Reddit [Note: this review was greatly improved thanks to corrections and insights from Kevin Calhoun, HyperCard 2. HyperCard was what chiefly convinced me to buy my first Mac; I still regard it as the neatest, most useful, most generous program ever conceived. Generous because it was originally given away free no more, alas! If you love the Mac, you should worship Bill Atkinson.
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Each card contains a set of interactive objects, including text fields, check boxes, buttons, and similar common graphical user interface GUI elements. Users browse the stack by navigating from card to card, using built-in navigation features, a powerful search mechanism, or through user-created scripts.
They place GUI objects on the cards using an interactive layout engine based on a simple drag-and-drop interface. This way, a stack of cards with a common layout and functionality can be created.
The database features of the HyperCard system are based on the storage of the state of all of the objects on the cards in the physical file representing the stack. The database does not exist as a separate system within the HyperCard stack; no database engine or similar construct exists. Instead, the state of any object in the system is considered to be live and editable at any time.
The system operates in a largely stateless fashion, with no need to save during operation. This is in common with many database-oriented systems, although somewhat different from document-based applications. The final key element in HyperCard is the script, a single code-carrying element of every object within the stack.
The script is a text field whose contents are interpreted in the HyperTalk language. When the user invokes actions in the GUI, like clicking on a button or typing into a field, these actions are translated into events by the HyperCard runtime. If it does, the HyperTalk engine runs the handler; if it does not, the runtime examines other objects in the visual hierarchy. External video "HyperCard Mania! Unlike the majority of RAD or database systems of the era, however, HyperCard combines all of these features, both user-facing and developer-facing, in a single application.
This allows rapid turnaround and immediate prototyping, possibly without any coding, allowing users to author custom solutions to problems with their own personalized interface. It is this combination of features that also makes HyperCard a powerful hypermedia system. Users can build backgrounds to suit the needs of some system, say a rolodex , and use simple HyperTalk commands to provide buttons to move from place to place within the stack, or provide the same navigation system within the data elements of the UI, like text fields.
Using these features, it is easy to build linked systems similar to hypertext links on the Web. Similar systems have been created for HTML but traditional Web services are considerably more heavyweight.
HyperTalk object classes are predetermined by the HyperCard environment, although others can be added by the use of externals. The weakly typed HyperTalk supports most standard programming structures such as "if-then" and "repeat". HyperTalk is verbose, hence its ease of use and readability. These are code libraries packaged in a resource fork that integrate into either the system generally or the HyperTalk language specifically; this is an early example of the plug-in concept.
Unlike conventional plug-ins, these do not require separate installation before they are available for use; they can be included in a stack, where they are directly available to scripts in that stack. BeeHive Technologies offered a hardware interface that allows the computer to control external devices. Connected via the Apple Desktop Bus ADB , this instrument can read the state of connected external switches or write digital outputs to a multitude of devices.
Externals allow access to the Macintosh Toolbox, which contains many lower-level commands and functions not native to HyperTalk, such as control of the serial and ADB ports. It was initially released in August , with the understanding that Atkinson would give HyperCard to Apple only if the company promised to release it for free on all Macs. Launch Edit HyperCard was successful almost instantly. From August [, when it was announced] to October our phones never stopped ringing.
It was a zoo. Bug reports and upgrade suggestions continued to flow in, demonstrating its wide variety of users. Since it was also free, it was difficult to justify dedicating engineering resources to improvements in the software.
This resulted in HyperCard 2. The new version included an on-the-fly compiler that greatly increased performance of computationally intensive code, a new debugger and many improvements to the underlying HyperTalk language.
At the same time HyperCard 2. Although stacks HyperCard program documents are not binary-compatible, a translator program another HyperCard stack allows them to be moved from one platform to the other. Then, Apple decided that most of its application software packages, including HyperCard, would be the property of a wholly owned subsidiary called Claris.
Many of the HyperCard developers chose to stay at Apple rather than move to Claris, causing the development team to be split. Claris attempted to create a business model where HyperCard could also generate revenues. At first the freely-distributed versions of HyperCard shipped with authoring disabled. Early versions of Claris HyperCard contain an Easter Egg : typing "magic" into the message box converts the player into a full HyperCard authoring environment. Many users were upset that they had to pay to use software that had traditionally been supplied free and which many considered a basic part of the Mac.
Even after HyperCard was generating revenue, Claris did little to market it. Development continued with minor upgrades, and the first failed attempt to create a third generation of HyperCard. During this period, HyperCard began losing market share. Without several important, basic features, HyperCard authors began moving to systems such as SuperCard and Macromedia Authorware.
Nonetheless, HyperCard continued to be popular and used for a widening range of applications, from the game The Manhole , an earlier effort by the creators of Myst , to corporate information services. In , Apple released the eagerly anticipated upgrade of HyperCard 2. However, these tools are limited and often cumbersome to use because HyperCard 2. HyperCard 3. The resulting HyperCard 3. Development upon HyperCard 3. Calhoun and Crow both left Apple shortly after, in Its final release was in , and it was totally discontinued in March Applications Edit HyperCard has been used for a range of hypertext and artistic purposes.
Before the advent of PowerPoint , HyperCard was often used as a general-purpose presentation program. Examples of HyperCard applications include simple databases, " choose your own adventure "-type games, and educational teaching aids.
Due to its rapid application design facilities, HyperCard was also often used for prototyping applications and sometimes even for version 1. HyperCard has lower hardware requirements than Macromedia Director. Activision , which was until then mainly a game company, saw HyperCard as an entry point into the business market. The HyperCard-inspired SuperCard for a while included the Roadster plug-in that allowed stacks to be placed inside web pages and viewed by web browsers with an appropriate browser plug-in.
There was even a Windows version of this plug-in allowing computers other than Macintoshes to use the plug-in. The Merryxmas virus was discovered in early  by Ken Dunham, two years before the Concept virus. Reception Edit Compute! While stating that "like any first entry, it has some flaws", the magazine wrote that "HyperCard opened up a new category of software", and praised Apple for bundling it with every Mac. Jakob Nielsen has pointed out that HyperCard was really only a hypermedia program since its links started from regions on a card, not text objects; actual HTML -style text hyperlinks were possible in later versions, but were awkward to implement and seldom used.
Bill Atkinson later lamented that if he had only realized the power of network-oriented stacks, instead of focusing on local stacks on a single machine, HyperCard could have become the first Web browser. It was also a key inspiration for ViolaWWW , an early web browser. Like the Web, it also allows for the connections of many different kinds of media.
Similar systems Edit Other companies have offered their own versions. As of [update] , four products are available which offer HyperCard-like abilities: HyperNext is a software development system that uses many ideas from HyperCard and can create both standalone applications and stacks that run on the freeware Hypernext Player. HyperStudio , one of the first HyperCard clones, is as of [update] , developed and published by Software MacKiev.
LiveCode directly imports extant HyperCard stacks and provides a migration path for stacks still in use. It can create both standalone applications and projects that run on the freeware SuperCard Player. It runs only on Macs. It extends HyperTalk to allow arbitrary objects which allowed it to build complete Mac-like applications instead of stacks. The project was never released, although the source code was placed in the public domain.
TileStack is an attempt to create a web based version of HyperCard that is compatible with the original HyperCard files. Apple built its system-wide scripting engine AppleScript on a language similar to HyperTalk; it is often used for desktop publishing DTP workflow automation needs.
AppWare was sold in the early 90s and worked on both Mac and Windows systems.
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He earned a B. I would think Runrev would as well, as they ought to understand how beneficial this would be, especially to new users. Comments and reviews What are comments? I realize that the GUI has changed and a lot has been added in about 20 years. I taught myself Hypercard using the first hypercrad of this book without access to a Mac! My library Help Advanced Book Search.
D ouglas G eorge A lbert M yall. Long may it continue to enhance our favorite definitive stamp. Save machin to get e-mail alerts and updates on your eBay Feed. For more recent exchange rates, please use the Universal Currency Converter.
HyperCard 2.2: The Great Becomes Greater