I keep forgetting I live in a throw-away society, people trash everything, our environment, our relationships, our software.
This is lengthy, and please pardon me for taking an opportunity to sell the idea that HyperCard's current feature set is quite capable, and the software has always been ahead of its time.
I do not doubt your honesty, Scott. Being limited to scripting, I never had the spare cash to buy your book until I saw it at the Goodwill for $5.
<<But it's far behind the times in terms of its feature set.>>
On the contrary, HyperCard allowed me to develop strong tools for creating web pages, saving me hundreds of dollars exploring web page authoring software. I have recenlty heard news of stacks being used to generate/update entire web sites.
Nothing is as friendly for parsing ASCII text.
HyperCard allows me to create interactive multimedia that incorporates QuickTime and links to online resources via AppleScript for 1/10 the cost of other multimedia authoring apps.
HyperCard saved me the headache of living in a world of Quicken, Microsoft Money, MYOB; and saved me a lot of cash there too. I end up with what I want on my computer, and it doesn't take over my entire screen's real estate.
I've created countless custom applications, so have others, that would have costed thousands to contract with a programmer, and had nothing but fun creating them.
HyperCard has kept up with times quite well, there really haven't been a lot of new features to add to a product clearly ahead of its time.
I believe many jumped ship because it never became cross-platform. If OSX is truly successful, there will be a Windows migration to Macs. Will there be a similar experience to life in a Windows world when they do, or will HyperCard be around to make the difference it has always made? It's really enough to let them use Office on a Mac rather than a Windows box for half the investment?
<<I think HyperCard needs to be allowed to die. It was a good old dog, but now it's mostly blind and lame, and takes little pleasure even in its food. >>
Only true if you ignore the dog in it's old age. Give it the same attention as it's younger years, the dog will be healthy, no matter it's age.
In a Windows world, you may be entirely correct. Actually, I believe the Windows world is largely blind and lame because they never experienced HyperCard in their "world". As for no longer taking pleasure in its food, have you used 2.4.1, which works very nicely with QuickTime and AppleScript? Hardly blind and lame, and iHUG has rwo CDs to prove it.
<<I loved it and I love it still, but its glory is past. It needs to be remembered for what it was>>
I agree with Loren, carbonize it, and write the next edition and make another chunk of cash from it.
I know that cash-laden entities can afford to watch HyperCard slowly ignored to death. I'm concerned about the non-profits that depend on it today, mostly educators, but also hobbyists as myself. Their data is important to them, and they may not necessarily have the resources to do a major paradigm shift.
Sure, I know as the next guy, that anyone can export data out of a stack and import it into Excel of Filemaker, even Access... but then it's not fun anymore, is it?
This is more about money than empowerment, utility, friendly, open-up-the-box, an enjoyable computing experience, isn't it?
The most influential man in the past millenium was considered to be Johann Gutenberg: his printing press made information available as never before, and threatened the monks of the day who wrote many of the books that were in circulation at the time.
I will always liken HyperCard to Gutenberg's printing press. It makes information available to many as never before, and threatens the programming priests of our day who write many of the expensive software products that are in circulation today.
This is the real crux of the biscuit, isn't it? Atkinson knew it when the Mac was bundled with version 1.0. I get as disgusted as he may have been about it. Had Apple cooperated, Bill's MagicLink, or even the MagicSlate, could have become a reality, and perhaps Apple would not have endured the dark years they experienced.
Ridiculous? The world's most successful handheld, the Palm Pilot, prototyped with HyperCard. I still look for a PDA that has a Mac OS on ROM, that will allow me to upload stacks to its 256MB of RAM, so I can easily carry around my "stuff".
Why will it never happen? Because people would create their own apps more readily than running off to the software store or the online services? Because we should let go of HyperCard and let it die?