January 6, 2019

Full steam ahead!

The past year

It has been a tough year 2018, filled with roller-coasters and instability. The constant dropping of the crypto markets has forced us to change our plans pretty much every three months, in order to cope with that market uncertainty and our diminishing means. Though we have taken measures to ensure the proper funding for Red project for the next few years, so no worries on that side. All that has slowed down work on Red's core and even our new C3 language. That said we still have managed to make some great progress in the past year, e.g.:

  • RED Wallet released: a good showcase of what can be achieved in a small codebase using a truly full-stack programming language like Red, from USB and hardware keys drivers to blockchain network interfacing and cross-platform UI!
  • Garbage Collector: a simple mark & sweep, compacting GC for Red! That is a big step towards a completed production-ready Red version 1.0.
  • Red console fully re-implemented in Red itself, allowing new features like syntactic coloring and user plugins.
  • New rich-text display widget and related RTD dialect.
  • DPI-independent support for Red/View.
  • Preliminary port! and bigint! datatypes implementations.
  • eth:// port for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain (to be released publicly very soon).
  • 350 tickets closed, among which 136 are bugfixes.
  • RedCon1 held in Prague in November!
  • Extended Red team with now about 12 people in total.

We are also working on structuring the Red Foundation and have a new recruit working on tokenomics. So the tokens retro-distribution to kick-start tokenomics should happen very soon.

The plan for 2019

We are starting the year with big targets as we need some last big pieces of the Red project to be implemented to reach both our technical and business goals. Here are the main tasks we will handle during this new year:

  • C3 toolchain release: the C3/System language spec was defined last October and work on the compiler and related toolchain is on-going. This is our main short-term priority as we want to test our business options in the smart contract market while it is still in its early days.

  • Red full async I/O support (0.7.0 milestone): we already have a PoC for async tcp/udp support, with Rebol-like event handling API. There is still a need for more design work (on-going right now) in order to provide the best possible API for Red users. For now, we are trying to avoid going full-force into the deep territory of defining a general concurrency support (it's scheduled for 0.9.0 milestone). I'm not yet sure if we can escape stepping into it anyway if we want to go beyond the Rebol async model.

  • Full Android support for Red: we have a preliminary implementation that has proven to be very promising! With the integration of async I/O and ports, we will be able to complete the wrapping of the Android API using decent human-friendly abstractions. We need to advance Android support to at least beta level by the end of this year. This is one of the major goals we need to achieve.

  • Red/Pro: it is coming this year! It will be our first commercial product and set of online services targetting both individual developers and enterprises. It will include a new backend for Red's toolchain, providing a state-of-the-art optimizing layer and support for many new platforms, including 64-bit ones (though full 64-bit Red support will probably be for next year). That new backend will provide an alternative to our current code emitter and linker, the rest of the toolchain remaining the same. The current Red toolchain will be known as the "community" version, and continue being the main development branch.

In addition to all that, a 0.6.5 milestone for Red is in the plans, aiming at making the Red console the main focus for Red users by providing:
  • prebuilt versions of the Red console.
  • ability to invoke the Red toolchain from the Red console.
  • a plugin API to extend the console in many ways.

In order to better focus on these tasks and better interact with our new team members in Europe, we will be relocating our core team from different parts of the world to Europe (Red Foundation is located in Paris). We also plan to make a RedCon2 developer conference in Europe later this year.

Many thanks to all the people who have contributed or helped in any way with advancing Red and managing the community. How do we climb the tallest mountain? One step at a time! And the top is in sight now, we're almost there. ;-)

Happy New Year to all, and keep up the great work you are all doing!


  1. Is there any possibility that the Linux port can be made to work well with the UI libraries in Red? It may help with adoption

  2. There is a partial GTK implementation, done by community member @rcqls. It's not a priority for the core team, but anyone is welcome to contribute to it. We have a new chat room for it as well: https://gitter.im/red/GTK

  3. Thank you so much for returning the focus back to Red Core.

  4. Loooking forward to Network and USB I/O. IMO this is much more important than the blockchain and GUI.

  5. Could you speed up the development of an app on the mobile side of a mobile phone for the purpose of attempting block chain practicability, such as China's public trust www.gxb.io, which is conducive to the return of TOKEN prices Thank you RED I hope your team can read my message. I hope my advice will help you.

  6. Lost interest at partial GTK support. Cool project though.


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