Linked by alcibiades on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:54 UTC
General Development Revolution is descended in spirit from Hypercard (HC). When Apple's support for HC withered, Scott Raney developed Metacard (MC), a near clone. Metacard was then bought by Revolution (RR), based in Scotland. Metacard was two quite distinct things: an engine, and an IDE. When Metacard was sold, the MC IDE became public domain. It still exists, is volunteer maintained, and it can be used with the latest RR engine. Some on the RR user mailing list prefer the much simpler MC IDE to the RR IDE, at least for initial project development. Other IDEs are possible, and there is a third party (non-free) IDE called Galaxy.
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HyperCard resembles Authorware
by DeadFishMan on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:00 UTC
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Never used it as I rarely stepped across a Mac a few years ago but based on its description, it sounds an awful lot like Macromediaīs Authorware which was all the rage on the late nineties.

Authorware offers pretty much the same capabilities but instead of the card/stacks paradigm, you had a white book where you could start a sort of flow chart (kinda like Visio) where each block had a special purpose: losangles were interactive if-elses, rectangles would be the whole screen (or portions of it) and so on and then you could literally "draw" your application connecting the dots.

As any other Macromedia product back then, its scripting capabilities were provided by Lingo which was quite nice and powerful (Director users will agree with me here) and it also could be extended by using external ActiveX controls that one could develop on Visual Basic.

Authorware and Director kinda overlapped on each otherīs features and intended uses, but I always felt Authorware as being more natural and pleasing to use. At the time, I was working for a small multimedia shop (you know, companies that produced websites, interactive CD-ROMs and such) and we used it a lot to produce interactive online courses.

The final result needed to ship certain runtime dlls but it was OK from a performance point of view. I really wish that something open source were made along these lines.

Iīll take a look into PythonCard now thanks to your article as it sparked my curiosity about it... ;)

Edited 2007-01-09 18:01

Reply Score: 3

Way too expensive
by MrGAM on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:10 UTC
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It is just too expensive IMO.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Way too expensive
by coolestuk on Tue 9th Jan 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "Way too expensive"
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I think that it is reasonably priced when compared with the commercial competition (Omnis, RealBasic, Wirefusion). When Revolution was marketed as MetaCard some years ago, I mistakenly dismissed it as it seemed like it was a toy - and it was about $1000. Revolution is much more reasonably priced, and comes in a variety of formats with different pricing (the cheapest format being about $50).

If there was an open source tool that offered the ease of Revolution and the cross-platform deployment, I might well be using that. But there isn't. The persistence metaphor behind it (cards and stacks) is very simple, the language is very easy to read, and the message-passing paradigm is really very powerful.

The documentation does need work - it was historically much better a year or so ago, but it was drastically changed because of (IMO unjustifiable) user complaints. But there is nothing stopping new users from downloading earlier versions and taking the documentation from that whilst Runtime Revolution are working on the current docs.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Way too expensive
by alcibiades on Wed 10th Jan 2007 06:23 UTC in reply to "Way too expensive"
alcibiades Member since:

For a hobby, for quite a lot of people, yes it may be too expensive in the full version, and they should then probably try either the Media version or PythonCard, which will be harder work in some ways but is also quite interesting.

But for a professional, its just part of the tools of the trade, and its quite competitively priced compared to similar things on the market.

Revolution also do the usual educational discounts.

Reply Score: 2

I like the idea...
by SamuraiCrow on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:15 UTC
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...but, having tried Hypercard, I daresay it lacks a lot of features.

Reply Score: 1

Or Asymmetrix ToolBook
by Edoc on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:20 UTC
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Also was a commecial product in this category, mainly in the pre-web, multimedia CBT authoring days. The stack metaphor was less pronounced, but it was there.

I've always found metaphors-- in the form of cards, psuedo-objects, or pages (web pages)-- to be very useful for beginners. I question whether the web would have taken off if the "page" hadn't been the foundational unit.

I've been curious about Revolution for a few years, but I've been reluctant to dive in. I don't particularly relish learning the nuances and special workarounds required by these types of tools. Perhaps Revolution script is more standard than the other hypertalk/card/script languages.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Or Asymmetrix ToolBook
by DeadFishMan on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:51 UTC in reply to "Or Asymmetrix ToolBook"
DeadFishMan Member since:

Oh man... I canīt believe that I forgot to mention ToolBook. Most of those CBT authoring applications were indeed based or at least inspired by ToolBook. It set the standard for them.

Is it still around? Oh, the memories... ;P

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Or Asymmetrix ToolBook
by soapdog on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Or Asymmetrix ToolBook"
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there are toolbook converts in the Revolution community, I met some of them during our conference in Monterey called RevCon West, they were very excited about rev...

Reply Score: 1

Using Revolution for a long time...
by soapdog on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:45 UTC
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My name is Andre Alves Garzia. I am a professional developer and I am making a living out of coding in Revolution. Most of my work is network related or CGI related and I use Revolution for them all.

From my point of view, Revolution is the tool of choice for the following reasons:

* No need to compile something to test it. Like HyperCard, as soon as you code it, it is live. No need for the tedious write-compile-run-debug loop, Lisp coders will recognize this as a real productivity booster. You can code faster!

* Revolution is built in Revolution. The seasoned Revolution user will notice that Rev is built in Rev, you can access the IDE scripts and plugin scripts (you can protect your own scripts with password case IP is an issue for you.). With that power in your hands you can customize everything to suit your workflow. There are Revolution users with IDEs so customized that you barelly recognize the product, will all new tools, palettes, editors and yet, our code can be shared and will run in each other machines.

* The wonderful 'How to use Revolution' mailing list. As the article quotes, the mailing list is an invaluable resource with a friendly community such as I never saw. Emails with doubts or request for comments are discussed in a civilized tone with no verbal violence. People share code, patterns, insights even business practices there. Anyone that ever tried to join some linux forums with newbie questions know how bad some communities can be.

* Revolution has a english like programming language that is easy to read and makes sense, nothing against Perl or intercal, but Transcript is a wonderful language and having a english-like language is a good thing since it helps the newbie developers without sacrificing anything. Easier to explain what 'add 1 to i' does than 'i++'. Not everyone out there is a CS major.

* Revolution is a RAD tool that can create fully functional GUI applications that are cross-platform out of the box using native look and feel in each plataform. It has database support (MySQL, PostgreSQL, ODBS, Oracle, SQLite, Valentina), it has lots of network features from low level socket routines to high level URL keyword.

I spend most of my time inside the Revolution IDE. As the article spoke from an end user perspective, As an example I'll tell what I've been doing as an end user latelly. I just created a tool to do CRM from inside Rev, It binds with apple address book for contact storage and spotlight for file management. The team I work with use Revolution for version control of our projects. I have Revolution communicating with all kinds of applications here since Revolution can execute AppleScript (or any OSAX language) code. For example when some client call me on skype, my CRM thing running on Revolution gets his name and pops all the data I need to work/talk with the client, all the development diaries, files related to his project and the like. This whole CRM tool was created in 10 hours, try that in C++ or C...

The documentation needs some addings such as some starting point for new users, but all the docs are there if someone checks the dictionary or the howtos.

I use Revolution Enterprise version that allows me to run Rev in any OS which Revolution runs and deploy in any OS too. I usually develop on Macs and deploy on Linux servers. I also run revolution in windows xp to test gui applications I build. This tool allows me to create visually rich applications very fast and has all the features I need for my line of works, I couldn't find any other tool that presented such values for me. I don't think it is expensive as it paid itself many times over by allowing me to have a very pleasant and happy development experience (hey, everyone has a favorite language after all).

Reply Score: 3

ms access
by noraguta on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:57 UTC
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why not just use it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: ms access
by DoctorPepper on Tue 9th Jan 2007 19:12 UTC in reply to "ms access"
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Uh, because it only runs on Windows? Revolution is cross-platform.

Reply Score: 1

Rev Overcomes Most if Not All HC Limits
by dshafer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 19:39 UTC
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I was an early HyperCard user and developer and I've been using Revolution now for several years. For what it offers, I think it is badly UNDER priced, not overpriced as has been suggested here. And despite its HyperCard roots, it overcomes or eliminates virtually every limitation of HyperCard that made that product less than the resounding success it might otherwise have been.

1. It's full color, no kludges.
2. It's cross-platform including Linux.
3. It creates true standalones, no runtime required.
4. It implements custom properties to avoid many of the programming holes and hassles in HC.
5. Apps it creates are blazingly fast.
6. 90% of what one needed to write an external for in HC is built into the Transcript scripting language.

There are lots of other things but those will probably suffice to dispense with the "it's only HC redone" myth.

I call it HyperCard in color, cross-platform on steroids. (Appropriate apologies to Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, et. al)

This is an insanely great development tool for people who want or need to develop cross-platform applications including those that use the Internet. While I wouldn't use it to create a word processor or a spreadhseet program (who needs more of those anyway), and it lacks the ability to deliver apps in a browser easily (though it has an available browser plugin that's killer), there isn't much else that *I* want to build that I wouldn't turn to Rev for as the proper tool.

Reply Score: 2

Great for SME input
by ishmal on Thu 11th Jan 2007 10:22 UTC
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If you are working on a medium-size project, and you need an example of the subject matter expert's line of reasoning, any of these *Card stacks is a marvelous way for him to demonstrate how his stuff works, without being a programmer.

By the way, later versions of HyperCard (commercial, sold separately, if I recall correctly) -were- in color.

Reply Score: 1