ErlangInside

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Interview with Tony Arcieri, Reia Creator: Part Two

For part one, click here.

EI: Where is Reia in the development cycle? When will it be beta or production ready?

TA: You can consider it to be in an “early alpha” stage at this point. There are a number of open tickets for known issues on our ticket tracker. While there are a small number of tests many parts of the language are completely untested. The goal is to implement a specification/testing tool similar to MSpec and use that to create an executable specification of the language itself. Once this is underway the language should effectively be “beta”. Unfortunately there are still some additional language features needed before such a tool can be written, like simple inheritance.

EI: How will releases work – with multiple, frequent releases similar to the Rails cycle, or a slow release cycle focused on a ‘perfect 1.0′ similar to Django?

I would like to develop the language iteratively as opposed to the boil-the-oceans approach seen in Python 3000, Ruby 2.0, Perl 6, and C++0X. This is easy when a language is new and here’s little concern about breaking compatibility with existing programs, since there aren’t many. However I think even entrenched languages have managed to do it successfully. C# comes to mind.

EI: How can a developer get involved and contribute?

TA: If you’re interested in Reia, join the mailing list:

http://lists.reia-lang.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/reia-talk

Also, consider forking Reia on GitHub:

http://github.com/tarcieri/reia/tree/master

Once you’ve forked a copy, take a look at the open tickets on Lighthouse:

http://reia.lighthouseapp.com

Try capturing one of the known defects with a (failing) test, and see if you can try to fix it. Once you’ve captured a bug in a test, or better yet fixed the bug and made that test pass, send me a pull request on Github and I’ll merge your changes back into my branch.

Or, just try using Reia. The test coverage right now is fairly poor, and many defects have been discovered just by people trying to use the language. If you find a problem, open a ticket on Lighthouse and I’ll try to get it resolved.

Thanks again, Tony!

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