Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Re: Vanilla - since you asked
Author: Chris Langreiter Posted: 4/17/2000; 1:54:45 PM Topic: Re: Vanilla - since you asked Msg #: 16342 (In response to 16338) Prev/Next: 16341 / 16343
C'est right, Vanilla is written in REBOL. And REBOL, indeed, _is_ the next great scripting language. Don't let the marketese/dot-com-buxxxxit on the rebol.com front page confuse you - dive deeper.
Carl Sassenrath, its inventor, has architected and implemented large parts of the AmigaOS kernel - and he is somebody whose opinion on languages I definitely respect to the greatest extent possible.
Programming is about languages much much more than about 'mathematics' - quite in sharp contrast to what they try to tell you in school. Languages provide you with a 'certain' level of abstraction, mathematics with a theoretically infinite one. Infinite abstractions are, however, pretty useless. Programming is as much fun as writing a poem or a short story or composing a song. It's putting sentences, statements, words together to form a meaningful whole. A well-written program (like much of a Smalltalk image) is like a symphony. What is Frontier like, Dave? Is it a Greatful Dead song? Think about it.
REBOL is extremely simple (send email@example.com "Thank you for being on this planet!") and, through its simplicity, extremely powerful. It's a language which doesn't impose structure where none is due, and in this respect Vanilla is very much inspired by the language it's expressed in.
This is, IMO, the single most mind-opening statement from Carl Sassenrath concerning REBOL (full article, a joy to read as well):
"I think one of the most difficult realisations for me had to do with object-oriented methodology. I first got involved with OO back in 1982 at HP at an alpha test site for Xerox PARC's Smalltalk language.
I became an OO maniac because at that time I believed that OOL was going to save the software world. It took me more than eight years to discover otherwise and realise that people were not becoming more productive even with the best OO languages.
Then it all became clear. The solution is not objects... there are too many tedious interfaces that must be understood to even write a single line of code.
I thought about what alternatives there were and human language stood out to me as a good example of getting leverage... So, I took some of the concepts from human language and put them to work in computing."
And the result is just REBOL.
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