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Comment Re:Apple killed HyperCard (Score 5, Informative) 187

Nothing in OSX frameworks has anything to do with HyperCard. All of the OSX frameworks have their roots in the NextStep technologies that were developed at NexT computer, the company Mr. Jobs formed after his oust from Apple Computer.

I've used HyperCard since 1987 when it was introduced, and bundled with all Macs. That was the same time that Mr. Jobs was ousted out of Apple.

Actually, Apple's new leadership in 1997 killed HyperCard.

When Mr Jobs returned to Apple, it was no surprise that he hated HyperCard. He hated all things Apple and launched the "think different" campaign that killed off all things "Classic". His job was to deliver on what Apple paid for, bringiing the NextStep OS to Mac OSX.

I can't say why Mr. Jobs hated HyperCard. It always helped sell Macs to educators in the same colleges and universities Mr. Jobs was trying to woo over to NexT. The Macs were selling because of HyperCard to these educators, it was easier for a scientist to mess with HyperCard on a project than with NextStep.

Still is easier to use HyperCard.

There are no similarities between Cocoa or AppleScript with HyperCard. On the surface, many languages advert they are object oriented. Under the hood, HyperCard simplified a lot of things for beginning users. Unintimidating, the language looked like plain-English, and the software used a message-passing heirarchy between objects that I have not seen in any other object oriented environment, save "xTalks".

Before the G3 appeared, all software was getting slow. HyperCard on modern Macs runs like a fine tuned watch, it is very fast. And if I had to pull something out of the tool chest to write code that would translate spreadsheet data into uploadable ASCII for any mySQL server database, I'd use HyperCard. and get the job done in a fraction of the time. The HyperTalk language excelled at munging text, much easier to write a utility (in minutes) with HyperTalk than BASIC or C any day.

What else have I used HyperCard for? Just about everything Apple might wexpect me to do with Apple Script Studio or Cocoa with much greater effort. HyperCard made creating interactive CDs child's play. I managed employee benefit plans with it; excellent for creating input data forms, posting and reporting. Also creating many stacks that produced clean HTML code, and more recently have written scripts that translate a stack's data to XML and other formats.

HyperCard died becasue there has been a real shift in what the computer companies are willing to develop and bring to users. Their decisions are now based on demand-driven technologies. The companies know that people generally are not interested in computing, they want products that perform tasks at the click of a button and require little or no thought.

Today, there is no need to "open up the box" for users to learn and understand what a computer is all about; few want to anyway. Back in 1987, that was an important part of marketing a computer, and HyperCard fit in very well. This environment no longer exists today.

So what was once a computer renaissance in the '90s has digressed to a rather dark age for computing, as we are no longer seeing tools that let us expand how we understand the technology, tools like HyperCard. I do see a lot of tools that let us do things that the programming factories "think" is best for us, best for what we want to to with these wonderful works of technology. Many of the iApps looked like remakes of things I had already created with HyperCard.

Think of what we've seen for progress in software since 1997. The only software that has appeared works basically the same as it did five or more years ago, only retrofitted to run on the new OS. Still the same MS Office or Works, Quicken, web browser, games mix. I thought speech recognition would have arrived by now. The only software innovation I've seen has not come from computer companies, but from the open-source community as so much has become web-centric.

The reason Apple kept HyperCard at the Apple Store for the past six years is because they did not want to tarnish Mr. Jobs' reputation announcing they were about to drop support for a product that had such a profound impact on computing and the average person's ability to create something valuable and useful on a computer. There are still a lot of HyperCard users, many of them can be found at Mr. Jobs knew we all expected Apple to continue with HyperCard and bring it native for the new OS. Mr. Jobs even appeared and CAUSE '98 and publicly quipped that "rumors of us cancelling HyperCard are totally bullshit" only days after internally dismantling the HyperCard development team for Quicktime. We have the recording at for anyone to hear the truth from "the man" his'self.

Apple believes that there's no money in empowering users. It's more profitable to drop successful products, segment users, and ask them to upgrade to replacemenmts.

Innovative? Isn't it?


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