AltME: Community

Messages

AdrianS
I mentioned a little earlier the idea of posting a message containing links to all Rebol/Rebol-related community locations along with activity levels in each of these. This would be a weekly or bi-weekly posting at each location. The idea is to allow people to easily find out how active the other communities are at the moment if they happen to fall into any one of them as a result of a search, for example.
The content would be something like:
This is a periodic posting of community links along with activity levels for discussion dedicated to Rebol and Rebol-like languages. The intent is to bring a dispersed community together by providing the current list of places where the community gathers along with reasonably accurate activity indicators for each place. This list will be posted in each location weekly or bi-weekly so that anyone dropping by will not have to look far in order to learn where else things are happening.
Currently the activity stats are gathered manually and postings are also not automated. This will hopefully change as the requisite scripts to scrape and post automatically are developed. This updated list will eventually be available at http://rebol.com as the site is cleaned up post Rebol open sourcing.
# Chats
## R3 Chat
This is the primary forum for Rebol 3.0. It runs from any Rebol console in a text mode, but a GUI version is planned.
- Run R3, type chat and follow the instructions (all platforms.)
- Type "help" for more information or visit R3 DevBase Chat Forum (http://www.rebol.com/r3/devbase/index.html).
- To view public messages from any web browser go to RebDev mobile/phone interface (http://www.rebol.net/cgi-bin/rebdev-web.r).
- Problems? Please contact Rebol Technologies at (http://www.rebol.com/cgi-bin/feedback/post2.r).
Activity: 4 messages this month
## Rebol chat on Stack Overflow (http://chat.stackoverflow.com/rooms/291/rebol)
- Note that you will need a reputation of 20 in order to be able to post in the chat.
- You can gain this minimal reputation (essentially a spam filter) by participating in the Stack Overflow group of sites.
Activity: 380 messages this week
## AltME Worlds
A private instant messaging system where rebolers hang out 24/7. The current world dedicated to Rebol and Rebol-like language discussion is called REBOL4
- Get client at http://www.altme.com/download.html
- connect to the 'rebol-gate' world with user/pass, guest/guest
- request account on REBOL4 world in the REBOL4 request group
Web archives of public groups, first to last in the most active world, REBOL4, as well as the dormant world, REBOL3:
REBOL4 (http://www.rebol.org/aga-groups-index.r?world=r4wp)
Activity: 286 posts last 6 days
REBOL3 (http://www.rebol.org/aga-groups-index.r?world=r3wp)
# Forums
## Rebol Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/groups/rebol)
A new special interest group for Facebook users.
Activity: 26 messages this month
## Rebol Google+ community (https://plus.google.com/communities/100845931109002755204)
Activity: 4 messages this month
## Rebol Google Group (https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/rebol)
Activity: 43 messages this month
## Synapse EHR Rebol Forum (http://synapse-ehr.com/community/forums/rebol.5)
A web-based forum for R2 and R3, provided by Synapse EHR
Activity: 13 messages this month
## RebelBB France (http://www.digicamsoft.com/cgi-bin/rebelBB.cgi)
A simple forum, written in Rebol, for French speakers.
Activity: 140 messages this month
## Nick's Rebol Forum (http://rebolforum.com/index.cgi)
A micro-forum (just a few lines of Rebol) hosted by Nick Antonaccio. (Note: the captcha question is first.)
Activity: 79 messages this month
# Q&A (Question & Answer)
## Stack Overflow questions on Rebol
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/rebol
Activity: 219 questions tagged
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/rebol3
Activity: 2 questions tagged
Of course this should be on rebol.com, but that's currently not up-to-date and doesn't include activity levels. Any comments, additions, etc?
Suggested message title? I was thinking something like: Community Activity Report for <Date>
I've seen this kind of periodic, summary messages being posted on several mailing lists and find them helpful and not overly intrusive or spammy - thoughts?
GrahamC
Looks good ...
The only mailing list active is the f8bk one?
AdrianS
not sure - thought I remembered that the lists are defunct now. The Facebook spot is just a group - is there a mailing list somewhere there as well?
AdrianS
the AltME numbers are bogus though - I got those from the web archive which shows only the web-public activity (and a non-constant one at that, if you hit F5 repeatedly)
I'd like to get the true numbers
Ladislav
what is "f8bk"? You mean facebook? Fb is not a mailing list, I think. The
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/rebol
is
Also, the stackoverflow is not as active as it may look at the first sight. The reboltutorial's activity is sometimes quite "artificial", I would say.
Andreas
Adrian, thanks for getting this restarted.
I think we should put this up on the rebol.net Wiki for a start. This will give us a convenient location to point to.
Andreas
Actually, we had such a page before:
http://rebol.net/wiki/DocBase:Community_Portal
Should probably get that cleaned up.
Andreas
Also, note an additional "chat" venue: IRC.
A few of us hang out in IRC in the channel #rebol on freenode (irc://chat.freenode.net, http://freenode.net). 128 messages in December. If you don't have an IRC client handy, freenode also provides a web-based client for quickly looking around: https://webchat.freenode.net/
Andreas
I took the liberty of taking AdrianS's posting, reformatted it to Markdown (only minimal changes necessary), added IRC, reordered things slightly, and updated two few counts.
Here's a rendering of this updated Markdown document to HTML:
http://bolka.at/2012/rebol3/pages/community-radar.html
Here's the Markdown source of the updated document:
http://bolka.at/2012/rebol3/pages/community-radar.mkd
AdrianS
Ladislav, I agree about the level of activity not being as useful if the number of contributors is not specified, but for now this will have to do. The way to do this is through some reasonably smart scripting that can obtain a better breakdown of posts by user, either through scraping or some sort of API, if available.
Andreas
GrahamC, Ladislav: are you ok with this group becoming web-public as is?
(For the record: I am ok with it.)
AdrianS
Thanks for the additions, Andreas. It was my intent to have this in Markdown or something like it to have it be easily posted to any web site that could accept such content.
Ladislav
OK
"obtain a better breakdown of posts by user" - I do not criticize your findings, I do not even think it is needed to know how many contributors there are; that was rather an observation from me related to one "prolific" contributor
AdrianS
well, I actually think that this breakdown is useful myself because it's true that some people are just so much more 'prolific' than others
Gregg
Thanks for reviving this Adrian.
GrahamC
I'm okay.  This summary though looks like it would be tedious to do.  Can it be scripted?

Andreas
Group is now web public.

AdrianS
Andreas, your R3 binaries page looks really nice.  Might be worth putting up a link to the Android binary even though it's not built (yet) by your build farm just to have everything available in one place. I'm assuming Saphirion wouldn't mind if the right attribution is made.
AdrianS
Would it be worth putting what compiler switches were used for the builds? Do you think you'll want to provide debug builds at any point?
wrong group... ugh.
well, maybe not - you are providing pre-built binaries for the community!

Scot
Not sure where to post this.  Links on the R2 Desktop are broken, notably rebolforces.  Anybody have news of this?

Endo
There are many broken link on R2/Desktop for long time, unfortunately.

Maxim
how the hell do we ask to be member of a bord in trello?  there is absolutely no menu anywhere to join or ask for membership..
if there is one its very well hidden... so I guess this is an official request to be part of the trello board
my user is moliad, on trello.
Andreas
There's no functionality to request membership, as far as I know.
In any case, I added you.
Maxim
thanks... its weird that there is no way to ask for board membership.
seems to defeat the purpose of social coding practices  :-)
GrahamC
Trello still has bugs

Arnold
Yes can't connect to it at work, because it demands IE9 or higher or safari or chrome or firefox. None of those are any option. Sometimes I seriously doubt if all of these demands to the users system are really necessary.
Cyphre
Well, if you want to use 'web app'  which tries a bit to not  resemble just "HTML page" you have to always use the most updated browsers. I think this rule will hold for very long time :-)
GrahamC
You can use your Android, or better still, your IOS device to view Trello
For the moment at least we're pretty happy with it as a "collaboration" tool
GrahamC
Arnold, you do know about the Red trello board??
Arnold
Yes, got a message there saying my browser was not supported and I should upgrade my bosses computer.
Same reason I do not develop for Red, because Github does not support Snow Leopard any more, and my Mac cannot go further and I do not buy a new mac for  github. And the command line I consider too much trouble to learn.
GrahamC
What does snow leopard have to do with github?
You can use GUI tools ... such as Git GUI
Arnold
Github has a program for Mac for Lion and up
Github p*ssed me off, for when I was on Leopard, there was a program for Snow Leopard and I did upgrade then and then demands had been pushed up.
GrahamC
So, what is this then?  http://gitx.frim.nl/
Arnold
Did not know that program, I will give it a try soon. Thank you for the link Graham!
GrahamC
google is your friend
Geomol
and enemy
I switched to use
https://ixquick.com/
for many searches, after Google was changed some time ago.
Arnold
ixquick knows already what language I speak. Privacy friendly? ;)
Geomol
I don't know. :) I also use
https://duckduckgo.com/
from time to time. I think, that's privacy friendly.
Arnold
downloaded GitX, it works, only a menu atm. have to run now.. cu!
Kaj
Carl couldn't get into Trello, either
GrahamC
Carl tends to run old systems
Kaj
So do non-geeks

Cyphre
Some people holds to the saying "if it works for you well, dont try to fix it"...I belong to them and don't update apps just because 'update is available'. I got bitten by updating to 'newer and better' version many times.
Geomol
I think, I'm two OS versions behind on my iPhone, and it says, it has 26 app updates for me.
I'm one OS X version behind on my MacBook and found out the other day, my Xcode is 'old' too. So what? It works.
I haven't updated my Windows and Linux 'machines' in VirtualBox for years.
I just can't waste my time on all this updating to "now even more, newer, better". It's rubbish! :)
Cyphre
yup ;)
Geomol
Now go update World! ;P
Henrik
I tried installing a mail program on my Linode, but the repositories for the debian I use are now gone. I'll have to perform a complicated day-long upgrade procedure to move to a newer Debian. So, you can neglect upgrading to a degree that going forward will be much more complicated than simply doing incremental upgrades.
GrahamC
that is an issue with old versions of linux :(
Henrik
Writing the NLPP program, one of the very biggest challenges was to make a no-hassle upgrade procedure. This was one of the hardest things to do and also one of the parts that took up most time to code and test.
Geomol
Something is wrong in all this.
I try to see software as tiny bits and pieces, each doing a certain task. Like very simple Lego building blocks. So each piece takes some input (like a function does) and produces an output. If that piece needs to be updated, then it's because it has some error, or that there is a faster way to do, what it already does. If new building blocks arrive, because new software needs them, then they're just added to the system.
If that is done right, then updating should be very simple and only include very little data to be transfered to my system.
GrahamC
In the past I've done upgrades by binary diffs
but then you have to track each binary to get the right diff
Henrik
Geomol, how do you handle changes in configuration structures that way?
Geomol
Couldn't such structures just be small files, each taking care of a certain part of the configuration?
Following this thought, maybe all the mezzanine functions in %cortex.w (in World) should be separate files in a directory? And the shell commands should be separate files in a %libs/shell/ directory.
Reminds me, that I should pick up my database again. It has records as separate files.
GrahamC
well, that's black box theory
but things don't exist in isolation
Geomol
Can't we make them? :)
some-func: func [input1 input2] [...]   ; -> produces some output.
That's isolated, and it should work, even if other functions, it depends on, get updated. The task is to define each function/object as doing one simple thing.
And then implement a system like Erlang, where every piece can be hot-swapped.
GrahamC
so you want to distribute source code
each piece needs to be then signed
Geomol
or virtual machine code
or real machine code
I think, that was what the Elate, that Amiga looked at, what about.
GrahamC
Ok, off topic now ..  can move to ~Chit-chat or ~Humour  :)
Geomol
:)
Andreas
Henrik, the package repositories for older Debian versions are still available, but you'll have to change the URLs.
They are on archive.debian.org, so use a APT source like the following:
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ $RELEASE main contrib
(Replace $RELEASE with the codename of your Debian version.)
Henrik
Yeah, too much work right now, but thanks, anyway. :-)
Maarten
I'm just wondering (really, just that): is dev capacity (i.e. Cyphre GUI. other's on OSX, 64 bit) the limiting factor to accelerate in the short term? Or money?
Andreas
Both, I guess.
We seem to have a somewhat limited dev pool to start with, and most of the people capable and willing to work on R3 are also tied up elsewhere (to make a living).
Henrik
Maarten, from my point of view, it's dev capacity.
Maarten
Yes, but say I'd poor in $1,000,000 today (hypothetically, I'm trying to understand what is needed to accelerate), compared to nothing. Assuming Android is  the first step (including encap and device access), when woud this be done with and without "unlimited money".
Andreas
A constructive answer to "when would this be done" would require realistic planning based on more than a hypothetical offer.
Staying within the hypothetical realm, I think it's very fair to say that it would be possible to get it done sooner than without "unlimited money".
Andreas
(That assessment is based on my view that there is quite a bit of capacity available which could work full-time on R3.)
Gregg
Given money, one of the best uses for it would be to give core developers stability to commit, and then build the community, which, to me, means providing platforms and toolsets that people see as viable alternatives to other languages.
Maarten
Yes, I'm trying to get a handle on "quite a bit capacity available". And then attach a pricetag to it to make it happen.
I would want R3 on Android with GUI, GPS, Camera support. And R3 64 bit Linux server side ("Core").
"encappable" of course. What do we need to make that happen in terms of development time? Then, how much money do we need fo rthat (nt all developers need to be paid full-time, some do it as hobby). Etc.
Do you see my point? For a target, we need to estbalish a time/money budget and ratio.
Gregg
Yes, absolutely. Any good open source projects to use as a model? :-\
Maarten
Because, if I set R3 for development against Scala/Lift/Akka in back ends, it's a long way.... Same on mobile: there's Livecode, Corona, all of them more mature. So if I treat R3 as an "investment" of sorts, the risk/reward ratio needs to be established
Look at the Scala ecosystem (Akka, Lift, Play). Rails. ...
Gregg
Right, but how did they get funding and support? For Rails, at least, they wanted to build the tool for their own use. And they're built on top of other infrastructures.
Someone has to say it's worth it to them to pay for some pieces.
Sun paid for Java, IBM paid for Eclipse. They thought they would benefit somehow.
And users have to care about what these new tools bring to the table.
Arnold
Bit of both in my view. Money to support full time development. And the knowlegde to know how to is also sparse. A little bit extra on info and tutorial like stuff could maybe get some more people started. Google's summer of code like the HAIKU project is putting to use is beyond reach for the small base of devs for instance.
We are on the other hand lucky to have the enthousiastic giants we have now. It is enough to let the projects live on, but not in the way blooming as we feel should be the case.
Yet the progress even in the last weeks is a great accomplishment, cannot be said enough..
(that was my answer for Maartens question from 3:23:44 PM
Some heads must be seriously be put together to talk about financing the community effort.
One of my views is a way of providing a webhosting service based on REBOL/Red and additional open source technology.
Bo
If we had a monetary amount needed, would it be possible to write up a Kickstarter campaign to fund R3 development?
Maxim
shure, as long as you have a precise end-result with milestones,  time estimates, and realistic goals.
but would it actually end up working?
Gregg
My gut feeling is that it would be tough. You need good rewards to entice people, and our community is small.
Arnold
We need more momentum. Meaning a small usable base to start serious advocating the pro's with and possibilities of generating a little money. Attracting young programmers/students willing to contribute, one advantage for students is that not everything is carved in stone yet. (Only what we want to achieve and the toolset is chosen)
Bo
So you could start with a small Kickstarter campaign just to get some momentum going, and then maybe follow it up with a larger one once momentum is up.
Gregg
Still tough. Who is going to pledge that doesn't already?
Bo
If we can pitch something about it that would appeal to the general public (easy-to-develop apps for Android that also run on embedded systems and full computers), then maybe we'll get some new interest.  Especially for popular Kickstarter search terms like Android, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc.
"General public" meaning the general geek public.
Gregg
It's the IF and MAYBE that I'm concerned about. :-\ Again, without rewards, who will pledge?
Arnold
some ideas for real life apps needed? I have some. Non-geeks need apps too.
No tools to make these apps atm
;)
Arnold
@Graham: GitX; found another alternative very promising, even did a fetch(!) from the master branch I wanted but could find nowhere: sourcetree
http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/
Robert
Maarten, some thoughts about all this. IMO R3 or what it's than called is not the end product. It's an enabeling technology to make good products in a very short time.
So, what's interesting about it is, that one gets access to a complete vertical technology stack. The black-box dependencies (those that you can't influence) are mostly zero. Of course you don't have a big community, eco-system etc. around. But I'm coming more and more to the point that I don't need a big eco-system, I need the right eco-system. I don't want to use big frameworks, zillions of libs etc. This all makes product development a hell.
A mean and lean technology stack, that is maintainable, can be adjusted to some special needs with the fundamental things available is everything you need.
What I would do if I could afford is, is to re-implement R3 using the D language. This should result in a more simple code base (Carl's code base is in a very good shape, so don't take me wrong), and using this we would close the most fundamental missing parts in R3. There are around 5-8 topics that need to be addressed. Andreas and I just had a short chat about this this week.
R3 gives us the chance to use one technology on a broad range of systems. I don't say the same code, but the same technology.
There are several levels of work that can be scaled up. The base layer stuff, that's the C & D level.
Than we have fundamental frameworks and libs like R3-GUI etc. this is a mix of Rebol code and enhancements on the C/D level.
Than we have the product level, that's what's visible and keeps the fire burning. Spitting out cool applications in a fast rate is key. I see several markets to address: B2B tools, mostly more effort to develop but long lasting and big money. Consumer or Internet market applications. More low cost but high volume stuff.
And mobile things. Whatever app is missing today I don't know. I can imainge some cool B2B mobile apps, that really help.
Regarding the crowd funding idea, yes, it's appealing. The promise would be: You get a complete vertical technology stack to fund your next company or app on.
That's it. Take the assambly we did and use it to be 20 times more productive than anyone else.

Maxim
Does anyone know how to reach Brian Tiffing nowadays?  the email given here isn't valid anymore!
GrahamC
have you tried SO ?
Bo
I haven't seen Brian Tiffin on SO for quite some time.
Kaj
The head of OpenCOBOL shouldn't be hard to find

Maarten
Robert, agreed. Though I'm starting to lean more to Go for native (C-like).It seems low-level at first, but that's an illusion.
But... rebuilding R3, when we have Red coming... does that make sense?
Pekr
Maarten - well, some ppl might ask just the reverse - why to continue with Red, if/when R3 got open-sourced? R3 is closer to completion, Saphirion invested time/money into it. Difficult to suggest one or the other side, to shut down the project. I am curious, what chat with Carl during the devcon will reveal ....
Some ppl need some solution now, whereas Red seems being really far from completion, and that's simply another aspect ....
Bo
When I have talked to Carl about Red, he is very interested in it, but wishes he had more time to delve into it.  He has great respect for Doc and his abilities.
When I first talked with Carl at length about Rebol in 1997, his reason for creating Rebol was because he had learned and used so many languages, but they all fell short of his definition of a "perfect" language.  He liked Lisp and Smalltalk, but there were issues with them as well.  Rebol was his attempt at filling in the holes and creating a multi-purpose language that made simple things simple to do, while still allowing complex things to be possible.  (I'm going back in my memory 16 years here, so I hope Carl forgives me if I left something out.)
Because of the above, I can't imagine he wouldn't want to see any Rebol-like language to succeed as long as they held true to his vision of creating a language that made simple things simple to do, while allowing complex things to be possible - with efficiency and cleanness of design.
Pekr
I simply believe, that during the Devcon, it will be the right time to exchange some ideas and explanations. Looking forward to the outcome of the meeting :-)
Maxim
there are hundreds of C derived languages, its not that big a deal for REBOL to have only a handfull active derivatives.  really, its a good thing.
Arnold
The beauty of freedom from C on all platforms cross-platform, relative speed => Red
The flexibility of REBOL to the maximum, remember Red will be a Reduced REBOL dialect => R3
DocKimbel
"Remember Red will be a Reduced REBOL dialect" That is not true anymore since a while (almost since last summer).
Arnold
Good to hear this Doc, hadn't realized that, thought there remained issues limiting full REBOL like flexibility. New name for Red needed?
Kaj
The interpreter has lifted all limitations, at least in potential
Red still has {Red]uced resource requirements compared to REBOL
You could also interpret it as an evaluation/REDUCE of REBOL's potential

Last message posted 219 weeks ago.