September 25, 2018

Hello (again) world! Our Weekly Recap

(Cool announcement buried below, like a prize in cereal.)

1. A goodly part of our Fellowship of Red Magicians ("rogues" would be more alliterative, but I don't think they qualify) are cloistered in the wilds of Idaho, casting spells and muttering arcana over Red with more far-flung fellows. Right now, @dockimbel, @qxtie, @PeterWAWood and @greggirwin are
working magic on Garbage Collection, which has now been merged into the master branch. Debugging was a big challenge, and writing tests equally so. There are many subtle details that may not be intuitive, like the fact that series values don't shrink when items are removed. As you use the GC version, don't be too hasty to file bug reports. Confirm via community chat that you understand the expected behavior.

2. In red/docs, we're fleshing out our translations and adding more documentation of datatypes. In red.specs, @meijeru has expanded his discussion of the existing repertoire of errors to include ways the user can define errors for themselves. Meanwhile, @tovim's latest Czech translations have been added (here, and here). And new descriptions of datatypes from @gltewalt have been placed here.

3. Your prize for reading down: We'll be at the Ethereum Devcon! See you in Prague, October 30 - November 2! Tickets were hard to come by, each wave selling out in less than a minute. We're excited to talk to core devs and tell them about Red/C3.

4. Regarding Issues, if you notice reproducible issues, please document them as thoroughly as possible on github. New issue #3541 was handled promptly by @dockimbel. #3536 observed that when 'make hash!' was applied to a value of which there were a very large number of looped interations, Red revs up the CPU usage and grinds away for quite a while before producing a result, so we've reviewed it and added it as a bug. Of interest also is #3530, in which @dsunanda observed some laggy movement when setting a panel as loose.

5. Answer our questions for the community, before it's too late! Go here. I'll be collating your responses this week. Thanks to everyone who's already added their voice, including @rebolek, @BeardPower, @dander, @codenoid, @ungaretti, a few guys named Alexander, and many more.

If I have missed something you'd like to know more about or if you have questions/concerns, please reach out to me: lucinda_red on twitter, or lucindamichele on most every other platform. Have a great week!

September 17, 2018

So much to say, so little time

We know everyone is anxious for the 0.6.4 release with garbage collection and it is close. A couple of changes are being wrapped up on the RED wallet and then the final nails will be hammered in on 0.6.4. Thanks to @bitbegin and @qtxie for all their work in those areas.

It's amazing to have @dockimbel walk you through a log analysis and how some debugging was done for GC, inner details of func spec caching, and preview some features in the new GUI console. Even better, he walked me through them in person. That's right, he and @qtxie are here in the U.S. for a deep dive of business and technical work. The days are long, and the coffee is flowing, but we are Red-powered.

Thanks to @lucindamichele for getting the news flowing regularly, and now on to her weekly report.

Last Week In Red

Tell us about yourself and what you'd like to see Red become! Over at we have a few questions for you. They're also at the bottom of this message.

More of your input and questions go into documentation: this exchange on Gitter prompted a further fleshing out of ways block elements can be accessed: (1) using slash and a numeric index; (2) treating the block as a key/value store (these in addition to originally defined comparative functions like `=, ==, <>, >, <, >=, &lt;=, =?`).

We also saw a number of fixes to the RED Wallet, making it even more stable and flexible in response to data entries. Transactions that are waiting in the pending pool can be edited with greater clarity and simplicity; the wallet now lets you review the amount and address of your transactions.

In Red's Garbage Collection, following the previous week's fixes, some new tests of object recycling were added.

The community project red.specs-public -- a guide to the syntax and semantics governing the language -- added the option to search the repository by datatype.

In his nimble diagramming tool, user @toomasv continues to expand its interactive capabilities, adding a layer for re-sizing of diagram data and further defining shapes.

And here are your questions, go answer them on Gitter, here:

1) Do you consider yourself a programmer?
2) Do you consider yourself a software engineer?
3) Do you solve business problems with software?
4) What kind of problems do you solve?
5) What other languages have you used?
6) What is your favorite language, and why?
7) Is "progammer" or "developer" in your job title?
8) Do you think Red should be for "everyone" (e.g., like Visual Basic)?
9) Do you want to use Red for real work, or just fun?
10) What software do you pay for?

We've seen a lot of great responses so far, which tell us about how are people using Red, who they are, which will help us prioritize features. Keep 'em coming, and Happy Reducing!

September 10, 2018

A quick note, and recent updates

More to Come

It's been quiet here for a while, but busy as can be on the development and planning sides. We have new web sites ready to be filled with content, and all this blog content will transfer. On the PR side, Lucinda Knapp is helping us get organized, and get more regular announcements out. They'll be brief, recapping recent work and notes of interest from as well as Gitter and other community channels.

We have a lot to talk about, and hope to do that soon. If we could just focus on development, things would be much easier. Our focus, as planned, is on the blockchain aspect and C3, but we still need to fill the gaps in the core to support that. And we have to build a business so it's sustainable. The token sale was a huge success but, in spite of that, we are subject/victim to crypto volatility. Do the math. Plans made in January had to be adjusted. Heck, plans made a week ago had to be adjusted. The token sale also came at a huge cost in other obligations. Things we might call distractions. It wasn't just "Here's a bunch of ETH, now go and do what you really want for a year." If only that were true.

There's a solid core team, support from about a dozen people in a semi-official capacity, and we have a great community. As an open source project, we live or die by that community. Otherwise we could just build what we want, and provide dev and consulting services around that. But we want to change the world. We want to help fix what is broken in software development, all while paying our own bills and eating regularly. To do that, we need you. Every little bit helps. While we need a couple more deep, experienced system-level coders (point them to us if you know any), almost anyone can contribute in some way. Reach out. Tell us what your skills are, what you're interested in, how you're using Red, or specific roadblocks you hit with it. "I need Full I/O" is not specific. 😶 Specific is important, because if you are trying to use it for something, that means you have needs and skills in that area. And you're probably not alone.

Our huge thanks to the community leaders, those working on tests and documentation, and experimental projects and research. There is a lot going on, and we're working hard to make things happen that are really worth announcing. 

Happy Reducing!

Last Week in Red

New and notable in Red development: Numerous fixes in garbage collection, addressing crashes both with the recycling of red-symbol, and on macOS after allocating virtual memory. Quick-test.r saw a change, adding a precall. On the Docs side, the percent! datatype was committed by @gltewalt,
applying percent! to typesets number! and scalar!, and it has been added to SUMMARY.adoc.

And among Red community projects, Gritter, a Red Gitter client, has seen feature updates including the mapping of antecendent post-time periods."Starting to be useful," writes @rebolek. In an update to the of OTP/ssword, @planetsizecpu notes that the otp generator is dependent upon
user selected parameters for its strength, meaning it's on the user to determine how strong that password is.
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