RealTime IT News

REBOL: New Language for the Net?

REBOL Technologies, the creator of next-generation network-based messaging technologies, today announced the release of REBOL, a network messaging language.

Designed to revolutionize the exchange and interpretation of information on the Internet, REBOL Technologies' first product, REBOL/Core V1.0, is available for download at www.rebol.com.

REBOL/Core is 100% platform- and operating system-independent, and currently available on the AmigaOS, Windows 95/98/NT, Solaris 2.6 SPARC, BSD and various Linux platforms.

While REBOL (pronounced like "rebel") is touted as being "free," it doesn't seem to be truly free in the way most people understand. The company's Web site states that it "intends to distribute REBOL over the Internet free of charge for private, non-commercial and educational uses... Commercial and professional upgrades as well as distribution licenses (bundling) will be available at low cost later in the year."

That's a big change from languages such as Perl, C, and Java, which have no licensing fees for any usage. It remains to be seen whether REBOL can transcend that serious limitation.

REBOL was designed to be easier-to-learn, easier-to-read, and more versatile than current scripting languages (PERL, Tcl), but still as robust as conventional programming languages (C++, Java). The result: REBOL cuts application solution lengths from thousands of lines of code to hundreds.

REBOL is an Internet-native language, directly handling primary Internet protocols such as e-mail, Web and FTP. No other bundled network or computer applications are needed, although REBOL's open design means they can all be accommodated.

Typical REBOL applications might include Web site building and maintenance, electronic commerce, file transfer, list management, newsgroup processing, E-mail filtering and processing, and Web searches.

REBOL Technologies is encouraging the development of third-party applications built on REBOL/Core, and many of these applications will be available directly through REBOL's web site at no charge.

REBOL will make commercial and professional upgrades, as well as distribution licenses, available over the next few months. These will be accompanied by additional releases of REBOL/Core on the Macintosh, Linux for SPARC and DEC Alpha, DEC Alpha NT, IRIX 6.2, BeOS x86, and BSDi.