LiveCode for the rest of us

Brahmanathaswami brahma at
Mon Sep 21 08:57:00 CEST 2015

Yes, LC is a general construction tool kit, that said... *everything* 
you do in LC other than server side scripting occurs in a visual 
space... sure pure text code apps are possible (think PHP or Ruby) and 
all this LC builder, widget, text only stacks Git hub is exciting but 
the legacy paradigm still is and will remain:


So, my oft stated request: while it's true many things like auto dBase 
functions can be seen as extras. IMHO the UI is fundamental and LC needs 
to get up to speed to help us build beautiful elegant UI without it 
being quite so challenging. 90% of what I would like to see is there in 
the engine already. I've already sent this to HQ before, but FWIW... 
here goes again:

get a small focus group:

2-3 photoshop interface web designers
2 mobile html 5 CSS wizards who do HTML5 interfaces.
2 graphic designers

put them in a room for two weeks and ask them to build UI... forget 
scripting... just build the eye-candy layer... Make note every time one 
of them complains:

"why is it so hard LC."

Of course good design takes experience and training... so that's why you 
don't want to do this experiment with newbies

2 hours = card view = still ugly,
-- still futzing with getting the label of a button to center....
-- oh sheesh. can't set the radius of button corners.
-- what? no gradients for buttons? I have to create matching graphic and 
set the pattern of the button to that! or put the graphic behind the 
button and group them? Aiyo!
-- Oh... ouch, the color picker is giving me wrong RGB values when I use 
the dropper to pick color from somewhere else on the screen.
Fortunately I have Eric Chatonet's color widget.. it still works and 
*his* picker gives me the *real* RGB values with its eye dropper..mercy 
on newbies trying to use the native color picker! God help them...
-- Hmmm.. why align  objects isn't just be there in the menubar?
-- OMG... typesetting support is all over the place, here, there, over 
there... this palette, that property.
-- Oh where can I set the design grid unit values? Oh, no grids?
-- where is my hide and show design grid? Oh right.. no grids...
-- Oh, where do I turn on "snap to grid" Oops right... no grid...  but 
this is 2015!
-- I just want to bump the text font size of the selected objects  up 
and down together... where's the key stroke for that?
-- Animation: I'm not looking to do Disney characters... or skins for 
Unity characters... I just want an object to move smoothly across the 
screen from point A to point B...So I have to code that? ok... but why 
is it so jerky... it's not smooth... like if I do css animation, it's 
smooth as skates on ice...flowing water... what's with LC?

I could go on with a long, long list... 90% of which could be supported 
today by the engine as it is

4 hours later card view = still ugly... experienced designer is 
exhausted.... possibly, if not the patient type of person... exasperated

What we need is:

1-2 hours = card view =  looking really elegant!  (assuming designer has 
the skills, but needs the UI tools)

IMHO  lack of this modern presentation layer tool box goes very much 
against the goal of early adoption by newbies of LC as a tool of choice. 
I can consciously and rationally accept that, OK, complex dBase 
functions may be something I should be responsible to build and will 
have to face a learning curve there, or if I have enterprise money I can 
pay for the big guns to help...

but I cannot consciously rationalize acceptance of a platform that locks 
me into "ugly" no matter how hard I try,

Despite the claims of enormous productivity... so.... cool I can script 
stuff in a few hours that might take days in php or html5, I get 
that..... but then I have to spend "days" just getting the UI to look 
good?  doesn't add up.

  Front end/Prototyping dev, without code is 75% of the production 
process. Showing UI to clients and stake holders *before* we write one 
line of code... So if LC cannot facilitate that.. we have to look for 
another tool.. or I get bizarre interface build in Illustrator snipped 
because the designer says "I can't do, don't trust... anything in LC... 
can you make it look like this?"

SO if I work in a team where design can be separated from the 
"engineering" ...we need to have an interface/toolbox that can sit side 
by side Photoshop, illustrator, After effects on the desktop of the "eye 
candy experts" who will fuss forever on the colors for the two ends of a 
gradient....  that's their job and if LC cannot enable them to do their 
job... LC can't fly in a team space with designers and coders at 
separate desks, only in a Scott Rossi space where UI = Engineering skills


Mark Wieder wrote:
> That said, I absolutely agree that LiveCode needs that out-of-the-box 
> magic that hooked us all in the first place. Knowing that all that 
> power is in there somewhere isn't enough. That initial Aha! spark is 
> an empowering Maker moment and people need to experience it in their 
> first brush with the environment. 

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