Home   Archive   Permalink

Thank you, Nick!

Maybe this isn't sufficient reason to open a new topic, but maybe it is. I'm working my way through your http://business-programming.com tutorial and it is FANTASTIC. I can't claim I understand too much but it has already achieved the goal of getting me hooked to keep going and I am going to trust you: going by "rote" will eventually transfer the gist of rebol to me.
I have a couple small question. At least I think they are small (if not, just tell me so) In the spreadsheet app, how would you approach making the editing of cells more 'real' and hardy (suggesting the user type in 'formula' in order to edit is an obvious kludge and it is easy to bomb the spreadsheet out but doing something inappropriate)?
On another level, I have been reading about the red project and my mouth is starting to drool even though I am still a baby in rebol. Is red going to be more like r3 (which has no view/gui version on my mac) or r2? Just trying to optimize my learning curve here as I suspect that when red becomes available all the rebol interpreters are going to pale in comparison for probably all applications....
Anyway, getting back to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible effort you have put forth in all these tutorials. The rebol community is obviously something pretty special. You are obviously something pretty special in this special community and I wanted to acknowledge your incredible GIVING.    
Someday I hope I am competent to give a little back....

posted by:   Steve R       15-Mar-2014/21:47:05-7:00

A couple things...
First, I was going to donate to the red project but my credit card won't function; I am guessing because the donations have to be in euros or are to a euro bank? Can you suggest to "doc" that he set up a US/USD based donation option with the thought that might increase the inflow? I'm thinking of this starving coder eating top ramen three times a day to keep from starving before he completes his magnum opus RED and it is making me kind of sad! :-}
Optimum way to learn RED: I saw a comment I think you made about how memorizing all the words is one of the fast-track tricks to gaining rebol/red functionality. I think you linked to wordbrowser.r with that in mind. I would like to keep this categorized dictionary open as I learn by typing on the console but the rebol:View console won't accept input without closing it. I have the same problem with the editor. Suggestions? Must I just tough it out or add another copy of rebol:VIEW with another name?
Related to this, what do you think of the "Categories"? I'm thinking of trying to make some sort of mnemonic system, maybe along the lines of a "memory palace" to begin laying down a framework in my head. I don't want to get through that and find out the categories (memory palace rooms) I'm using aren't very useful ... or will really screw me up when I try to transition to RED.
I know my comments are kind of "baby" in general but I've got to start somewhere. The earlier question about the spreadsheet, fyi, is because I think that might be the most compelling application for me to really try to understand by tinkering and expanding.

posted by:   Steve R       16-Mar-2014/12:05:10-7:00

Hi Steve,
I'm glad to hear that the tutorials are helpful :) The spreadsheet is a cool demo, but learning to code will eventually give you tools which are more precise and versatile than spreadsheets. Focusing on manipulating values in a series is one of the main things to 'get' in Rebol. As you learn to organize and perform operations on series (instead of visual rows and columns in a spreadsheet), and get used to putting together UIs to to handle error checked input/output data, you'll be able to handle user interactions in ways that are more controlled than they would be in the generic layout of a spreadsheet. The data manipulations you can perform with a programming language, and the ways that you can present and use the data, are more flexible than the formulas and presentation options available in spreadsheets (at least without adding a programming language like VB script to the mix). Digging into the spreadsheet example may be a helpful case study, but for actually working with data, at least initially, learning more about generally building your own apps from scratch, becoming more aware of and able to apply algorithmic thought processes, and learning to create apps which satisfy practical specifications - are likely your goals, so practice doing those things directly is probably time best spent. As it stands, even though the spreadsheet is a familiar paradigm, and the Rebol spreadsheet example can actually leverage anything the language can do, it will more likely complicate things that are generally pretty easy to accomplish with Rebol. If you have some specific questions about doing any of those things, including working with the spreadsheet example, feel free to ask.
Have you seen the article at http:// www.devx.com/opensource/Article/27454 ? It covers the spreadsheet app, which I added a bit to at http://business-programming.com/business_programming.html#section-8.6 .
Take a look at http://business-programming.com/business_programming.html#section-11 to get an idea of how things can very quickly escalate past what can be done comfortably with spreadsheets.
Learning Red at this point may be a bit premature. Doc is working consistently, and by the time you can do useful things with Rebol (I'd start with R2), Red may be out of alpha, but it's going to be a while before it has the tools and history that Rebol has built up. That being said, Red will very likely be a big part of the future for those of us who use Rebol, and donations to Doc are so helpful and appreciated. I have never had trouble donating to him through Paypal, and I'm in the US. Is that how you tried to make your donation?
I'm not sure I understand what's happening when you're "typing on the console but the rebol:View console won't accept input without closing it. I have the same problem with the editor.". Can you please explain what you're doing when you run into problems?
I wouldn't focus on memorizing the dictionary until you've at least finished the tutorials, and have some perspective about how everything fits together. Learning to create usable apps is about much more than memorizing the function words - you can keep a reference like the word browser handy to help you remember function names, and to get syntax right. Focus first instead on seeing how it all fits together, immerse yourself in reading and altering bits of code, follow the logic, understand how the case studies developed, run the examples, and make changes, etc. But learn how the whole process works - then follow the guidelines about how to build things from scratch. You'll start to recognize and then memorize words, patterns, idioms, etc., as you go, just by doing things repetitively. Experiment and start writing code whenever an example piques your curiosity. Copy and paste in the beginning if you have to - whatever it takes to get code into a text editor, and running. Alter, edit, and mess things up while you're learning. When you have specific questions about lines of code that you're writing, post them here.

posted by:   Nick       16-Mar-2014/23:46:32-7:00