TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Hypercard Importance
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Inside Information

The Importance Of Hypercard

Different people want different things HyperCard helps you with this.

By Chris Espinosa, Apple Computer, Inc., MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

In early 1986 Bill Atkinson showed me a demo of an address book application he was writing for the Mac Plus. It had some fairly simple capabilities-it let you enter names and addresses, and go from card to card, and find addresses really fast. Over the next couple of months he added support to paste pictures in, to handle multiple files (which he called “stacks” of “cards”), and to drop a button onto a card that could instantly jump you to another card. The last feature was particularly neat. Several years earlier, Steve Capps and I had made a start at something Steve called “flashcards,” which were cards full of objects that could be linked to other cards. We thought that this would make an interesting form of on-line documentation for the Mac, somewhat like software quick reference cards with built-in cross-referencing. Bill had started from a different place and ended up with a similar idea: cards with hypermedia links.

As it grew, HyperCard accumulated features. The card transitions became more sophisticated through visual effects. Buttons expanded from “go to” to do one of ten or twelve things, then became scriptable. Users of the script language found a rich object and message model.

All the while, it was my job to work with the marketing and sales people and explain what this thing was. Half of the features were pulling it towards the address book on steroids, and a lot of early stack writers basically made it an information utility, a front-end for local or remote data. On the other hand, other features drew it towards being a new kind of document creation tool, like a spreadsheet or word processor. We joked about these two natures, and thought that HyperCard was like Glory, the fictional Saturday Night Live product that was “both a floor wax and a dessert topping!”

Those of you who have products that don’t fit an established category know what this is like. You have two or more (sometimes vocal) customer sets pulling for different and contradictory features. Maybe office users want more limits, rules, and protection because they’re trusting their business data and processes to your program, while creative users want more openness and access. Maybe power users are asking for a passel of new features while your user testing is showing that the interface is getting too complicated for new users. The magic of HyperCard is in not only navigating these dilemmas, but resolving them in a way that serendipitously benefits both groups. In version 2.2, for example, the same mechanism that allows a multimedia developer to deliver a standalone media title (the Save As Application option) also lets an in-house developer easily “lock” scripts from tampering. For another example, opening up HyperCard to the Open Scripting Architecture lets educators use HyperCard as a system “dashboard” by using AppleScript or QuicKeys, but also lets serious scripters use the language and storage capabilities of Userland Frontier. The past few years for HyperCard have been rocky. The early confusion over whether it was a programming tool or a multimedia tool (along with some unhelpful organizational and technical moves) kept it from really gathering steam. But what was clear to a few people in 1987 is becoming obvious now: the line between multimedia tools and programming tools is blurring. Dynamic languages, object architectures, and interface builders are becoming common in professional development, and multimedia is getting much more serious than “visual effect wipe right.” The importance of HyperCard is that it remains smack in the middle of this convergence, and is set to be an important tool in the Nineties because it didn’t take sides.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Top Mobile Game Discounts
Every day, we pick out a curated list of the best mobile discounts on the App Store and post them here. This list won't be comprehensive, but it every game on it is recommended. Feel free to check out the coverage we did on them in the links... | Read more »
Blue Archive heads for nature in New Yea...
Continuing the Blue Archive trend of releasing seasonal events to the Western version of the game nowhere near when they actually happened, the Cyber New Year March update has arrived. It brings with it a story centring around New Year, which it... | Read more »
Once Human conquers maths to be one hotl...
It feels like Once Human has been in development for about ten years at this point, but that has clearly not blunted the excitement for NetEases’ upcoming open-world survival game. As a matter of fact, it seems things have never been better, as... | Read more »
Watcher of Realms celebrates its first a...
It has been one year since Moonton Games kicked off the fantasy RPG Watcher of Realms, and there are a lot of celebrations to mark the occasion. You could take part in a brand-new mode, earn some skins, and recruit some of the strongest characters... | Read more »
Tarisland finally launches and celebrate...
It has felt like a lifetime, as it always does when it comes to waiting, but now Level Infinites’ anticipated MMORPG Tarisland is available across mobiles and Windows. It is time to pick your favourite of the nine classes, customise them to your... | Read more »
Reverse: 1999 offer Reality teams a mout...
Bluepoch Games has confirmed that Phase 2 of Reverse:1999s Version 1.6 has launched, and brings with it a lot to get your teeth into. Along with some sign-in rewards and a bunch of stories to enjoy, as well as a new 6-star character who just might... | Read more »
Uncharted Waters Origin unveils its late...
LINE Games, Motif, and KOEI Tecmo have announced the latest raft of updates for their seafaring adventure title Uncharted Waters Origin, and if you've played for a while you know what to expect. A new Admiral, new mates, and some new story, the... | Read more »
Wrecking Golf is a casual physics-based...
In case you missed it, Dusan Popovic has officially launched Wrecking Golf on iOS and Android, the indie developer's casual golf game on mobile presented with charming pixel-art visuals. Featuring physics-based mechanics and simple controls, the... | Read more »
Blue Archive is striking out to Anime Ex...
At this point in my writing career, I have seen quite a few press releases come about, and it feels like one of the most frequently updated games there is Blue Archive. It is, of course, great to see a game have a life like this, and now Nexon is... | Read more »
Grab a Grammy-inspired Backbone One with...
There are so many mobile controllers on the market that it could be a little difficult to know which to go for. If you are someone who goes for a good old celebrity endorsement, however, then the new Backbone One might be for you, created as it... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Walmart continues to sell clearance 13-inch M...
Walmart continues to offer clearance, but new, Apple 13″ M1 MacBook Airs (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) online for $699, $300 off original MSRP, in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold colors. These are new MacBooks... Read more
Apple is offering steep discounts, up to $600...
Apple has standard-configuration 16″ M3 Max MacBook Pros available, Certified Refurbished, starting at $2969 and ranging up to $600 off MSRP. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is free,... Read more
Save up to $480 with these 14-inch M3 Pro/M3...
Apple has 14″ M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros in stock today and available, Certified Refurbished, starting at $1699 and ranging up to $480 off MSRP. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is... Read more
Amazon has clearance 9th-generation WiFi iPad...
Amazon has Apple’s 9th generation 10.2″ WiFi iPads on sale for $80-$100 off MSRP, starting only $249. Their prices are the lowest available for new iPads anywhere: – 10″ 64GB WiFi iPad (Space Gray or... Read more
Apple is offering a $50 discount on 2nd-gener...
Apple has Certified Refurbished White and Midnight HomePods available for $249, Certified Refurbished. That’s $50 off MSRP and the lowest price currently available for a full-size Apple HomePod today... Read more
The latest MacBook Pro sale at Amazon: 16-inc...
Amazon is offering instant discounts on 16″ M3 Pro and 16″ M3 Max MacBook Pros ranging up to $400 off MSRP as part of their early July 4th sale. Shipping is free. These are the lowest prices... Read more
14-inch M3 Pro MacBook Pros with 36GB of RAM...
B&H Photo has 14″ M3 Pro MacBook Pros with 36GB of RAM and 512GB or 1TB SSDs in stock today and on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP, each including free 1-2 day shipping: – 14″ M3 Pro MacBook Pro (... Read more
14-inch M3 MacBook Pros with 16GB of RAM on s...
B&H Photo has 14″ M3 MacBook Pros with 16GB of RAM and 512GB or 1TB SSDs in stock today and on sale for $150-$200 off Apple’s MSRP, each including free 1-2 day shipping: – 14″ M3 MacBook Pro (... Read more
Amazon is offering $170-$200 discounts on new...
Amazon is offering a $170-$200 discount on every configuration and color of Apple’s M3-powered 15″ MacBook Airs. Prices start at $1129 for models with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage: – 15″ M3... Read more
Amazon is offering a $200 discount on 14″ M3...
Amazon has 14-inch M3 MacBook Pros in stock and on sale for $150-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free. Note that Amazon’s stock tends to come and go, so be sure to check their site often if the model you... Read more

Jobs Board

Solutions Engineer - *Apple* - SHI (United...
**Job Summary** An Apple Solution Engineer's primary role is tosupport SHI customers in their efforts to select, deploy, and manage Apple operating systems and Read more
*Apple* / Mac Administrator - JAMF Pro - Ame...
Amentum is seeking an ** Apple / Mac Administrator - JAMF Pro** to provide support with the Apple Ecosystem to include hardware and software to join our team and Read more
Operations Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Operations Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Cashier - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPenney (...
Cashier - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Blossom Mall Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.