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I thought Syllable was dying - I guess I was wrong - keep up the great work!
I didn't know anyone actually used REBOL. A waning OS with a waning development platform ported to it. The license for REBOL is pretty steep when I could buy some other compiler/interpreter/framework for less, or better, use something else that is free. But I could just be missing its appeal and purpose.
I also thought it was dying, but I'm not so sure I'd change my mind just yet. To me, it still is.
I mean... is anything truly interesting being done with Syllable? Any truly good improvements? I'm not so sure I'd call this interesting. Maybe a good start would be something as simple as separating the programs on the installation disc into, you know, separate packages... instead of one massive archive to extract to the hard drive. Feels so clunky for an OS that claims to be "modern"...
To sum it up: Syllable was interesting, but it lost my interest a while ago, and this sure as hell doesn't regain any of it back... Edited 2010-11-09 05:14 UTC
i guess you are not wrong. Most of the so called "ports" are in most cases nothing more than the commands ./configure; make;make install; (and perhaps also other little adjustments). Nothing substantial has been done for syllable desktop in the last few years.
If you look at the sourcecode of syllable, nearly nothing has changed in the last years. Perhaps that's also an reason why no new version of syllable desktop was released since about 18 month, and the version before need also about 18 month (anyway more than a year, i'm sure). And it was planned to make syllable desktop release every 3 month.
Even Syllable 0.6.6 is 18 month old, i'm quite sure, that they will still not release 0.6.7 soon. I could bet that this time it will take more than 24 month (2 years).
Another ex-developer of syllable said once as a supposition: "0.6.7 will never come out".
And related to Rebol. The plans of the "co-leader" with Rebol on syllable, where one of the reasons, why at a certain time, most of the developers leaved syllable (some of the officially, others quietly without saying one word).
I liked to play with Rebol 2, I did some nice applications, but when I saw that Rebol 3 delayed for years, it became too lost my passion for it.
I remember last years, after a lot of delays, it was said: "at about christmas, we could have the R3 release, but i don't promise anything". Since than one year pasted, and it's still in alpha phase.
When is it not very visible what kind of license R3 has.
I think it would be a good idea, to ignore Rebol, till it will be really open source (GPL, BSD, MIT, or something like that). I must admit i don't know what license R3 has, but i guess it's still a quite restrictive one.
You forgot your usual complaint that Syllable is dead because there are no responses to OSNews articles. Edited 2010-11-09 22:02 UTC
yes, i must admit this news about R3, is a success for syllable. Too bad, that such news, you have just once every few years.
You're a good sport. Fortunately, we're still doing better than the Syllable fork started by the people who had all the complaints.
REBOL 3 is already a gratis product, like REBOL 2. It says so at the bottom of the host kit link in my article:
"For the binary, you can freely publish and use REBOL 3 for commercial and non-commercial uses."
I love REBOL, version 3 has been in development a long long time, but I like where it's going. Glad to see Syllable is also alive.
Well, you just proved me ignorant. (Not that it is hard to do). (See my response to the topic above).
REBOL is a lot like COBOL in the sense that it's not as often used these day, but has a very loyal following by those who use it. There are a few of us left
Perhaps it's appropriate with an update on the general status of REBOL 3.
It's a long, long road and still a bit of way to go, but there have been significant changes the past 6 months:
The language core has not changed much, other than delivering a bunch of bug fixes.
The latest R3 alphas support modules. This was particularly difficult, due to the desire to make it very simple to use and also to make R3 modular at the same time.
R3 also supports extensions, so you can for example use OpenGL to render some graphics. It's also recommended if you are using heavy computations.
R3 now has a separate hostkit with open source code, for which versions for AmigaOS, Linux, OSX and Windows exist. So if you want R3 on your platform and have a good deal of compiler and C knowledge, you can contribute. It also helps to refine the hostkit.
GUI work has moved to a third party developer, RM Asset, where 4 developers (I'm one of them) are taking care of both the low, mid and high level aspects of the GUI system. RM Asset wants to make it useful for business applications as soon as possible.
There are occasional releases to the community of informal builds of the GUI system.
Carl Sassenrath, the main designer of R3, also now works closely together with RM Asset, which has made development much more tangible and visible to the community. Generally more developers are picking up tasks to be done and momentum is fairly good.
R3 can be downloaded here:
Syllable, like pretty much any hobby os, is dead. The only ones surviving are either supported by corporations - Windows, Os X, QNX, Symbian, Android, Solaris, either supported by big comunities - Linux(es), FreeBSD, OpenBSD, OpenIndiana.
But Syllable, SkyOS, Haiku, Menuet, ReactOS, are pretty much dead.
While 30 years ago a single guy could sit in front of his computer and write something like DOS or Minix in a year, writing something comparable to Windows, Os X or Linux in complexity requires pretty big resources.
Good reply. :-) I don't think we will be able to agree on a common definition of "dead" here on OSNews. For informational purposes: Syllable Server is currently being rolled out at a large, established US company. It's literally a household name: they're producing housekeeping materials.
I'll admit this isn't the glorious sort of news that OSNews geeks like to dwell on. ;-)
I'm not sure the party doing this implementation would like me to tell more, so I'll leave it at that for now.
Ah, no problem. Anyway that's good news. Is it safe to assume that the money coming from this project will give you guys some incentive to work more on Syllable Desktop?
It's not safe to assume money is coming from this project. Syllable is free to download, after all. Still, it's an incentive, and a validation. It's exactly what we have been aiming at for many years, and the project is contributing improvements to the system.
Congratulations on a job well done then. Otherwise what's in store for Syllable Desktop in the (near?) future? I've been following the project for a few years, even did some experiments on real hardware at one time and I guess it would be really exciting to see some more releases.
Hm, but that is Syllable Server, i.e. Linux under the hood. As a Haiku developer who feels the pain of insufficient hardware support and sometimes lacking stability, I can really sympathize with trying to port your userland onto the Linux or another well established kernel. It's still sad, in a way, that this seems to be where the development resources are focused. At the same time, I wouldn't know at all where the development of Syllable is really currently focused on, since there has been like one or two posts to the Syllable mailing list in the last two years or so. Communication must be going on somewhere else, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, though! To start a clean, non-redundant userland on top of Linux is worthwhile in itself. I will be sure to checkout the results, but I am more interested in a desktop, not a server, don't know if it will ever take this direction.
I'm not sure if it makes a difference if I will explain this once more, because everyone seems to like to stick to these misunderstandings. But here goes.
Syllable development has not specifically refocused on Syllable Server. It's just an addition to the lineup. Moreover, since more than 99% of the source code of Syllable Desktop is third-party code, and it is shared by Syllable Server, and they also share the same build system, most work on Syllable Server is automatically also work on Syllable Desktop - even if it is not immediately followed by a release.
It is true that the release frequency of Syllable Desktop has slowed down a lot. However, this is not due to Syllable Server, but due to the build master of Syllable Desktop loosing interest over time. Syllable Server has never had frequent releases yet, and Syllable Desktop has now slowed down to the same pace. We've still been doing alternate releases. The most recent release is of Syllable Server, but before that the previous Server release was as long ago as the Desktop release is now.
Desktop and Server are developed in tandem, witnessed by the REBOL 3 ports to them, and that's how we always planned it.
It is true that our mailing list has dried up in the past two years, but this is not exclusive to Syllable. If you look around at other projects, there are many that show much the same phenomenon. I'm not entirely sure why this is. Personally, I've long predicted the death of email, and I think this is a symptom of it, and people are moving to more modern forms of communication. There's also a real problem that first Ubuntu, and now mobile OSes and also Windows 7, and in our case Haiku as well, have been sucking people away from Syllable. People have to remember that this is a volunteer open source project, which is not propelled forward by complaining or even declaring it dead at every occasion, but by contributing.
You're right that our communication is happening in a different place these days. Weren't you in our AltME system in the past? Anyway, as I've long said, everyone is welcome in there, but again, only few people bother. Everything should be in balance, so if people don't care enough about Syllable to even take a look, for example simply on our public web forum, why would we go out of our way to bring news to them? Still, we've always planned to open this up more, and we're working towards that, so far by constantly improving the websites, where you can read news somewhat regularly, including through RSS feeds. Edited 2010-11-12 00:38 UTC
I am relieved to hear that development has not refocused on Syllable Server. I don't quite agree with the idea that email is a dying medium of communication, especially in Open Source projects. In all projects that I take part in (AGG, WebKit, Haiku, XViD, FFmpeg, ...), email is the major communication channel for discussions, and IRC for real-time conversations. In my experience, many developers don't like forums in particular, since they have to invest more activity than to simply look at their email inbox. For some to me unknown reasons, many users like to use forums, though, especially in the Haiku project there is a disconnection between the forums and the mailing lists, since almost no developer looks at the forum posts. I have no experience with the AltMe platform, but to me it seems that since communication has shifted there, it made the Syllable project much less approachable and transparent. Of course that's entirely up to you guys, just offering my experience as someone who has been following the Syllable mailing list in the past.
Most of the projects you name are major projects with considerable communities and vested interests. If they also go some way back, it stands to reason that mail was their primary communication system and that has stuck. This has grown out of the academic world, but when something like 95% of all email volume has become spam, and you have to take draconian measures to keep it working, something has gone wrong. And that's just a detail; my real beef is with the (non-)organisation of email.
I recognise your description of the developer/user split between mailing lists and forums. The strange this is that for me, it's the other way around. The last time I preferred email was when I had it in Lotus Notes, and I was running my own Notes server to synchronise it over all my machines and work places. I had to let go of that when I migrated to Syllable and Linux, which lost me all that convenience. Since then, I can only simulate some of the same convenience by going with the web and cloud trend.
There's a reason that I like Syllable and other simplifying technologies. It must have something to do with the reason that regular users prefer web forums. It's distinctly different from the old academic mindset that produced email and Linux. It has always been my mission to offer regular people systems made with a different mindset: more convenient and much more integrated. As you can see, I need network technology for that, so clients and servers, and that's why we added Syllable Server and REBOL to the Syllable lineup. All of them are important pieces of the puzzle.
Regarding AltME: it's indeed what they call a darknet these days. But it's not a darknet because you can't get in, but because people don't bother to visit. So here's the situation: people always claimed operating systems sucked and they wanted better ones, we spent a decade of our lifes creating it for them, but people simply refuse to even have a look at the collaboration system that we chose to produce Syllable. It embodies the Syllable philosophy of integration and convenience: it's not a loose collection of email, IRC, FTP, CVS and what not, but a holistic, efficient, cross-platform groupware system with a nice graphical interface. We're not going to degrade our own productivity by dumping it for the sake of lurkers who demand but don't contribute. This street goes two ways. Nevertheless, as I said, we desire to open it up more, and eventually even replace it with our own system, but we're working on that gradually. Syllable Server was the first step.
On the topic of Haiku as a dead OS. I'd seriously disagree. I have a machine here that's set up to technically triple boot Linux (Ubuntu), Windows, and Haiku. To be honest, i use Haiku the most out of the three. In it's current state, it's more than usable.
Syllable is interesting, and REBOL is very powerful and can produce some fantastic stuff if you learn it. I personally don't code REBOLm, but i know someone who's pretty good at it (He should be, he's the son of the creator of REBOL XD )