my programming life (was: Re: Rotating images)

Colin Holgate coiin at
Sat Apr 25 19:48:12 EDT 2009

On Apr 25, 2009, at 7:26 PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> Why did Yoyager choose C for that one CD after having delivered so  
> many cross-platform titles in higher level tools?

I had made a CD-ROM for the 4th TED (I think it was the 4th one)  
conference, which was highlights of the earlier conferences. It was  
done in HyperCard, but nearly everything you saw in the interface was  
QuickTime movies. I had done some external commands by that point,  
including one for the TED CD that would just let me highlight part of  
a loaded colored bitmap (using the Picture command I think). So really  
the amount of HyperTalk that was going on was fairly small.

With Spinal Tap I had to control a QuickTime movie that had one video  
track, three audio tracks to switch between, and a text track for  
searching on. It might have been possible to do it with HyperCard and  
the QuickTime team's fancier xcmd, but I wasn't so fond of that xcmd,  
I usually just used the Movie one form the HyperCard team.

In any case, I did some tests for a couple of weeks, using C to do the  
track switching and navigating around the movie, and it was not just  
successful, it was blindingly fast and slick, so they let me carry on,  
and do the whole thing in C. It probably took me three months of time  
to do the whole thing, which would have included the time to do the  
designs and make the QuickTime movie, etc. When it came to make the PC  
version, it took two other programmers 9 months to take already  
existing assets and make it work for Windows. That was partly due to  
the first programmer using the Microsoft Foundation Class, and  
fighting with that for weeks on end, and the second programmer ditched  
it and did his own thing.

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