Dumb Newbie Questions -- 1 of N

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Thu Apr 30 19:53:22 EDT 2009

I suppose I am tromping on old ground, but here goes. I remember being  
in Hypercard and running into the slowness that started creeping in  
with anything over 2000 cards. Back then the moniker was a card  
equaled a record in a "database". People who then tried to use  
Hypercard as a "Database" were severely disappointed to learn of this  
limitation (not to mention miffed at the stack corruption that  
eventually ensued).

At the time there were a couple or three attempts to connect Hypercard  
to some other kind of database like dBase. They had mixed reviews.  
They never really worked out a stable and easy to use interface. The  
upshot was that Hypercard was not a good development environment for  
Database Applications of any great size.

Fast forward to the present: Some genius figures out how to connect a  
Hypercard like datafile to a SQL database! Genius! A little clunky at  
first, but it's been getting better all the time. They call it  
"Runtime Revolution". Catchy name. But now the moniker is "A card  
equals a form" into which you can populate the fields with data from  
your SQL (or whatever) database.

Clearly the strengths of Hypercard are now weaknesses in Revolution,  
and the weaknesses of Hypercard are now passed over in Revolution. All  
that to say this: Any attempt to take an old Hypercard stack which was  
a database and convert it to Revolution is going to be fraught with  
difficulty. It's the wrong decade. It's the wrong century for crying  
out loud! It's the wrong way to think about the problem.

If I were you I would export the data from Hypercard (assuming you  
have an old clunker that can run Hypercard), export all your  
scripting, copy one card from each unique backround into an empty  
stack, import that into Revolution and begin the process of converting  
your data into some usable form with SQL as a back end. Better yet, if  
the scripting is not all that extensive, just start from scratch.

Revolution may be "like" Hypercard" sort of, but really it's not. It's  
like a different animal species that vaguely shares some of the same  
external features of another species, but they are not even in the  
same family. Like Hyenas and Dogs. They are actually a kind of cat.  
Who knew?

I know there is a lot more history between then and now, but this is  
not a history, it's my explanation on why we cannot expect to convert  
hypercard stacks to revolution stacks and have them "just work" all  
the time, and why maybe that isn't really what we wanted anyway if we  
thought about it for a bit.

Bob Sneidar
IT Manager
Logos Management
Calvary Chapel CM

On Apr 30, 2009, at 3:38 PM, DunbarX at aol.com wrote:

> Good to know I am not alone.
> I made a stack with 11,000 cards. Navigating via script or msg is  
> fast ("go
> cd 7500"). Navigating with Cmd-3 (or its menu equal) is horrible. I  
> wonder
> why. Finding is not bad, not nearly as fast as HC, but not bad.  
> Saving takes
> a few seconds. Sorting takes a little time. I have not experimented  
> with
> other common commands to see what else slows down, or whether it is  
> possible
> to design around them.
> I think the one thing, for me, that is disappointing in Rev is this
> practical limit on the number of cards. A la HC, it is comforting to  
> me to be able
> to hold the data within the app. That means lots of cards.
> Craig Newman
> In a message dated 4/30/09 2:25:36 PM, jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu  
> writes:
>> 4.  I think #4 above defeats the purpose.  We were all stupid normal
>> humans at one point.  Some of us (moi) still are.  There has to be  
>> some
>> threshold at which Mark's approach makes sense and underneath that it
>> simply doesn't matter.  What is that threshold and why does it  
>> matter at
>> that point?
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