Nov-2012 6:30:26
+1 Carl Read

"allow the REBOL community to have total control over it [...] sites controlled by others come and go, get sold, or have changes made to them you don't like".

"replace it with a REBOL version when someone gets enthused enough to start the project" is still high on my list - that gives our entire community the opportunity to add whatever features we find important.

It just seems so silly not to create a REBOL forum application - it's not brain surgery. If we can't collaborate as a community on a project this simple, I'd be shocked.

30-Nov-2012 6:58:19

"Well, modifying Nick forum in a real forum needs a lot of work: anti spam; user, topics, posts databases set up; syntax highlight; a web hosting with Rebol"

That's NOT a lot of work:

There was once a problem with spam, but the current implementation has had exactly 0 incidents of bot postings for almost 2 years (with ~150,000 unique visits and ~500,000 page views).

User, topics, posts databases set up is work for 1 sitting - and many people don't even want that. I like the idea of just adding a password field to each post, allowing people to make edits, if needed - that's also simple to do. I could make it optional to store username and password in cookies. That would solve everyone's desires. Providing permalink, tags, and different displays based on any additional categorization is just a matter of adding a few fields to the data structure, and then writing views based on sorts of those fields.

Chris RG already has a nice HTML highlighter for REBOL code. Maybe an HTML/CSS/JS person here would like to implement a prettier layout for the whole script? I'll be happy to integrate it with the REBOL code.

Web hosting with REBOL is easy, cheap, and reliable with Lunarpages. I'm happy to provide that for free. And of course, anyone can use the code on any other server they want.

What's so difficult about any of this? I'd be happy to help with any portion of the work, if the community tells me what they want.

30-Nov-2012 7:05:54

With some thought and work, we could implement any of those StackOverflow features in a REBOL solution.

30-Nov-2012 8:41:14
+100 Nick

all you said the last two posts :) i trust you (as always) not to track the average users.

and especially not do the secret handshake of the StackOverflow features for advanced database use where their long time users with points can pull a deleted post out the DB and post it along side a derogatory comment to try and feel better about themselves as super special (as happened to me there LOL)

all speed ahead Nick if no one else will start it i hope you do.

we could some day get into a lot of oddball old school P2p Distributed Hash Table stuff for shared related web sites locally etc and/or take the Amazon's EC2 compute cloud instances options at some point, but why complicate and you can innovate with your existing scripts for everyone :)

30-Nov-2012 9:10:47
I posted a topic on to allow anyone to post suggestions for improvement. The code of the script is available by typing the following in the REBOL console:


That forces the script to print its own code, so it's always the exact working code for the currently operating script.

If you haven't seen it, there's already some functionality for a remote API.

30-Nov-2012 9:26:32
... anyone saw sir Sassenrath around?

900+ messages of talkings and what has been decided is:

- Rebol3 will be opensourced - Rebol3 will be under apache licence 2.0 - rebol3 sources will be available at GitHUB - Carl Sassenrath want to overlook the rebol3 developement by opensource dev team.

As for the rest ... there is nothing decided yet... we are past 2 month the initial release date for rebol3 opensource. More and more all this looks like a very bad joke.

We made tons of proposals and until now we didn't saw Carl getting out ferociously of his cave to yell "yeah ! that's it we will do that ! Let's go!"

If initially there was a certain enthousiasm around this news, now it's over... Promess are made to be kept. Now we are just reminding to the world why rebol is a commercial faillure and a project that is stuck in an alpha process since 5 years.

I think this process is taking too much time therefore it will end to be just a big loss of time since nothing concrete will emerge from it. It's like the GUI for r3 it's a plausible eventuality but not a reality :P

Rebol will be known like a doomed project that need to be lead by someone else than the "one man band" Carl Sassenrath.

Sir Sassenrath honnestly you are forging the roots of the faillure of this tentative to reignite some massive interest toward rebol.

30-Nov-2012 9:44:07
(at)nick: I have one suggestion use a true database protocol you will face a big problem very soon when you will have to search and sort in your bbs.db file. using an object to store your data then dumping it to a file isn't a bad idea but it wasn't made to hold thousands of posts.

mysql-protocol isn't that hard to master and using it you will be able to do feedback to enhance it or have it enhanced on your own to fit your needs. And in my opinion this is what Carl under evaluate. There is more people participating in a project to solve the problems they face on their own for their own necesities than people that create new feature out of the blue just because it looks cool to have them in their software.

30-Nov-2012 9:51:31
there is no hierachy in your forum Nick it's like a cheap copy of rebelbb which was already a cheap implementation of a forum...

It's cheap... but probably you know nothing about forums and having no high standard then you considere this borring white page like the top of the tree...

Well phpbb 3.10 try it and see what is like a real forum that people will use and not an ego pump to say "my forun is made in rebol"

30-Nov-2012 11:20:46

Using a forum written in REBOL isn't about "ego pump". It's about creating/using a tool that would be easily extensible by the community, since we're all REBOL coders.

I didn't copy anything from RebolBB.

The script was meant to be easy to install, with no requirements except REBOL (no database required). I'd be happy to create a version that uses MySQL, and migrate any existing data, if that becomes a priority. Feel free to point out features of phpbb that you think are most critical. Or maybe even think about writing some code to help out, instead of spending so much time complaining :)

30-Nov-2012 12:36:50
I just added permalinks to the rebolforum script.
30-Nov-2012 13:12:55
30-Nov-2012 14:01:10

To test the current implementation of the rebolforum script, I just populated 10000 random topics with 3 random messages each. Searches and permalinks are instant at that volume. By the time we get to several multiples of that volume, I should be able to find sometime to create a version using some DBMS, if it's necessary, even with my cheap skills :) BTW, the software I wrote for Merchants' Village has processed tens of millions of sold items, all using a flat file data storage model that's 100% REBOL, and it's ridiculously fast. And that entire system runs on $200 net books - all without any DBMS. Imagine that. The end result of that situation means I don't need to be cheap ;)

30-Nov-2012 14:30:57
Thanks, Nick. For Keeping It So Seriously Simple!
Carl Read
30-Nov-2012 17:39:52
I vote for installing Nick's rebolforum on rebolforum needs fleshing out, but it's already written in REBOL and so in the format best suited for REBOL-users to flesh out.
30-Nov-2012 17:49:21
(at Nick)

Things could be written in Turing machines too. And while God can perhaps invent the world in 7 days, Rebol programmers can't...and the last thing we need to see are more sophomoric efforts in that vein. :-/

(Note that we are here talking on a blog labeled www, and cgi-bin, and ends in .r. Three strikes and that's only in the URL!)

I don't care what people use to chat with. It's all fine...the people who are content with tin cans and string are probably not people I'd want to sit around talking to anyway. It can be decentralized according to whatever people want to use. AltME is a joke, but built-in Rebol chat in the terminal is kind of neat and could trivially be improved to a Freenode IRC gateway.

But the two areas that matter in terms of standardization among the disparate factions are:

  • Q&A, use StackOverflow
  • bugs and issue tracking, GitHub

I hate HTML/CSS/JavaScript as much as anybody. But I do have a personal wish that the Rebol community get more humble, and realize that Green Eggs and Ham can be pretty good. StackOverflow is badass cool, and it's terminally depressing to log into a PHP Rebol forum and feel like you're visiting a third world country.

1-Dec-2012 2:23:56
Three strikes are just what you allow on your site to happen. On I published a start for a REBOL solution, a REBOL version of the php script from you can find it here So that will solve some of it, and a simple solution for the www you can find on Even I managed to get rid of the www on my own site, so the community can do that too.

Then only some clean artistic weblayout can be made bringing the whole into the (R)3.0 era.

(At Fork) You forgot to add PHP to your list of HTML CSS Javascript, and PHP is depressing by its nature ;) (Anyone that is happy with PHP: try REBOL and be more happy)

1-Dec-2012 9:09:57
I also think would be a great place for a community. It also supports markdown for correct code formatting.
1-Dec-2012 19:24:50

Carl aksed for something fairly simple - a place to hold discussions about REBOL on the web. I honestly don't really care what piece of software we use, as long as it works painlessly and smoothly on as many devices and platforms as possible, and it's linked all the top page of The quality of community interaction and the generated discussion content are what matters.

1-Dec-2012 22:02:36
+1 for a forum written in rebol installed on

the url is not aesthetic tho, i agree.

but hey, lets iterate on these things instead of theoretising all day long... stackoverflow is very cool, i concur.

i didnt know much about its features since im just in r/o mode there, so thousand thanks to fork for the detailed intro.

thanks nick for pointing out how viable file-based solutions still can be. (im just learning plan9 which support this approach even better than unix. in our current starup we r struggling with rails active record and the postgres authentication layer is just getting in the way unnecessarily. i was wondering if we could just fall back to sqlite so no authentication issues and the backup is also obvious... i still envy picolisp though, which doesnt differentiate between in memory an on disk lists, hence no need for either periodic mapping - serialization and parsing - or complex mapping - like an orm. )

while fragmentation of the community has its drawbacks, in this case i see a typical analysis paralysis situation. let's jfdi and let the natural selection sort out this debate.

2-Dec-2012 8:24:55
btw, this blog is quite good too.

since the content excites me i don't even care it takes 3-4 seconds to scroll to the bottom of the page for the latest entry on an iphone and i have to zoom in and out for further navigation or scroll left and right to check the author name for an entry. it takes a lot more time to read and think about the content than what it takes to access it, so im still fine with it... im trying to be more practical these days and infuse the lean startup principles into more aspects of my life ;)

i would love to see the r3 chat open sourced together w r3. people can write custom clients for it whatever they want... rebol/view, rma, rebgui, qt, gtk, html+js+cssh1t then we dont have to argue so much about it hopefully.

2-Dec-2012 9:33:07
+1 for too! (i have already memorized the room number ;)

let's gather there and discuss things more casually first!

3-Dec-2012 8:43:02
I tried to have a look at

But I am mute: "You must have 20 reputation on Stack Overflow to talk here. See the faq."

I saw the faq: I could not figure out what a reputation exactly was, and how to get any...

Hm. I must admit that I do prefer more open spaces, to chat. Just like here...

3-Dec-2012 11:59:41
Agreed with Pierre. There is too much already to have an account for these days. Stackoverflow is nice for Rebol to have a presence on, but for a general REBOL discussion forum that is not the place to be. The 20 points stuff is really paradoxal and why would I try and get 20 points somewhere else on Stackoverflow when my interest is in REBOL??
3-Dec-2012 18:22:49
(at Pierre, Arnold)

I wasn't aware of the 20 point requirement. Looks like a new thing. But that's only two answer upvotes (or four question upvotes).

Some sites require you to have an email address, type in a captcha, whatever. If they really want you to have 20 points, then I guess that's to prove your veracity with a couple of questions or answers. I don't know if it's the best barrier to entry, but they're a Q&A site so it's the test they've got. As we know here from the spam posts it takes *some* kind of barrier.

Ask a Rebol question or answer one and anyone can vote you up to basically "vouched for" status. It's just an anti-spam thing, it's a trivial number of points to get if you're not a bot. You don't need to create "an account" since it supports OpenID. The points don't have to be in Rebol-specific areas.

Making a StackOverflow account and trying it out is educational, if for no other reason than to inform the creation of the "Rebol clone of it that will be much better." But as Jeff says:

3-Dec-2012 19:58:06
What we really need before any of this makes any sense is the R3 sources on Github and people working on it. It's now a month since the last blog post and over 2 months since October 1st where the R3 sources where supposed to be released.

Let the source speak for itself first then we have something interesting to talk about in forums.

4-Dec-2012 3:42:51
ypu should not use stackoverflow :

extract of FAQ What kind of questions should I not ask here? You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. . . . If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here.

The appreciation is "strange" (see questions on G-WAN webserver: some of them concern actual problems (and obviously about problems faced by developpers) and were closed as off topic ...

4-Dec-2012 7:40:04
My vote goes to google groups. Not the least reason for is the email list. I can understand the reservations against stackoverflow, but who cares? Important is the source.
Brian Hawley
4-Dec-2012 9:00:49
Anonymous: Actually, no.

We need the sources to fix things, but we don't need the sources to determine what needs fixing; all we need for that is to test the compiled code. The first step in fixing a problem is determining what is a problem, and it is better for any discussion about that to happen sooner rather than later. That will make it quicker to get started on fixing the problems when the source comes out.

For that matter, most of these problems have already been discussed in our existing forums, and reported in our existing bug tracker. If we are going to be switching to a new forum and/or bug tracker, we want to do so earlier rather than later so we have time to transfer over any bugs or discussions that we need to, if only to cut down on rehashing old discussions. Switching forums or bug trackers is a task in itself; that is the downside of people not just using AltME, R3 chat and CureCode. It's a tradeoff for visibility though, so it's probably worth it.

As for your other point, I'm having trouble finding a declared or promised release date for the R3 source. It's not in any of the blogs or blog comments. On October 1st we hadn't even decided on a license yet. You do understand that preparing an initial open source release of a product takes time, right? That it's not instant?

A Different Anonymous
4-Dec-2012 9:53:08
(at) Brian Hawley: When the decision to open source REBOL was announced, it was said "finish this October 1st" which, while not a promise, at lease implied quickness. I realize that we all appreciate Carl's decision here but since REBOL languished for over a year and a half with no communication at all and almost two years with no updates, some of us are a little worried that things will slip back into that mode.
4-Dec-2012 13:19:34
Repeatedly it has been pointed out: if you're going to gripe on the timing and communication issues...go contribute to Red! It's open, public commits from the beginning, chat-and-all-that. From day one.

(As mentioned, my C++ bias and wanting to work with code generators I know limits my interest in participating too heavily in an embryonic project. I'm glad it's happening, though. Were Red two years further along, my opinions would probably be different.)

Anyway, you will not browbeat Carl into anything--and there's ten years plus of evidence. When he wants your input he'll ask--and he did a turnabout on license that most people who weren't me wanted. Complaining here wastes bandwidth that could be spent on the topic: how and where to convene for discussions of various types.

Has anyone even written a CureCode to GitHub import script yet? There's a freakin' API, come on you guru-code-ninja-masters. How hard can it be? Carl's not the only one not pumping out product, here.

And I'm doing what I can about the dumb 20 rep limit to chat on StackOverflow. It's trivial to get the 20 reputation...but those who hit that speed-bump do have a valid point. I'm not alone, 45 upvotes here, so hopefully it will get fixed:

Any Rebol question on SO someone asks, I'll upvote...even if I have to edit it beyond recognition to turn into a question that actually deserves it. :-) So let's just keep things in motion, here.

Carl Read
5-Dec-2012 0:42:08
Fork said: "I wasn't aware of the 20 point requirement. Looks like a new thing. But that's only two answer upvotes (or four question upvotes)."

Which is exactly what I meant by "as sites controlled by others come and go, get sold, or have changes made to them you don't like."

StackOverflow's good for what it is, (a question and answer site), but the last time I posted to it I remember thinking "I don't remember having to login before". And it will keep changing.

But, there's no reason not to use StackOverflow, Google Groups or other established sites. You'll get responses quite quickly now to the REBOL sections of StackOverflow and Google Groups. They're being used by those who like them and will continue to be used.

But neither are suitable for the official, general-purpose REBOL forum. StackOverflow's primarily for questions and answers and Google Groups mostly just a mailing list.

So I repeat: Place Nick's rebolforum on and evolve it into the forum that's ideal for REBOL's home-base.

5-Dec-2012 3:15:35

Email lists would be a useful feature for the script. I could add the ability to add/remove username/email/password and validate added email addresses. Cron a feature to send all new posts to each validated user, and add any posts from incoming valid email addresses, and it's an email list server with a web forum front end.

5-Dec-2012 3:45:37
Nick, you could do it style and have a button below the "Leave a comment" "follow comment's" window and add those other "Bold" "Quote Text" etc there along with any tick boxes etc too, nice simple and clean.

BTW was that a bug

Steven White
5-Dec-2012 6:50:56
I'm generally staying out of this because I am not qualified to have an opinion, but it does seem to me that is a logical place to look for such a forum. Currently there are at least two places where one can look for REBOL help, but I think there should be only one official one, in an official place. Those people who will visit that place for the purpose of answering questions might not want to have to visit a number of places searching for questions to answer. Those people looking for answers will be more likely to find it in the official place.

I wonder if there are two needs to be met, one for a place to ask questions and get answers (like for newcomers, like me), and another for a place for discussions about the development of REBOL, where I would lurk but not have much to say.

5-Dec-2012 7:59:17
(at CarlR) As an aside, please stop the all-caps REBOL. The language has enough problems...

You are right about control though. Thing is that there's always a chain of control. I don't mean to channel the Merovingian from Matrix II too heavily, but: the Domain-name-cartels run the phone book, so should we use hardcoded IP addresses? But wait...who gives out IP addresses?

I only trust StackOverflow or Wikipedia or ICANN as far as I can throw them. So we're mostly in agreement...except I trust random-Rebol-user even less because I don't even see the slightest attempt at a consensus based arbitration.

Bjarne Stroustrup gave a talk to my group and when someone critiqued the delay of the standards committee, he quoted Winston Churchill: *"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."*

I do believe Rebol should have an official announcements location, no doubt. And it should be more polished than what's going on here, but CarlS doesn't have rebol dot com or dot org or whatever needs to be delegated to someone who is an active web designer and community organizer. Maybe there is someone who has a money-making Rebol project who even has a financial interest in seeing it succeed.

But for chat and Q&A (which is a big part of why people get all forum-y), learning how to use a StackExchange is a treat compared to what came before. It's by programmers, for programmers...with slight issues of Joel and Jeff's personality, but not as untrustworthy as the likes of Facebook...and the license and API means you can scrape and run if they get too evil.

Not JM
5-Dec-2012 8:56:29
fork,have you got something against camels case, and llama's
Carl Read
6-Dec-2012 9:52:39

+1 for email support on rebolforum. (And other off-site support as well eventually - text messages etc.) Signed-up users should be able to receive posts via email based on their interests (which could be chosen by tags) and also the comments to threads they're following. And reply to them via email (etc.) as well.

And if you give it an API, clients written in REBOL could be created for it as well.

Brian Hawley
6-Dec-2012 15:09:51
Answering my own question since noone else bit...
Does Pivotal integrate with Github, to make this more automatic?

Apparently GitHub can integrate with Pivotal, rather than the other way around. GitHub will initiate the tracker state changes on your behalf and post commit messages in Pivotal. So, there's that. Don't know how well it works, just that it exists.

Or for that matter, does GitHub have some kind of built-in project tracker capabilities?

Still don't know this one.

This also doesn't cover design discussions. Pivotal is better for implementation discussions after almost all of the design part is done. We still need an AltME-like forum for development design discussions. Maybe something built into GitHub, so we get the kind of benefits we got from R3 chat integration with DevBase.

7-Dec-2012 2:35:33
R3 chat, with a more evolved Web front end, would have great potential. I'm surprised others haven't focused on this more.
7-Dec-2012 5:58:45
(at) fork and nick: Sorry but the talkings so far are on blah mode actually. we need to get out the blabering and have a way to separate mining full important information that helps the comunity organise and grow from the "I love jesus" What I dont like in chat is that is it uterly volatile it is good to have aa direct discussion to oraganise stuff or interchange quickly (all people are not natural english speakers and will be more at ease in a text based chat than in an audio chat.)

Altme add that limit, no sorting of subtopic and inside a main topic let say reb-GUI a discussion occults another discussion having your discussion mixed with tens of other around a same topic is a pain in the butt there is no other way to present it.

We need that the technicall discussion we will have in the oraganise and easy to retrieve information from forum echoes into a makedoc wiki to store more than the basic docs. Because you can't pretend now rebol is for gurus and high end coders without providing high end documentation.

It s like going to a math class at university without any books, not doing any exercices and being teached by a non specialist teacher(let say a french language teacher a guy super remote to that speciality that vaguely grasp 1 + 1 = 2)...

Do I want a forum like PHPbb made in full rebol? hell yeah! Will I apport to sutch a projet ? hell yeah Will that project take time? hum franckly not that much if well organise and that is the key thing oraganising. we can even make an engine that will browser each .php files and change the php code by equivalent rebol code (you know with parse...) Will that project attract attention ? hell yeah?

So Why it wasn t done already? because we don t want things to stand out we want cheap rebol based script that produce an interest only for us. we want to invest the lesser time possible into our project and we call that being smart ...

7-Dec-2012 7:07:03

As a result of these discussions, I added Permalink and Email List features to the script. What have you done?

Brian Hawley
7-Dec-2012 10:20:51
Shad, your criticisms are valid for AltME. However, in R3 chat we have subtopics - arbitrary nested folders - and you can refer or reply to any message that hasn't been deleted, all the way back to the beginning of the server. You can also post files to the same folders you're chatting in, allowing topical development discussions, and even link to CureCode tickets. Admins could even move messages from off-topic locations to the right topics, which helps keep discussions on track. You can even do private messages in any folder, for when you need to have topical private discussions.

R3 chat's data model is a good one. It is definitely missing a web UI though, or for that matter any GUI. The only reason people didn't use it was its text UI. The text UI isn't inherent in the system though, so GUI or web clients are possible.

7-Dec-2012 12:46:29
8-Dec-2012 10:47:54
(at)Brian will R3 chat be open source too? Is it considered to be part of R3? If it is, no question what should we use for design discussions.

At my job, we are using the Github integration with Pivotal Tracker, but actually we very rarely look up commits from tracker stories. Pushing a story into finished state via a "[Finishes #9999] ..." commit message is also kinda useless, because after finishing something u still have to deliver it (deploy into staging) and during that u have to go back to tracker anyway for clicking the delivered button, not talking about starting the next story...

This kind of development flow works well if you can specify the outcome of work in form of an acceptance criteria. Such a workflow strongly suggest a test first development approach too and encourages constant delivery and iterative implementation. It's still the best development aid I have seen and tried so far.

9-Dec-2012 5:34:35
... Are we there yet?

(The wait is killing my enthusiasm)

9-Dec-2012 8:32:59
it will be a christmas present. we cant open it until the night of 25dec.
9-Dec-2012 21:57:10
the main page is nicely clearing up. i think we don't have to worry this much.
10-Dec-2012 15:35:10
Carl, will the chat source be opened along with R3?

I'm curious to hear others' thoughts about R3 chat. It seems to have all the features we need - just could benefit from some work on the web front end (I'd be happy to help with that, if someone else is willing to work on making the layout pretty).

Karl Rattensath
13-Dec-2012 14:20:39
There will be winners and losers. Rather than demanding that a formal place get established now and agreed upon by all now, why not prove yourselves to the world?

Establish your own communities wherever you want to do so. In time, the best ones shall float to the top in Google and Bing search result.

Already these sites exist and are useful.





Today, you're nowhere unless your site supports sign-up / sign-in with Twitter, Google or Facebook.

If anyone wants to promote REBOL to the wider world, beyond a handful of computer dorks, Quora and Reddit would better serve that end. Reddit gives RSS. Quora lets anyone push to Twitter and Facebook.

These exist: There is real-time search for REBOL on Twitter. There is a REBOL group on Facebook. There is REBOL content on G+.

Some of you might want to get together and start the ball rolling to get a formal board here:

Anyone is free to create a REBOL SOFTARE FOUNDATION, fund it and try to make a go of it in hopes of beating out all others.

Carl Sassenrath
14-Dec-2012 1:48:51
With R3 source now released, this issue is next.

There are many good points above. Thanks for posting them. I am reminded of when I posted a similar question 4-5 years ago.

We don't need to duplicate features of other systems like github, curecode, stackoverflow, etc. Use those as necessary. They each serve a useful purpose.

Apart from those, I think there's a solution that supplies all your requirements, but also mine, which tend to be unique and perhaps a bit eccentric.

I need to do just a bit more investigation before making a decision.

17-Dec-2012 15:22:45
FYI Since the release of the source code most active discussion has occurred on:

Stackoverflow chat -


Google groups -!forum/rebol

23-Dec-2012 11:53:46

Actually, far more of all the Rebol community activity is still happening in AltME.

23-Dec-2012 12:29:24
I made a simplified version of my sitebuilder.cgi with integrated MakeDoc2, for others to potentially use for docs:

username/password = cmstest/cmstest

I took out the WYSIWYG editor, file upload, REBOL command console, and other features, so it's a simple basis for a public document generator. Just create a new page title, type or paste in any MakeDoc formatted text, submit and click Build Site. Sitemap is automatically generated, but can be edited manually.

23-Dec-2012 12:30:04
A full edit history is automatically saved at:

23-Dec-2012 18:09:49
The 2 default HTML layouts can be edited to change the look of all pages at once:

24-Dec-2012 19:20:46
phpBB? Have you looked at the security record?

No thanks.

26-Dec-2012 7:28:19

I have also been looking by some kind of ideal tool to "animate" a community. So far, all we have is a mailing list. But it has no visibility on the Web, it is not archived except on my computer (yes, my entire fault).

I caught myself dreaming of something that would be:

  • a forum, browsable;
  • a blog, where you can freely add comments without even logging in (just like here);
  • a mailing list, so convenient when messages come to your Inbox, sorted in the right folder, ordered by threads... but this is only useful for people already familiar to this -fantastic- communication tool; the ones who are not familiar with tend to use it as a diffusion media, they only read messages, and they often don't dare to answer;
  • IRC, why not? (I am dreaming, anyways...);
  • ability to make something either public (visible on the web) or private (visible only within a network) => for a company, for instance: in this case, you need to openly communicate efficiently throughout the company, but internal information/communication should certainly not get out of the Intranet! (even public companies have secrets...).

I have the feeling that such a tool would not be so difficult to create. Especially using a messaging language such as Rebol (since a couple months, I am re-discovering the joy and efficency to code in Rebol!).

So, my question(s):

  • does such a tool exist? (I don't think so, but who knows),
  • if not, would anyone in the Rebol community do it? I know a company which is ready to put a few 100$ in such a development. I'm sure we could gather a bit more, if necessary.

Starting point could well be this blog's script, Nick's script, or rebelBB.

Any ideas?

27-Dec-2012 13:41:09
Hey Carl. Any word on a forum. BTW: REBOL4 AltMe has been pretty busy.
Carl Read
29-Dec-2012 22:42:58
(at) Pierre

Except for chat, Dreamwidth (a fork of Livejournal) gives most of what you asked for. A community example...

It's not a forum as such, but tags can be used to organize subjects.

30-Dec-2012 19:46:20
Pierre, my script already does the first three things you requested, and RSS.
11-Jan-2013 3:38:40
Carl Read, Nick: sorry, I did not check this blog lately. Interesting, I will check these.

At the moment, I am on AltMe.

But definitely, WE NEED ONE AND ONLY ONE PLACE to communicate all! And I feel that this is getting URGENT! Before even more dispersion of sites, ideas, code, etc. occurs too much. We MUST gather, factorize, put in common, merge. IMHO, at least.

22-Jan-2013 16:13:11
Must be time to decide by now. Maybe go with Nick's forum and combine it with code from blog.r, the code behind this blog or forum depending on your view.
21-Mar-2013 1:55:14
I made, it's free and it has
  • forum
  • wiki
  • blog
  • image gallery

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