Advantages of LC as high level language--examples

Chipp Walters chipp at
Mon Nov 29 21:28:59 EST 2010


Very passionate and thought provoking.

I do believe syntax and the number of coded lines does enter into the equation. Your one-liner, while concise, has little readability for most of us. I suppose once one learns the correct syntax, it makes more sense. Even so, having to correctly enter the exact correct multi- lined syntax code for creating an alias of a file on a desktop in a C program, requires more skill than using the "create alias" command. 

You are correct, ROI is a prominent factor at the heart of the discussion comparing projects and small Apps created in LC versus C. In fact, one could make the argument LC is more perfect for iOS development than Obj-C because of the small nature and limited function of most iOS apps. Most of us know there are boundaries to what can be accomplished in LC so I'm thinking a distinction between LC and compiled languages would focus on application speed and scope with an emphasis on ROI and iterative methodologies and paradigms including the development of quick delivery prototypes.

LiveCode changes not only ROI, but it actually changes a users behavior and expectation of what can be accomplished-- or  put another way allows for the "enabling" of a function which may have been impossible before. Let me explain. 

I used to have a garage but always parked my car outside because it was too much work to get out of the car, manually open the garage door, get back in the car, drive it into the garage, get back out of it and close the garage door. My new garage door opener device changed my behavior, because it crossed the threshold of my inconvenience and "enabled" me to park my car inside my garage with the effort of two button clicks. 

I once built a charting application in a single day. All of us have our own versions of this sort of "app in one day" experience. I discovered for this client, it wasn't about ROI, but actually more about crossing a convenience threshold to automatically create charts versus having to manually create them, which he never did. Had I taken the time to scope the app, write the proposal and budget, it never would have happened. Now all his presentations use charts built in a LC app.

Years ago, I used to talk about "Mr Green Jeans" apps. Mr. Green Jeans was a sidekick to Captain Kangaroo (poplar children's show before Sesame Street) and he had these overalls with a ton of pockets which had an infinite amount of stuff in them. These small apps (now called widgets and gadgets) are single function apps which are exceedingly good at just one thing. They weren't meant to be large installed Mb hungry suites, but instead more like QuickDex (old Mac app) or my own ButtonGadget. IMO, LiveCode is perfect for these sort of applications.

Of course we all also have larger and grander scoped apps created in LC, but with them, we often spend more time refactoring code and working around limitations, which make it seem more like traditional programming.

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