License confusion


When I consider how long it took to release Carl’s sources, I would be very surprised if he would now replace these with Ren-C code. At least without reconsideration of each change. And one don’t need much time to find out that there is nothing what was not modified in some way in Ren-C branch.

One should not forget that although Carl is not active, Rebol is still his child and he will not want to lose control over it.

The Path to Beta/One

Then we need to charge him with parental neglect!

But no software project survives unchanged unless it’s either perfect, or dead. And the fact that people are primarily sticking to Rebol2, or have moved to a better Rebol2 in the form of Red shows that r3alpha has been a major failure.

I’m in favour of a project name change since R3/hf has become increasingly distant from Rebol2/3. And the success or failure of those changes will not be determined by computer science, but by the number of users it attracts on a long term basis.


I’m far to be a licensing expert, but somehow inside feel that you cannot just take someone’s (even not much breathing) child, modify its internals here and there and release it under a new name with no original name traces (which is something I understood from HF’s post he want to do if Carl will not give him his domains).

Also quite don’t understand the new renaming, because I think people with at least limited memories of Rebol history are pretty aware that Ren-C is the new Rebol (fork).

I’m also aware that situation is not good as Ren-C is not compatible with all the original documentation resources which were done for Rebol (2/3) and so should be documented if it want to be publicly used. If this documentation would be done under Rebol name, it would add just another confusion.


I completely disagree with this claim. You should not forget that without R3alpha release there would be no Ren-C. R3 is not bad… there was just not much people who would move it in whatever direction.

I belong to the group of R2 users and I was sticking with it because it was working where I needed it. Still I had no time to study unfinished R3 to fit my needs. I use the original R3 code to dive in like in Carl’s mind now when Red is focused on blockchain and the development is somehow hidden if not stopped. But I’m still big Nenad’s fun as he is one of the best Reboler’s and what he did is really interesting.

And I’m pretty sure that Nenad decided to write own “Rebol” to avoid this situation - he want to be own master and don’t need to solve situation like discussed in this topic.


That’s your problem. To help you understand this, just see how Apple took FreeBSD, and rebranded it as OSX because they were allowed to under that license. And the Apache2 license is much the same as BSD used. It’s an eat me license. We did argue to Carl to use a LGPL license which prevents this but he decided against it. His loss, and our ability to now take this path.


No. That is not my problem, because I’m not Apple and I’m not going hostile paths.


What I am telling you is that you don’t understand the licensing issues, so what you feel you can’t do is incorrect. And again you’re incorrect since there is no hostile path, there is just the one path. R3alpha died years ago in a neglected state with the keys to the repository lost so it could never be updated unless Carl decided otherwise.


Carl can make his decisions without you making them for him.

(Though of course it’s a major annoyance that you’ve chosen to be a loud discouraging voice against the adoption, as opposed to an assuring voice from the community saying the direction is good and awesome.
And you wonder why I don’t like you…)

You need to get your story straight. Is Ren-C a complete rewrite that should be feared by everyone, or is it a few inconsequential changes that could be easily incorporated?

It is my belief that the changes are geared around achieving the initial purposes of Rebol, and are done in a consistent spirit. But it is a massive rewrite and rethinking, and at this point the evaluator/GC/API and other such pieces are practically all my code.

The only intrinsic part of what Carl did that has stuck would be how he “set up the rules of the game”…he mapped out a set of choices regarding what was acceptable in terms of the scale of the system. This is why we accept cells that are 4 platform pointers in size, for instance…or that it should be buildable with roughly a 1989 C compiler. Someone who was starting the project from scratch in another language might choose a different basis, and that affects a lot of the thinking.

Source code would contain the Copyright 2012 Rebol and Apache License info, as required, but have additional credits for later dates under the new name. (Though I might go about fixing all the files that kind of boilerplate copied that when it was all new code. Fortunately we have a reference point on that.)

I’m saying we would go our own path in marketing if there was a specific rift. If after looking at the direction he doesn’t want to say it’s Rebol, then neither do I…I’ll call it something else. But if he agrees and wants it to be Rebol, then I want that too. Really, both outcomes have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

I’ve already said that the core could be used in different packagings. If he doesn’t like some of the naming choices and wants a different mezzanine or remapping of natives to be consistent with old documentation, and we can’t come to a compromise on the names of functions or whatever…then that can be Rebol. That’s plan C, where multiple projects use the same core and just “skin” it differently, under different brands.


Good thing we all can think and say aloud what our thought are about the matter. It is good to have some counterweigth around to keep alert, to stay on a right track here.
I do believe REN-C is the right track for what once was R3alpha.

After Earl left, Carl could have assisted the community in providing a new key to the repo. Instead he did nothing leaving the sources as Cast in Stone Open Source, Hence the need for a fork was born, in a sense protecting his intellectual work. Now the REN-C fork has progressed ‘beyond repair’ so it can stand on its own.

I too think it is pretty impressive what he has done so far. But as far as I am concerned with bitcoins the project has stalled for as far as my wishes for the language for almost over a year now. (And virtually no community aiding to the source too, partly because it is hard to get it accepted, Your (@Oldes) GLFW binding for R/S got into “code” repo but it lies there mainly unused.)
I agree with the stand Red has, no dependency on RT / Carl as it is proven to be not very reliable in the past.
That is also what has been left as a legacy for the Rebol community and the Rebol name: “it is probably going to end up somewhere in a state that will not move”. This is also my main thought in why a new name is important for this project (whilst giving credits to the legacy Rebol code to its creator(s)).


Of course it is Carl’s issue to discuss it with you. I just said my opinion. You problem is, that when someone says something which you don’t agree, you take it as an attack against you. Btw… I usually stop myself commenting on many topics just because I don’t want to put you into a bad mood.

Sometimes I wonder why I still lurk here.


No, there is always many paths. Just personal preferences/needs differs.


You know quite well why. It’s because if someone is interested in the Rebol code and advancing the state of the art, this is the only game in town.

But despite knowing that…you have wanted to carry an attitude of protest…because you wish the world were some other world than the world that it is. I was in support of the idea of you working on R3-Alpha yourself and trying to add features, tweaking it and learning about it. It’s good–because you get to find that what you might have imagined were somehow pertinent or well designed (let’s say codecs)–are not what you might have thought they are cracked up to be. You can see for yourself various problems and why the code was pretty much at the breaking point…needing the kind of renovations I gave it.

But somehow you misconstrued my being in support of you undertaking that education on your own for the idea that I am supposed to be your personal guide in how to adapt R3-Alpha’s code in your vision.

  • Firstly, I’ve already been there–and unless an issue is still pertinent and relevant to me, it is not worth my time or frustration to explain years of work.

  • Secondly, I don’t understand your vision–because you seem to overtly not care about if things work or not.

  • Thirdly, I have already built a project which encodes my opinions on things. You are more interested in trying to imagine what Carl might have meant by commenting out a line with no statement than reading comments by me where I’ve explained in detail what I did and why. I document heavily, do everything out in the open, and so me being your personal guide for your direction of R3-Alpha is–as I have said–a totally unfair expectation.

I don’t think that is true. I have plenty of productive debates with people who disagree.

But there are some psychological things you probably should look at:

The problem is that if someone like myself is doing a massive amount of work–creating things that only a small audience can (currently) appreciate, your flat lack of appreciation has put me off. You speak up on a thread like this with complete misinformation (lack of understanding of the license) and a total inconsistency on your opinion of the significance of my work relative to the state of Rebol when I started. And this is really the only kind of thing you ever say, when you’re not pestering me to help you.

If you want to change, that’s great. I’m interested in technical conversation which advances the state of the art, but the problem is that I can’t have that conversation with you if you haven’t reckoned a bit more with the reality: this is volunteer work. If something isn’t fun I don’t have to do it. I don’t have to talk to you at all.

And this is the only game in town, except for Red…which you are more than welcome to go work on. It’s open source as well, so you can take that in its own direction too.


My sentiments are THANKS HOSTILE FORK. THANK YOU, thank you for all this great work you’re doing. It’s much appreciated. And Thank You to all the team that contribute to making Rebol better. Lots of hugs and kisses and super warm feelings,(not literally because I’m not that sort of guy but you get the idea).