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REBOL Datatypes

Added by to Coolnamehere on (Updated )

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One of REBOL’s strengths is the rich selection of native datatypes. This selection is part of what makes it so easy to express solutions to your problems, because there is less “mental mapping” to make as you use or create an abstract type to represent an important concept. Learning this selection is also one of the challenges for those who are trying to master the language. I am facing that challenge right now, so I decided to make this table of native REBOL datatypes and how they are expressed.

You can find the full description of all datatypes, along with detailed information about usage, at the following url:


Datatype Example Description
Decimal 1.2 A number with a fractional component
Integer 4 A whole number
Binary #{ccffcc} Numbers that don’t use a 10-based system (binary, hex, 64-encoded)
Block [ 1 1.2 "Dude!" ] A collected group of values and words
Email dude@sweet.com An email address
File %path/to/file.txt The name of a file or directory
Hash to-hash [ 1 "uno" 2 "dos" 3 "tres" ] A specialized block for quickly finding data - sort of like dictionaries or associative arrays in other languages
Image image: load %logo.jpg A specialized block for holding RGB images - You can also use binary formatting to describe the image within the document itself, if you want
Issue #Pock-Y-STX-5 Handy for phone numbers, serial codes, clone identification, or credit cards
List to-list[1 2 3] A specialized block for quickly handling large numbers of insertions and removals
Paren 1 + (2 * 3) A block that forces immediate evaluation of the values and words it contains
Path /geekery/rebol/datatypes Used to navigate to or find something. Think of subscripting or object methods, and you’re along the right track.
String "Dude! What's mine say?" A series of characters. What we humans often use to form words and sentences.
Tag <img src="slor.jpg" /> An HTML tag. Having tags as a native datatype makes parsing and writing Web pages very simple.
URL http://www.rebol.com/ A URL, used for finding stuff on the Internet.
Character #"Z" Not a string, but a single, solitary character.
Date 23-Dec-2004 A single specific calendar date, and sometimes the time to go along with it - can be created in a dizzying number of ways in REBOL
Logic true The basic boolean values used for evaluating any yes or no questions.
Money $8.24 Monetary values. That stuff I never seem to have 2 days after payday.
None none Nothing. No value. Not even zero. Zen, man. - okay, I’m getting a little goofy now
Pair 320x200 An (X,Y) ordered pair used for coordinates on a display or sizes.
Refinement system/version Modifiers used to indicate some variation or extension in the meaning of a value - Adjectives, basically. Neat, eh?
Time 16:25 Hours, minutes, and even seconds, if you like. An entire category of C programming exercises becomes meaningless thanks to this
Tuple A “dotted series” of integers, often useful for version numbers, net addresses, and color values.
Words word Symbols used by REBOL. Might be a variable - or not, depending on how you use it.

And remember, basically everything is a datatype. Even datatypes.