Where does survive the inventive user ?

Kay C Lan lan.kc.macmail at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 20:36:54 EDT 2011

I find it interesting that we've identified that a couple of things that
made HyperCard great was that it was initially free with every Mac and it
came with loads of free examples.

I'm not sure that it was targeted towards inventive users, but just a
continuation of the philosophy that as computers got smarter and smarter, it
should be possible to make programing them easier and easier. Bill Atkinson
and Dan Winkler were so successful in achieving their goal of simplifying
programming that suddenly 'average' people discovered they could program
their Mac. Suddenly BBS were inundated with 1000s of variations of probably
only a small number of base stacks - address books, flash cards, collection
inventories etc...

So why do we think the inventive user has been left behind, when, IMO,
history has virtually repeated itself. Apple gave Xcode and the iOS SDK away
for free along with an abundance of free examples and tutorials. Whilst the
number of iApps at the AppStore may not exceed the total number of stacks
that were in the public domain I would counter that I truly believe that the
current variety of differentiated iApps far exceeds the number of
defferentiated stacks. But as Chipp quite correctly pointed out, this has a
lot to do with the fact we have Browsers, DBs, video, GPS, WiFi etc etc

I think the inventive user is extremely well represented at the AppStore. If
a kid writes an App for his mum so she can find where she parked her car
isn't a classic example of an inventive user, I don't know what is. There is
also no way of knowing how many iApps are out there that aren't on the
AppStore. I must have at least 100 LC stacks that are for no one but me. I
have 2 LC Mobile stacks that reside only on my iPhone.

Is Xcode as easy to use as LiveCode. No way, but that doesn't mean the
inventive user has been left behind, just that my particular way of thinking
isn't geared to C#.

IMO I think it is a huge mistake that Apple charges you for the privilege of
uploading your own program onto your own phone. I think this provides just
as much a barrier to the inventive user as charging for the programming
environment. Interesting that the iOS developer program and LC Personal cost
about the same. IMO, if Apple changed it's charging policy and made it free
to upload to your personal phone, this would open the door to many many more
inventive users, unfortunately for RunRev, the same can not be said for
making LC free - but this has more to do with brand presence than the actual
dollar value.

I have no problem whatsoever with Apple charging for the providing a quality
control service before allowing an iApp make it into the AppStore. 20 yrs
ago I would have paid for a CD full of FREE stacks if someone guaranteed
that none of them would crash my computer.

My personal view of the inventive user is they tackle a small task where the
problem to solution cycle needs to be the right combination of quick, cheap
and easy. HC was all that, even when they started charging for it. The cost
of getting into iOS apps is actually cheaper than what they use to charge
for HC. It may not be as quick and easy as HC, but clearly it must still be
the right combination for many.

The inventive user is still out their!

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 6:27 AM, Lynn Fredricks <
lfredricks at proactive-intl.com> wrote:

> > But clearly, having NONE is not the answer.
> Given the market now - is there an heir to the inventive user of
> significant
> potential size,

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