I don't think Applescript and Automator bridge the gap between non-programmer and programmer as slowly and as fluidly as Hypercard did. A non-programmer could start using Hypercard as a simple flat file database without programming. The sample Addressbook etc. Hypercard stacks were perfectly usable and there was a large quantity of freeware and shareware stacks that (inherently) came with complete source code. If someone had just a small wish for how it behaved differently ("I wish the addressbook had a nickname field:) many could be added through the GUI tools without programming. At some point, they may wish for behavior that involved changes in code, if they reached that point, the code had a fairly strong mapping to the concepts they had learned so far (stacks, cards, backgrounds, fields, etc) that they may be able to suss out what the code was doing and figure out simple changes. Once doing a fair amount of modification of the existing code, some may choose to strike out on their own and create something new.
Applescript and Automator seem to be more about simple automation of tasks. Which is a great power to give someone. ("Ugh, I hate doing this same drudgework every day|week|whenever_the_situation_bothers_me") but seems to me still a larger jump from non-programmer to programmer.
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