Versions of RR
ambassador at fourthworld.com
Fri Aug 13 14:21:50 EDT 2004
Troy Rollins wrote:
> On Aug 13, 2004, at 9:27 AM, Kevin Miller wrote:
>> It is not the MetaCard engine. It ceased to be when we bought
>> it some time ago. We haven't updated all the strings or synced
>> the version numbers as those changes have to be done carefully,
>> but we will complete doing that over time.
> My mistake.
> It is NOT the MetaCard engine. Whatever it is, it isn't that.
> It is the "currently in transition engine formerly known as
> the MetaCard engine" engine.
> So, there is no MetaCard? Or, MetaCard is now just an openSource IDE,
> which also uses the "currently in transition engine formerly known as
> the MetaCard engine" engine?
> Or, is the engine the "Revolution engine"? Or, is there ultimately
> no separate "engine" at all for end-users to be concerned with?
In the beginning (1992, to be precise) Scott Raney created the MetaCard
engine, and it was good.
But the engine is by design completely faceless, so he made a simple IDE
for it so it could be used. The IDE was also good, but unless you think
Motif is the bee's knees it was likely to be somewhat off-putting:
while the engine works hard to make native appearances for each
platform, there was little effort put into having the MetaCard IDE use
those features to get a native feel on any platfom other than UNIX.
For many years a number of folks kept asking if there might be greater
marketing potential if a new IDE was built on top of the proven powerful
engine. We all knew the engine was incredibly powerful, and certainly
underutilized given its unquestionable value for professional development.
One company answered that question a few years ago: Crossworlds of
Edinburgh licensed the engine from MetaCard Corp., built a new IDE for
it, and changed the name of their company to Runtime Revolution Ltd. to
reflect the brand of this new product.
In June of last year RunRev reached a major milestone: acquiring the
source code for the engine from MetaCard Corp. And so the
engine-formerly-known-as-MetaCard is now known as the Revolution engine.
The engine remains faceless, and both IDEs remain as stack files
separate from the engine. The Revolution IDE ships with the product and
is used by some 99% of Transcript programmers, with most former MetaCard
customers having migrated to the Rev IDE. The MC IDE was converted to
an open source project at the time of the acquisition, and is maintained
by a team of about a half-dozen ol' timers who are too stuck in their
ways to make the switch. ;) There are at least two other IDEs in
development that I know of; there may be more.
An IDE is essentially just a collection of stacks that set properties,
and the engine's flexibility allows a nearly infinite variety of IDEs to
be built for it.
If I had nothing but time on my hands I've been itching to make an
iShell-like IDE just to show off the engine's versatility. But with so
many folks already enjoying Rev, even if I somehow got the time I'd
probably implement it as a plugin so folks could use it easily within
their favorite IDE.
Although an IDE is just a collection of property-setting stacks, booting
into anything other than Rev's requires some rather unintuitive steps.
Plugins provide the ability to craft your own development tools with a
much simpler way to install and use them -- just drop 'em into the
As the number of plugins continues to grow every week, the role of an
IDE is becomming more clearly a rack onto which you can hang any number
of your own tools. In essence, each of us can have our own customized
IDE, perfectly tailored for our own specific workflow and preferences.
Fourth World Media Corporation
Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev
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