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13 December 2012, 16:42

REBOL 3 open source code arrives

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REBOL logo The latest version of Carl Sassenrath's REBOL language has been published as open source, marking a major change in how the novel language is made available to the public. REBOL, a previously proprietary language developed by Sassenrath, the primary developer of AmigaOS, was first released in 1997 and is oriented towards task-specific language dialects or domain-specific languages to be used in processing. It has a number of "dialects" for purposes such as data exchange (load), programming (do), pattern matching (parse), function and object definition (make), and GUIs (layout or display). These dialects work together with a free-form syntax to provide an intriguing language, but one which has never become mainstream.

Sassenrath's REBOL Technologies has marketed the language since 1998, offering versions optimised for servers or GUI work, with support, and had gone as far as offering a free-to-use licence for the language without much success. After noting that the landscape and market for languages had changed over the last decade, Sassenrath went looking for ideas from the Rebol community on how to re-energise the language and its development. In September 2012, he announced that REBOL would become open source, as it was "the only way I can see it regaining some degree of momentum and renewed interest". In November, the initial plan to release as GPL2 gave way to an Apache 2 Public Licence and Sassenrath assuring the community that he was not cutting and running, but was dedicated to developing the language further.

Now, he has announced the first release of the REBOL 3 source code on his GitHub repository and already members of the REBOL community are downloading and building the first open source code on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Sassenrath appears to also be looking forward to a possible port to Android.


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