[OT}] Hypercard and an uneasy read.

Todd Geist todd at geistinteractive.com
Thu Dec 1 20:15:12 EST 2011

Hi Bob,

The part that I most liked about the linked article was the emphasis on
explorability. I think HyperCard had it. My other Tool FileMaker had it.
FileMaker has less of it today. And I think that LiveCode is not as
explorable as HyperCard was.  In the case of LiveCode it nows support 7
platforms instead of one.  This adds a lot of complexity, but I am not sure
I would trade that away.

I will say this that LiveCode and FileMaker both remain two of the most
explorable user interface design tools around. HTML/CSS/Javascript have
traditionally sucked in this regard although recently that has changed with
the rise of Jquery and other JS libraries.  Still I defy anyone who has not
done it before to create a simple form with HTML/CSS and JS, I don't care
what IDE they use, they won't be able to do it.  But give some body a
LiveCode Stack or a FileMaker DB and they might be able to pull it off.
 They can explore their way there.

Thats what I love about Explorability.

But your other point about a solution not being simpler than the problem it
is meant to solve. I understand what you mean. But if that were true then
there wouldn't be much advancement in technology. I think that
breakthroughs in technology are really about taking a complex problem and
making it simpler. The best solutions are the simplest ones.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a
touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

- Albert Einstein


On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM, Bob Sneidar <bobs at twft.com> wrote:

> 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¢
> Bob
> On Dec 1, 2011, at 12:23 PM, Todd Geist wrote:
> > LiveCode has an awful lot of Mystery Knobs.
> >
> > Todd
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Todd Geist

(805) 419-9382

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