Simon Willison’s Weblog

Playing with REBOL

Yesterday, inspired by Keith’s Programming page, I decided to take a look at REBOL. REBOL is a very high level scripting language designed for working with the internet. It has the interbnet built in to its very core—its 45 core datatypes include email addresses and URIs and it includes support for 14 standard protocols including HTTP, FTP, POP and even finger.

The language itself is impressively expressive. A classic example is the following one-liner, which retrieves the contents of a web page and emails it to a specified address:

send [email protected] read

While the core of REBOL is closed source (and looks set to remain that way) implementations are available for 40 different platforms and the language has an developed a large community. I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the capabilities of the language—the GUI stuff in particular is very impressive. Also worth a look is Simple Content Management on ALA, which demonstrates how REBOL can be used to construct a simple, template based offline content management system.

This is Playing with REBOL by Simon Willison, posted on 31st March 2003.

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