R3N taking control of Open Sourced Rebol 3

What is that? R3N?

Maybe you are aware of the open sourcing of Rebol on 12-12-2012. The sources to an incomplete Rebol3 that used to be in development were given a chance to survive.

There was much enthousiasm but when Pull Requests were not applied by the owner and the second in command all of a sudden disappeared from the scene without any notification and the community was left adrift in the ocean.

Nobody wanted the responsibility nor was there any chance of getting control of the repo. The only way to go was to proceed on a personal forked branch. But this brings the problem that changes are considered personal wishes, not communicated within the community, not the way Rebol 3 should develop.  But this kind of criticism coming from people that had merely turned away or did nothing, to me it does not make sense.

So lucky for our community one single person with the aid of the friends that stayed or came by to discuss took it upon himself to push the repo along in his fork. He wanted to get rid of the flaws that were in the repository, making it compile under much stricter C compilers, get rid of wrong developments, integrating the code that was contributed by the companies Saphirion and Atronix, making the codebase solid.

This now has reached a point where the company Atronix even considers to start and use this fork as the base for one of their main products. So definite kudos to Brian for this achievement.

So with the original repo open sourced but in a ‘cast in stone’ sense and the only fork that has been seriously developed in a private repo it was clear that something had to be done to get the community out of the impasse.

There had been a tiny discussion about the original repo being r3a (alpha), the new version could become a r3b, but as it already had a project name of REN-C so probably r3c would be better as not to suggest Beta using r3b. So this is where my tiny part comes in play. I did suggest to skip right over to using r3n. R3 Next generation(?). This would be a nice wordplay of using the 3 as E and the name of the project would become REN. As a welcome coincidence there is also a Rebol offspring project that is called REN. This REN stands for REadable Notation and is sort of a generalisation of using a Rebol like language to describe information, just like the popular JSON. (But better of course 😉 ) https://github.com/humanistic/REN and http://pointillistic.com/ren/

I got in contact with the nice folks at github when I discovered the name r3n had already been taken but unused since 2009. Lucky for me they were able to free up the name for reason of inactivity. So I created the r3n github organisation https://github.com/r3n and forked the REN-C fork by HostileFork https://github.com/r3n/ren-c.

I invited Graham Chiu and Giulio Lunati to become co-owners of the organisation because they are serious users of the REN-C codebase and were willing to join. I did not invite Brian (yet) because I do not want him to feel pressed with this and give him the freedom to play around end experiment with his views on the language. I think that is also good for the project, to get others involved.

It was about time the Rebol community to take things in their own hand, so that is what happened. I am very confident the R3N organisation will become the place to re-group and start building the next generation Rebol.

Well as always curious about what you have to say, except for you folks that always post info about certain medication 😉

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4 Responses to R3N taking control of Open Sourced Rebol 3

  1. Gordon Raboud says:

    I have been working around the bugs in Rebol 3 for many months. Presently the program I’m working on, (custom accounting software), has about fifteen modules, each with a couple thousand lines of code. I would classify myself and an intermediate programmer. At this point, I don’t know how much I can contribute to the code base, but there may be other users even less knowledgeable than myself that I could help.

    I’m sure I would also benefit from the help of others and would appreciate an invitation to join the R3N GitHub organization.

  2. Zabo says:

    Hi Arnold ,
    how is the Rebol3 Development been arrived ?
    In comparing with Rebol2 version.


    • Arnold says:

      Hi Zabo,

      There is still progress in this line of R3. Brian is doing an amazing job in making things more logically consistent. Sometimes experiments are less successful and in such a case changes have been reversed. It is like learning to walk or ride a bike, when you not succeed at first, get up and try again.

      I am trying to get the first steps for a view integrated. But do not get too excited right away, it takes a lot of time figuring out this and that and development time is scarse for me unfortunately. But I try to get all of my achievements and findings documented in REN-C on github.

      And yes I still use a lot of R2 in practice because of the view and ease of use. R3 takes time to get used to and even REN-C changes can have surprising effects that make me go back for the quick results in R2, atmitted.

      Best regards,


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