Monday, July 16, 2007

The Cocaine of Scripting Languages

This REBOL BEGINNERS TUTORIAL isn't really much of a tutorial but, after spending the better part of last Saturday trying to grok REBOL, I can relate to what the author is saying.

REBOL is the cocaine of scripting languages. I love it and I can't stop, yet at the same time I hate what it's done to me and the depths I've gone to to get more of it.

Do I sense a little frustration?

The words: [word, function, value, object] are used so interchangably, so vaguely, so often that they become meaningless. Anything can be anything in REBOL, except when it's not.

I feel it, man. I've used REBOL before to implement several fairly simple tasks. The built-in support for Internet protocols makes some things very easy. This time I was trying to solve a more complex parsing problem (well, complex for me) and I just couldn't get it. I had to throw the monkey off my back and move on to something else.

From reading examples and messages posted online I get the notion people who DO grok REBOL like to show off how much they can do in the fewest lines of code. I think I saw a one-liner that reproduces the entire Internet (but I can't find that one now). I won't be showing off any of my REBOL code anytime soon.

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