Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Today I'll post an interview to Mr. Robert M. Münch CEO of Saphirion AG:
Mr. Münch:
Hi Max, nice to hear from you. Of course I know your blog about Rebol. And great to hear, that you want to write a bit about Saphirion and what we do with Rebol etc.

I'll write down here the main questions about your company I receive from readers:

Mr. Münch:
Ok, I hope I can answer most of them down to the point.

Your site is only in German language, so it's difficult for many people understand your site. What is your company about?

Mr. Münch:
Yes, I know. I need to translate it into English. This is on our todo list.
Since our main target at the moment is Europe and there mostly Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who all speak german, the site is german only at the moment. For the rest of the world we are seeking partners and will translate the content into english.
Now, to what does Saphirion do? Saphirion is specialized in cost-management solutions for companies. So, our service and product is a B2B product. We are answering questions like:
  • How much should a part I buy from a supplier be?
  • What's the difference to the actual price we pay?
  • What's an expected price in the market for a part like ABC?
  • How much savings potential do we see in a product group?
By answering these questions, companies get a clear view and understanding on their cost situation and see where optimization efforts make sense and where not.

What is your relation between you and Reboltech company?

Mr. Münch:
None with respect to active business relations. I know Carl for about 15 years now and since then I use Rebol. We are using Rebol to build our products hence the interest in it and why we drive the R3 development as we do.
I was in long contact to get access to the R3 sources, to IOS sources etc. as I think / thought that there is more in the products than what RT has made out of it. If you want, I was an unofficial business management consultant for Carl. Not sure if it had any impact but I always felt like he was interested in my opinion about these things.
There is site, why don't you emphasize more it on your main site?

Mr. Münch:
Saphirion is not a technology company. We build and sell B2B services and solutions for cost-management, cost-optimzation. That we use Rebol to build our tools is of no interest to our customers. To keep the strategy clear, I have separated both topics. That's why is in english, where the main site for the B2B product is in german.
There is the Saphir R3, may you write about it? ( the moment is only for windows, will it be also on other platform? Will it be open source? Do you need help from community? Do you need money? What about using kickstarter (

Mr. Münch:
Lot's of questions. So let me start:

1. The Saphir R3 is a fork of the official R3, that we keep in sync with Carl's line in that we merge his changes into our code-line as soon as we recognize a change on GitHub.

2. At the moment the GUI version (View) is Windows only. The Core version runs on different platforms. We are currently porting the Core version to Android. (
If this is done (we are mostly through) we will bring the GUI version to Android as well. With this experience we will bring View version to OSX and Linux as well. But both don't have highest priority for us.

3. Our Saphir is / will be open-source. We are setting up the internal infrastructure. That means: Source-Code handling with the other R3 forks, test-framework, documentation etc. This still needs to settle down a bit before being ready for prime-time. For this we use as the central place where you can find all information. We are planning to setup an own Saphir R3 web-site later the year.

4. Yes, we can always use help from the community. There are tons of things that need to be done, which are not our primary focus at the moment. That means, Saphirion is sponsoring mostly all efforts of Saphir R3 development at the moment. So, we focus on what we need to drive our business. Nevertheless, the community could help in these areas:

- Write test-cases or our R3 test-framework. This will help in porting it to other platforms and when we extend it.

- Write documentation for R3-GUI. I think the framework is ready for real world applications (we did one as test-case, see:, needs more testing, and people who write about it. We will bring the documentation to GitHub so we can accept pull-requests to it.

- Write styles for R3-GUI. There are still a lot of styles that would make sense for R3-GUI. Every style we add, makes it more robust and better useable for all of us. So, the more, the broader, the better.

5. Yes, we could use money to drive some developments further faster. For this I have setup the donation shop. And there are already a couple of people who support our efforts to make the Android port. That was a big motivator for us and really helps to push it forward. So, we want to do more with Saphir R3 and every USD, EUR helps in doing this.

6. I would love to use Kickstarter for Saphir R3. The thing, that needs to be done is, what's the business model behind it? Or, why should people support us on Kickstarter? And who are those people? The thing with programming languages is, it's not a business. Most are free, and only few make some bucks from developer tools. Overall I don't see the business case for a programming language. If someone does, I'm more than happy to better understand it. RT failed because they thought, that people are paying for a non-mainstream programming language.

If you want to try SaphireR3, go to, launch it and digit:

then you can test your VID code or follow the guide:
Here an example of Saphire Rebol 3 GUI:

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