Swift Playgrounds helps you learn to code, but it’s no HyperCard

Sure enough, 45 minutes into the 2016 WWDC keynote, Tim Cook – not an SVP, but Tim himself! – unveiled Swift Playgrounds for iPad, “a new way to learn to code.” Because I’d been thinking about it, I had my tweet ready: “I personally think a way to learn Swift is not what the iPad needs – it needs a 21st Century HyperCard. But let’s see.”

Later, John Gruber (whose Daring Fireball blog is to Apple what BBC Radio 4’s Today show is to British politics) provided a glimmer of hope: “Swift Playgrounds = the new HyperCard?”

Well, no, it turns out. It’s not.

I have an iBook G3 specifically for OS9, and one of the things I have installed on it and occasionally play with is HyperCard – an absolutely amazing and fascinating piece of technology that Apple should release as-is for iOS just for curiosity’s sake.

In any event, just like the full-blown IDE for iOS we talked about earlier, it’s stuff like Swift Playgrounds that operating systems like iOS and Android really need if anyone ever wants to take them seriously as the future of computing.


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