Ideas for my book.

Graham Samuel livfoss at
Wed Sep 18 14:38:45 EDT 2019

Wise words from Jacque as always! Yes, who is the book intended for? If people who have programmed already, then we have to ask, have they used scripting languages? Are they old enough to remember Hypercard, etc? If not, it’s all a bit of a tabula rasa, isn’t it?

To answer on my own account (just my two battered Eurocents):

I have always been attracted to the concept of “natural-language-like” which to me of course means “English-like”. I started with Hypercard, then SuperCard, then LiveCode in all its manifestations. In each case what attracted me was in part the “stack” model, which at least is easy to understand, and in the particular case of LC I was (and am) exceedingly keen on the multi-platform ideas at the heart of LC - but perhaps even more, I was and am attracted by the simplicity of the “look” of the language, which leads to both compactness and readability. When it came to actual coding, for several years I used to guess what the code would be and then find from the dictionary that my guess was slightly, but not drastically, wrong! That’s because natural languages are very rich and provide a huge variety of ways to say the same thing. I found these necessary corrections easy and very rapid to do, so I was content. Any book would have to decide where to start from, and then lead the reader to this type of insight, I think, so the reader would not be afraid to use the very large scope of the LC language. Such a book would also have to include an honest appraisal of what LC isn’t so good for, as perhaps others have hinted.

I have produced viable software products with LC, but what has happened to me subsequently has been rather dispiriting, in two ways:

1. LC has decided to make itself more powerful by adding only semi-compatible features, particularly LCB and the whole Widget idea. It is a struggle to get to understand and actually use all this, and a book which would help with that, using lots of examples and step-by-step instructions, would be enormously helpful.

2. Everybody and her brother are being continually bogged down by deployment issues - code signing, notarization, installer logic, submission to stores, using payment services, working with frameworks which don’t really recognise LC, you name it - it’s a freaking nightmare. Just getting the program to do its thing is now perhaps less than 50 percent of the effort to provide an actual deliverable. Any book that helps with that (step-by-step etc) would be miraculously useful, but sadly it would need to be updated several times per year.

Obviously the above is just scratching the surface, but I hope it helps a little.


> On 18 Sep 2019, at 00:29, J. Landman Gay via use-livecode <use-livecode at> wrote:
> I think the first question should be: what assumptions will the book make? Will you assume familiarity with LC syntax and structure and plan to expand on various subcategories (server, pi, multi-media, etc?) Or is it aimed at beginners who have never programmed? Or maybe it's for experienced developers who know other languages but want to learn what's different in LC?
> That would narrow down the choices for the material you plan to present. Who's the audience?
> On 9/17/19 2:40 PM, Patrick Roza via use-livecode wrote:
>> First, let me say many of you gave some great input. So let me follow with
>> this.
>> I see an interest in:
>> Raspberry PI
>> LiveCode server
>> Did not see anything on widgets or plugins?
>> So here is are some questions for the group.
>> 1. When you were learning LiveCode what was the hardest to learn and why?
>> 2. What do you think is the main advantage of LiveCode over other
>> programming languages?
>> 3. Do you think LiveCode is better than Python and why?
>> I am just curious and want everybody to give me great input to develop a
>> great book.
>> Thanks Patrick
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> -- 
> Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at
> HyperActive Software           |
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