Dan Shafer : Wired HC Article - rev too complicated?

Wolfgang M. Bereuter wmb at internettrainer.com
Sun Aug 18 14:25:00 EDT 2002

Attention it is long!

On Saturday, August 17, 2002, at 12:25 PM, use-revolution-
request at lists.runrev.com wrote:

> From: Richard Gaskin <ambassador at fourthworld.com>
> Subject: Re: Dan Shafer :  Wired HC Article - rev too complicated?
> To: use-revolution at lists.runrev.com
> Reply-To: use-revolution at lists.runrev.com
> Wolfgang M. Bereuter writes:
>> On Friday, August 16, 2002, at 09:45 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
>>> It looks like one of us could build Norpath in a couple weeks 
>>> with Rev
>> If this is possible why they did not make in 2 years?
>> * the Applov (Application Overview) Window rezisable
>> * Drag and drop
>> * Rtf import
>> * A better palettes handling
>> * etc
> Different priorities.  Part of that may be Rev's plarform-independent
> nature: remember that iShell runs on Mac and Windows only, 
> which is fine for
> their audience but the Rev mission is more "write once, run anywhere"

Only its drolly. Thats more than 98% of the desktop market in 
the world...
Rev/mc was/is described as a cbt and multimedia authoring and 
rapid application tool. If there was no priority in 2 years for 
the authoring community, then the answer is simple:
Rev is *not* an cbt or multimedia authoring tool...

> For example, Mac and Windows offer OS-level drag-and-drop 
> support, but I
> don't believe that's available under X-11; the Rev/MC cutomer 
> base currently
> has a disproportionately large following in the UNIX world.  
> But even so, I
> wouldn't be surprised if drag-and-drop were not available in a future
> version of Rev.
> What sort of palette handling improvements would you like to see?

I v described this some time ago in my bigbuglist. At the moment 
i dont have this post here because its in an archive of the old 
system, but I can search it and send it to you if you like.


>>> For example, one of my recent projects was building a prototype
>>> of a medical training system, which will ultimately be part of
>>> a 10-CD set of tutorials. With the instructional design and
>>> supporting object structure worked out, we've begun work on a
>>> custom authoring environmemt to produce the CD series at a
>>> significant cost savings over what it would take to do without
>>> such tools, turning a production cycle of a week or two down to
>>> a couple days
>> How did you do that with revs texthandling poor html, and
>> without importing of rtf or pasting of styled text in a couple
>> of days for 10 CD¥s? I m really keen to know how you did that?
> No need for RTF:  every text style property supported by the 
> Rev/MC engine
> can be described in HTML tags.  This includes standard HTML styles like
> "<i>" and "<b>", but also Rev-specific style options not found 
> in HTML like
> "<backgroundcolor>".

I think you know that win and mac do not display the fonts in 
the same size, because of M$...,ok. How can you compensate that 
with *standard html* without CSS. Please tell me that...

Did you ever do formating of bigger texts with rev for 
crossplatform apps...?
If yes, how did you hide that "nice" strike through bug in the 
OSX engine from your clients? I cant imagine that in a 10 CD 
multimedia project with a *lot of text* is not one(!) scrolling 
text field, wich makes the text after scrolling nearly 

Again: The lack of importing rtf or pasting styled text is imho 
inacceptable for a professional authoring tool. Every primary 
school programm (dont get it negativ) like Hyperstudio can do 
this and most of every 20$ Dollar shareware can do it also.
Why it´s from your point of view a "no need" for a 1000$ 
Developer tool. Even if this feature helps you save days and 
weeks of developing time, related to text exchanging in the 
standard crossplatform text format. Even when the "rev 
html-fortmat" is not more than a crutch..?

Sorry for that hard word, but thats the ignorance of english 
speaking people, wich are thinking there is only one language in 
the world. US and Enlish people tend to forget, that there are 
billions speaking chinese, indian, arabic, spanish, russian, 
japanes, german and so on... All of them prefer (learning) 
software in their own language. So you have to work with 
multilingual texts. For that you need translators. And 
professional translators are working with professional 
texttools, wich use the crossplatform exchange format texts for 
text, called "what surprise": rtf
Nearly all professional translators are trained to 
recive/deliver their work in rtf.
Have you ever tried importing big textfiles of different 
languages to the rev´s html-"standard"-format with all that not 
Asci chars Umlauts und Sonderzeichen like: Ä Ü Ö ß, ë ì î ñ ó ò 
û Æ ÿ Â Á....

AND..: Where is the Text-, Outliner-,layout-,office programm 
wich can export/import rev´s html-"standard"-format?

>> Maybee you did (only) the scripting part of the project, knowing
>> MC and Rev very well since a lot of years..?
> Yep:  the other 90% is the Rev/MC engine.  :)

Maybe text scrolling... ;)

>> But the thread here is, that rev is to complicated for normal
>> user, power user, scripting beginners, occasional programmers,
>> multimedia authors, educators, pupils, trainer, without a couple
>> of persons in background wich can do the rest of the stuff...
> I see learning Rev much like any serious hobby:  start small 
> and build on
> what you know.

At the moment seems: more hobby than serios;)

> If you're trying your hand at carpentry you probably don't want 
> to start by
> building a mansion.  You'll probably want to start with a shed 
> first, using
> only those tools from the hardware store that you'll need for 
> that task.  As
> you get more ambitious you may decide to build a bay window 
> extension for
> your livingroom, and you'll learn more tools doing that, and so on.
> With Rev, you don't really need to use more than a handful of 
> its features
> to get work done.  As your needs and experience grow you can 
> poke around and
> try new things.  It's kinda like using tools from the hardware 
> store, except
> with Rev you have Home Depot right on your desktop.  :)

Most ways of learning are working like this. Thats why I have 
tried to designed my tool as simple as possible. And it wasnt 
the first tool and not the first thing I had to learn in my 
life... They are so simple that you can do it with the starter 
kit only.
But I need more than one tool to design the maps. Mapdesign and 
Outliner writing are the much bigger development part, than the 
authoring with rev or another tool. So my idea was a simple 
authoring tool for the future developer net. A tool for the rest 
where non programmer can use on every platform. RThats
why I was soenthusistic when i found rev after realizing that MC 
is the only real crossplatform one, but the UI is unseless for 
my project...

>>> I've long wondered whether it might make sense to build a sort of
>>> "RevLite" UI, something with the bare essentials exposed to let folks
>>> get their feet wet with confidence.   As they gain more experience
>>> and crave more options, those options would become available.
>> If Omni Graffle goes further in the direction where its going
>> now with links and scripting, than imho you are wasting your
>> time writing "RevLite"...
> I didn't say I was writing one at the moment; wouldn't think of 
> it without
> doing a careful analysis of the market first, taking into 
> account competing
> tools as you mentioned.
> But I'm not clear about how Omni Graffle fits in -- the vendor 
> describes it
> as "Powerful diagramming and charting for Mac OS X".  Are they 
> working on a
> multimedia authoring tool under that name?

With linking and the integration of Apple script it fullfills at 
least 90% of the features of a simple authoring tool. And the 
interface is outstanding! I havnt seen much tools with such a 
great UI.
Unbeliveable for that price! If they will write once an engine 
for win/nix...

> Even if so, with OS X representing a minority of current Macs 
> and the whole
> of the Mac market being a minority itself, there would seem an 
> opportunity
> to pursue the other 90+%.

As I said a lot of times I m not a scripter, but I m working 
since more than 10 years with mapping and charting. If you needs 
a crossplatform app you can go Inspiration, or more professional 
ConceptDraw/ ConceptDraw MINDMAP Pro.

> If there's a main focus for the Rev product, it may well be its
> universality.  There are OS-specific tools that compete 
> strongly with Rev,
> but I've found none that do as good a job developing and 
> deploying to nearly
> all modern computers on the planet.  OS popularities may rise 
> and fall, but
> with Rev you become immune to such fluctuations.

Heureka! You got it: That´s part of the description of my 
decision to go with rev!

>> I m not a scripter, but may bee a kind of power user. After 2
>> years struggling with rev, I fear a couple of Director Licenses
>> (or/and some hours of Director programmers) would have been
>> cheaper than one Pro License of Rev.
> Depends on what you want to build.  Director is fairly 
> unbeatable for some
> multimedia tasks, but I wouldn't build an application with it.

F.e.: Have you ever seen the Rosetta Stone (learning languages)?
If thats not an *application*, how would *you* call it, utility, 
imho, there are some millions out there thinking like me, it s 
great App. Done in Director.

> If you're looking to hire programmers for Director, why not for 
> Revolution?
> RunRev has a list of consultants at
> <http://www.RunRev.com/revolution/developers/links/consultants.html>.

What can rev consultants do against bugs in the engine..?

> A lot of my clients started out doing their on programming, but 
> over time
> they found they could conceive features faster than they could learn to
> implement them, preferring to focus on product design and marketing and
> leave the implementation to an experienced script monkey.

...And I have to know the basic of programming by myself to give 
the trainer and the (map) developer an idea of the authoring 
It is a completly new way of learning, therefore I did not know 
at the beginning what would be the result at the end. This 
project I have reinvested by myself, because their was a 
unpredictabily time for development. This has a lot to do with 
my life story - but thats OT here.

And think about that one moment:
The job with the brightest future in the next years in the USA 
(stydy was from USA - but will be the same in other industrial 
countries) will be...
SW Developer?
Multimedia Developer?
Hardcore Scripter?

Nothing of it.
The winnner is: Privat Chauffeur for elder people... (because 
somuch of them their licences because driving a car is to 
complicated in a certain age)
The industrial society is getting older and older. And that 
means more people than ever will be handicaped in any way. The 
need of personal service, simple UI´s for technical products 
from Tv to Telfon is the market for tomorrow. KISS - thats the 
I m not a Hypercard User never worked with it. Allways heared 
from it. Now Im beginning to understand what mistake made Apple 
to leave that thing in the dust. Will have a look when I have 

> And since one multi-platform Rev Pro license is about half of 
> the cost of
> the two Director licenses needed for cross-platform work, you 
> just freed up
> licensing cash that could be put directly toward development 
> time -- it's
> like getting an extra $1000 worth of programming for free. :)

Heureka! That´s another part of the description of my decision 
to go with rev!
BUT... this can be big error if the "one multi-platform" does 
not permit to finish the programm. Then its a lot more 
expensive, than the the 2 licences, because you cant get money 
for unfinished work.

> Is there an English version of <www.internettrainer.com>?  I couldn't
> immediately tell what the mapping tool does or how it works, and Google
> couldn't translate the site.

Because of some reasons on the internet site the Outliner-Text©, 
wich is invisible behind fullcolored symbols and appears on 
click, is a gif loike the map itself, so google can not 
translate it.
- Fullcolored symbols have a hidden outliner
- Colored underdlined text in symbols are internal Links (the 
symbold indicates to which chapter)
- Blue underlined text in Symbols are external lins (Internet).

Thats the complete User Manual of the whole application!
The rest comes intuitiv when your start using it.

But you can got to: 
Here starts the Explication how you can learn brainfriendly with 
this maps to get out the most of them. All these 7 pages are 
plain text. So it should be possible to translate.

My target market are not Pc experts. So they have much more 
problems with bugs than developer or power user. People, wich 
are insecure with the basics of a PC, do not realize/analyze why 
"that thing" is crashing... So they will stop learning. And 
thats exactly the opposit what I m promising with my interface. 
So my app must be as stable as a kiosk application in a college.

Translation of the site and the application to english (first) 
spanish (next) is on my list. But on the top of the list is that 
the german version must run and must run fine. (What 
surprisingly did the version i have build with 1.0...) I had to 
cancel a lot of times meetings and präsentations where I should 
show how it works, because a lot of people are interested how 
their employes can save up to half of time learning with both 
part of the brain. Others would like to start selling the 
Internet for beginners App, and train with it....

finally some statements of some german speaking developer I v 
contacted here to have a look at rev, change to rev or do 
anything for me in rev..:

...Real fast developing i still do in HC. All my employes do the 
rest in Java. Rev has to much bugs
...Rev seems promising, but the learning curve is very steep.
...I´ll stay with Flash (MX)
...Tried to imported a 8000 card HC stack but some functions do 
not work. I have no time to play with it.
...Rev, thats i nice thing but wait until Version 2.0
...i still prefer MC
...SC is a lot easyier to understand
...Director - thats the standard for multimedia

A assume that not all german speaking developer are idiots
None of them said I´ll start with it. It was a big surprise for 
me, because I was very enthusiastic for rev and recomend it 
nearly everywhere i could.

Wolfgang M. Bereuter

Learn easy with trainingsmaps©

INTERNETTRAINER Wolfgang M. Bereuter
Edelhofg. 17/11, A-1180 Wien, Austria
http://www.internettrainer.com, wmb at internettrainer.com
Tel: ++43/1/ 961 0418, Fax: ++43/1/ 479 2539

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