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R3 DevBase User Guide

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What is it?

DevBase is the REBOL 3.0 online discussion forum.

It will be combined with DevBase to provide full access the development community and file sources.

You can access DevBase from any R3 distribution, but you must have direct TCP access to HTTP (proxy not yet supported).

This document describes the DevBase console client (CLI). Other [DevBase#Multi-cliented DevBase clients]] will be available, such as a GUI version.

To understand why we built DevBase, [DevBase read this]].

Basic ideas

You need to understand these few basic concepts:

Getting help

You can get help with the ? command or type docs to browse to this wiki site.

>> ?

Main ideas:

  * Messages are posted under headings.
  * Headings can have sub-headings.
  * Every message and heading has a unique id number.
  * The prompt indicates current user and heading.

Basic usage:

  * Type new-user to add an account.
  * Type n to see new messages from the server.
  * Enter the number of message or heading to view.
  * Press enter to view the next message.
  * Type l to see messages under current heading.

Main commands:

  #  - A number shows message or message list
  l  - LIST messages in current heading
  h  - List sub-HEADINGS in current heading
  n  - NEWEST messages in all headings
  nn - Show only new messages since last time
  .. - Go to parent heading


Notice you can also type ?? to get more info on commands. When used alone, it will show all commands. When followed by a word or string it will display all commands that include it.

For example, to see all commands with the word "list":

>> ?? list
     l opt-count -- list of messages for current topic
     lm -- list all message contents
     lb -- list current messages to browser
     lr -- list related (re:) messages

     who -- list recent users
     users arg-user -- list all users
     list-files | lf 'submit | 'accept | 'deny | none -- list files (detailed)
     ls -- list files (short)
     ll -- list local files (short)
     ?? opt-name -- list of commands (or find matching command)

More info on [DevBase]] is also published.


Top-level headings

Messages are organized under headings, like a book or HTML document. To see the top level, type TOP:

tester:>> top
    2 H Server admin                            0 admin   8:58 hours ago
    4 H User messages                           0 admin   10 days ago
    5 H General                                 0 admin   8 days ago
   14 H R3                                      0 Carl    7:36 hours ago
   15 H R2                                      0 Carl    13 days ago
   16 H Tools                                   0 Carl    13 days ago
   17 H Websites                                0 Carl    13 days ago
   18 H Community                               0 Carl    13 days ago

The numbers are "message ids". Everything has an id, and you will use them to navigate.

The "H" indicates that the message is a heading, and it may have more headings or messages within it.

Jump to a heading

The fast way to navigate is to just type the id number of the heading or message you want to open. For example:

tester:>> 14
   19 H Lobby                                  14 Carl    4 days ago
   20 H Plans                                  14 Carl    4 days ago
   21 H Language                               14 Carl    4 days ago
   22 H Docs                                   14 Carl    4 days ago
   23 H Testing                                14 Carl    4 days ago

These are all the sub-headings in the R3 heading.

Note that you don't need to go back to change to a different section. Just type any heading number.

tester:R3>> 16
   52 H Lobby                                  16 Carl    4 days ago
   53 H DevBase                                16 Carl    3 days ago
   54 H Reb-Services                           16 Carl    4 days ago

Change headings quickly

You can directly jump to any section you already know exists. For example, I know that 75 is the DevBase section:

tester:Tools>> 75
   76 H Bugs                                   75 Carl    12 days ago
   87 H Notes                                  75 Carl    4:29 hours ago
  115 H Releases                               75 Carl    24:22 hours ago
  117 H Ideas                                  75 Carl    24:22 hours ago
  120 H Testing                                75 Carl    8:52 hours ago

Back to parent heading

At any time, to go back to the parent heading:

tester:Tools/DevBase/DevBase>> ..
   75 H DevBase                                 53 Carl    9:04 hours ago

tester:Tools/DevBase>> ..
   52 H Lobby                                  16 Carl    13 days ago
   53 H DevBase                                16 Carl    13 days ago
   54 H Reb-Services                           16 Carl    13 days ago

Newest messages

To see the newest message regardless of its heading, type n. This is very useful if you just want to see what's been going on.

tester:Tools>> n
--- Note: checking for new messages
  130   V 2.100.30 released. This is a larg r 113 Carl    4:38 hours ago
  129   News script is now active.            128 Carl    7:52 hours ago
  128 H Notes                                  14 Carl    3:54 hours ago
  127   Problem fixed: when a message is po te125 Carl    8:33 hours ago
  126   New message to subtest heading.       125 Carl    8:57 hours ago
  125 H Sub-test2                             120 Carl    8:33 hours ago
  124   Posting in subtest.                   123 Carl    9:01 hours ago
  123 H Sub-test                              120 Carl    9:01 hours ago

You can also type n followed by a number to show more or fewer messages.

The nn command will show you the newest of the new messages: the ones that arrived since you last typed n or nn.

You can also type nu for seeing new messages from a specific user.

Goto message (linking)

Messages can be linked to other messages with a link of the form #123. You can goto the other message quickly with the g command.

For example:

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Discussion>> 214
#214 post from Carl 2 days:
0.1.7: Fixes #213 - u command when not logged on.

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Releases>> g
#213 post from Henrik 2 days:

Using the command "u" when you are guest causes a script error.

Viewing message content

Within any heading, you might also see message summaries. These are the lines that have no H (or other letter) on the left:

tester:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Notes>> 76
   77   U (USERS) command does not update l    76 Carl    4 days ago
   78   Sometimes a message list does not u    76 Carl    4 days ago
   83   Letter is blank in the 4th letter f    76 Henrik  4 days ago
   84   Add some spacing between the messag    76 Henrik  4 days ago
   85   #84 - is actually a bug in FORMAT f    76 Carl    4 days ago
   86   #83 - also bug in FORMAT.              76 Carl    4 days ago

To view a full message, just type its number:

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Bugs>> 84
#84 post from Henrik 4 days ago:
Add some spacing between the message column and the sender column the message li
st. Type N to see the problem.

To see the next message, just press enter (no command needed).

Browsing a URL or other link

You can use the g command to quickly goto a message or webpage if the message you are viewing contains any of these link forms:


For example:

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Bugs>> 177
#177 post from Robert 5:34 hours ago:
Reply to #176

carl:User messages/Robert>> g
#176 post from Henrik 5:37 hours ago:
Welcome Robert. I'd like you to reply to this message, thanks.

If the message contains more than one link, you will be given a menu to pick from.

Posting messages

You can post public or private messages to most headings.

Public messages

Messages are by default public.

The p command posts public messages:

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Notes>> p
Enter public message. End with . alone to send or / to cancel.
Added notes about posting messages. Goto this URL:

Message entry is terminated with a period (.) to post or a slash (/) to cancel it.

Note: the system is also designed to allow posting messages to anything, even other messages (true threads). However, that feature is not yet enabled because it adds interface complexities.

Private messages

Private messages can be posted to any heading, and they can only be seen by the sender or the receiver of the message. No one else can view them. (This allows private messages to be kept in context with a topic, when necessary.)

The pp command posts private messages:

carl:Tools/DevBase/DevBase/Notes>> pp tester
Enter private message. End with . alone to send or / to cancel.
This is a private message that only tester and me can view.

The pp command can take a user id as a word, string, or user number.

Private messages appear in the message listing with a dash (-) in front of them to indicate that they are not seen by everyone.

215   Private message test for mobile vie   76 Carl    15 mins
216  -This is a private message to Henrik   76 Carl    15 mins
217   The private message is #216. It sho   76 Carl    14 mins

Message 216 is private. Only Henrik and Carl can see it.

Note: there are no private groups yet, but we anticipate adding such a feature in the future. For now, private messages can only be sent to a single user.

Move or Remove Messages

You can move a message from one heading to another. This is useful if you (or someone else) posted a message to the wrong section.

tester:Tools>> move 112 5

You can also remove a message.

tester:Tools>> remove 112

Note that to move or remove a message that is not your own, you must have a high level user rank.

User list

To see who else has been around, use the who command:

tester:Tools>> who
    2 Carl   Carl Sassenrath                recent          [rank 80]
    5 btiffi Brian Tiffin                   16 mins ago     [rank 10]
    7 feeds  Remote feeds                   recent          [rank 10]
   10 richar Richard Westlake               35 mins ago     [rank 10]
   11 Graham Graham Chiu                    42 mins ago     [rank 10]
   13 Jerry  Jerry Tsai                     recent          [rank 10]

There is also a users command that will show all users.


It is handy to be able to search for a message or header containing specific text using the 'f command:

tester:>> f "bug"
   68  -fixed that bug.                        11 Carl    4 days ago
   76 H Bugs                                   75 Carl    3 days ago
   85   #84 - is actually a bug in FORMAT f nc.76 Carl    4 days ago
   86   #83 - also bug in FORMAT.              76 Carl    4 days ago

Now just type the number of the message you want to see. Notice that you will enter that heading automatically.

tester:>> 85
#85 post from Carl 13 days ago:
#84 - is actually a bug in FORMAT func.

About ranking

The commands that you are allowed to use depend on your rank. Advanced commands, such as posting an alert message, require a higher rank.

All new users start with a low rank at first. You can navigate around and post messages, but not much else.

Your ranking can only be raised by a higher ranked user.

Tagging messages

Messages can be tagged to help other users find them later. For example, we may want to tag a message that contains information for expert users or to request an expert look at a specific message.

To tag a message, your user rank must be 50 or greater.

To keep tagging sane, we only allow predefined tags to be used. That's because the meaning of each tag needs to be clear. They will be shown when you create a tag.

Here's an example:

carl:R2/Mezzanines/Functor>> tag 543
Tag this message:
  543   FUNCTOR, final cleaned up version:           530 BrianH  50 mins
Valid tags are:
  1 expert       flag this for experts
  2 expert?      ask expert to answer this
  3 official     flag this as an official item
  4 official?    ask for official resolution to this
  5 carl         flag this as important for Carl
  6 carl?        ask Carl to answer this

To view all tagged messages, use the t command. (This will be improved with more filtering later, once we have enough tags to worry about.)


Use 'q to quit, because it will end your session properly.

Or, if you use 'qq it will quit regardless of the session.

You can also use 'quit to exit R3 and 'halt to exit to the R3 command line.

Advanced commands

Many other commands are available. To see them, use the ?? command.

Documentation on advanced commands will be published in a separate document (TBD).


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