use-revolution Digest, Vol 63, Issue 36

Jeff Reynolds jeff at
Mon Dec 22 15:56:02 EST 2008

Ha, had forgotten about the old xtalk list. did it finally fold up  
lately? i seem to remember it hanging around for quite a while with a  
post here and there. with the exponential email curve i have gotten  
more vicious with the delete button so lost records of it a long time  

one thing also missing around this is that while hypercard, supercard,  
metacard, revolution, toolbook, plus, and many others are all pretty  
much dialects of the general umbrella name of xtalk, Revolution is  
really the only one left standing and thriving. while there are some  
still limping along with hc and supercard and some of the other  
variants, they are a dying breed to say the least. Revolution is  
pretty much the only system living on doing Xtalk, so at this point it  
seem like they do have some bragging rights to name it as they have  
been pretty much carrying most of the torch for the last decade with  
Metacard and Revolution. Dr. Raney's willingness to be more open with  
the development (and naming even) give good testament to why this  
linage both survived and deserves the right to be in the drive's seat  
some also. I too like to see all credit go to the early developers of  
xtalk in general, but corporations and history have pretty much  
stopped all the other systems from sticking around, so at some point  
it gets a bit pointless to hold on to some names when there is only  
one left standing... Adding to this all the additions to the language  
that Rev has added with the years as Brian pointed out, all the others  
have not been moving the language forward, they are gone.

So while i use xtalk to describe the language in general, revolution  
is about the only practical one I can point to at this point doing the  
classic xtalk and pushing it onward.



On Dec 22, 2008, at 11:23 AM, use-revolution-request at  

> I'm not sure if it helps or hinders the conversation to note that, to
> the best of my knowledge, the term "xTalk" was coined by none other  
> than
> Scott Raney, inventor of MetaCard.
> At the time, HyperTalkers preferred the term "HyperTalk", and
> SuperTalkers preferred "SuperTalk", but Dr. Raney showed the  
> generosity
> to bring into common usage a term which encompasses them all.
> In the mid-90s he created the xTalk mailing list, a discusssion forum
> whose aim was to provide a venue for the various xTalk vendors to
> standardize syntax additions.  This is not unlike the talks that had
> once been proposed by Charlie Jackson (Silicon Beach Software,  
> publisher
> of SuperCard at the time) and Jean Louis Gassee (Apple VP of  
> technology
> at the time) to standardize what were then called "HyperTalk  
> dialects".
> With both the xTalk list and the earlier Silicon Beach talks, when it
> actually came time to start work Apple refused to participate.
> In fact, with the xTalk list pretty much every vendor refused to
> participate except Doug Simons of Thoughtful Software, inventor of
> SenseTalk, and Dr. Raney himself.  All were sent invitations; only one
> showed up at the party.
> I think it speaks well of the audience for these tools that the word
> "xTalk" has caught on: it seems the users of these tools have a  
> broader
> vision for what the future can be than their old vendors did; the  
> users
> are still with us even when the vendor is not.

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