[OT}] Hypercard and an uneasy read.

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Thu Dec 1 18:37:43 EST 2011

Hi Todd. Let me propose that a solution cannot be simpler than the problem it is meant to solve. People who think so are usually only imagining how simple the solution can be. When they actually get in and try to solve it, they find a world of complexity that was hiding behind their imaginations. Every serious developer finds this to be true eventually. That was my problem when I first started using Livecode. Coming from Hypercard, I thought, "Oh I know how to do that!" But I had to relearn a lot, and some things I had to learn from scratch, and I am still learning every day! 

Livecode is to me like a constructor set of pieces of things you can put together to make something, rather than a toolchest full of tools  to make something. You can see the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. With a constructor set, parts are already prefabbed, and a system is worked out for how the pieces all fit together. You don't have to go get raw materials to work with, all that has been done for you. You just have to decide what you want to make, and if the parts all exist to be successful. But what you are going to end up with is no where near as elegant as you might have envisioned, nor will it be as functional, especially the more complex your project. But putting something together that is useful and even fairly complex is MUCH FASTER! 

The toolchest approach means you have to make each part yourself, from the ground up. Perhaps you can adapt to pieces others have built already, (API's, libraries etc) but essentially, everything has to be manufactured all by keeping in mind a very precise plan for how it will all fit and work together.  LOT more planning is required, as well as a fairly refined skillset and a level of expertise that much fewer people have. And it is going to take a LOT more time, probably more than any one person really wants to spend, so you will probably have to enlist help for more complex projects, and they will have to be experienced to some degree as well. 

In the end it comes down to this: There are a huge number of people, that if convinced there is a software "constructor set" advanced enough and yet simple enough that they could make a customized app they really need for a minimal investment in time, learning  and money, they would jump at the opportunity. We need to find those people. Neither the constructor set project, nor the toolchest project is going to build itself. And for my part, I know for a fact that I do not have the time to become proficient with the toolchests of today (Java, C++ Objective C) to ever get to the place where I can even begin to build something approaching useful. 

So I would rather work with the mystery knobs, because those I can figure out and then it won't be a mystery anymore. But the huge store of black magic behind the door that is Java, C++ and Objective C I will never grasp, and really don't want to. My 2¢


On Dec 1, 2011, at 12:23 PM, Todd Geist wrote:

> LiveCode has an awful lot of Mystery Knobs.
> Todd

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