[OT}] Hypercard and an uneasy read.

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Thu Dec 1 17:54:35 EST 2011

First, the link to BaseliskII port for Mac OS X does not work. Didn't work before, don't work now. Now about the article. I think I disagree with him on a number of things, but what comes to my mind is the notion that the computer can be a "mind amplifier" or a "train" as opposed to a "bicycle". I don't see a computer as any of those things, because it implies that a computer can do "work", which in the classical sense is moving mass. 

In my view, a computer is a power tool for managing information, but information can only help you plan how to do work, or schedule a time to do the work, or tell you how much money is owed after you do work. It cannot actually DO work at all. The allegories above give the impression that it helps someone GO somewhere. It seems like I am splitting hairs, but I think it's an important distinction. America has given up a great deal of real production to other countries, in exchange of being in the information business. The dot com collapse should be enough to convince us of where that leads. 

Also, Steve Jobs did not "kill" anything. He discontinued it. He didn't kill the community either, because the community kept going for YEARS after you could not get it anymore. I don't think a one of them died when Steve discontinued support for Hypercard. When someone uses words like that I really start to look much more critically at what he is saying. To quote Shakespeare, "He protesteth much." People often use strong words when they have a weak argument. 

What made Hypercard obsolete was time and the lack of certain things that became essential to modern apps or dev environments, like say real color support or database access, not to mention a robust graphics engine like Livecode has. I remember, I had to stop using it to develop apps for work because once they got too big they would begin to eat themselves alive, and I ended up fighting a battle to purge the corruption before the stack became unusable. THAT and things like it is what really "killed" Hypercard. 

Also, in response to his statement, "Otherwise, sit down and contemplate the fact that what has been built once could probably be built again," Hypercard WAS done again. (And by the by, if it's a "fact" then "probability" plays no part.) It was called Supercard, Metacard, and now Livecode. How odd that the author didn't mention any of those alternatives. (And by the by, if it's a "fact" then "probability" plays no part.) 

Finally what really tips the scale for me is his final line, "...and please don’t waste your time commenting here. Sink back into the cube farm hellpit from whence you came." Really? Hey, way to win friends and influence people! So if I disagree with him, I came from a cube farm hellpit (whatever the hell that means)? I've read enough. This guy is so full of himself (and excrement comes to mind as well) that I completely discount everything else he has to say. Prima donnas  will blather on. 

The only thing uneasy about this read is considering the time I wasted doing it. 


On Dec 1, 2011, at 11:36 AM, Richmond wrote:

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