newbie response

Lorin Rivers lrivers at
Tue Jun 4 15:53:01 EDT 2002

On 6/3/02 8:40 AM, "use-revolution-request at"
<use-revolution-request at> wrote:

> Message: 4
> Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 13:59:28 -0700
> From: Richard Gaskin <ambassador at>
> Subject: Re: newbie response
> To: use-revolution at
> Reply-To: use-revolution at
> Kee Nethery writes:
>> I've been following the Revolution lists because it is the closest
>> thing available to Hypercard but I've been exploring all the
>> alternatives because I've come to believe the dominate opinion that
>> Hypercard and things like it, are not real programming environments.
> This begs the obvious question: What defines a "real" programming
> environment?

One that is used to create apps people actually use to work or play. For
bonus points, used to create "shrink-wrap" software, i.e., people pay for
it, and they get the app, docs, support, and so on (not shareware in other


> You intuitively discovered this for yourself with this observation:
>> I sat through Geoff's presentation with some other folks at Apple's
>> WWDC and then we sat through the RealBasic presentation. Geoff did an
>> excellent job but the clincher for me was seeing the RealBasic demo.
>> RealBasic just looked more complicated.
> Looking at Fig. 1 from Osterhaut's paper, mentally substitute "Visual Basic"
> with "RealBASIC", and "TCL" with "Revolution".

I'd argue that comparing VB and REALbasic does REALbasic a disservice.
Typing is not necessarily a bad thing (certainly, there are people that
dislike it, and that's not the point). I am more familiar with PHP than any
of the other examples in the figure, and it's very weakly typed, but does
not support operator overloading. I quite like operator overloading (i.e.,
in REALbasic "+" will sum numeric values or concatenate strings -- both are
strongly typed).
> Perhaps the biggest obstacle to being considered a "real" programming
> language is simply marketing.  In spite of the beauty and power of HyperTalk
> and its subsequent influence on the industry (it was the inspiration for
> Visual Basic, which was first prototyped on a Mac using SuperCard), Apple
> dropped the ball and botched a golden opportunity.  Microsoft's investment
> in VB shows how it could have been for Apple:  strong investment in
> evangelizing an OS-specific high-level programming system guarantees rapid
> proliferation of apps for that OS.

That's possible. Apple is a highly rational organization (just because an
observer disagrees or fails to understand the reasons for their decisions is
does not make Apple irrational). If they thought HyperCard was going to make
more money than whatever else they could do with those resources, they'd be
all over it.


> RealBASIC enjoys a perception of viability

REALbasic enjoys viability because our users get benefit from it.

> not entirely of their own making:
> by riding on the coattails of Microsoft's unmatched investment in
> popularizing VB,

This is an interesting theory, but most of our popularity has nothing to do
with VB and everything to do with our users' success. In fact, most people
who have used both VB and REALbasic vastly prefer REALbasic. Recently, an
impartial evaluator informed us that, in his opinion, REALbasic offered the
best object-oriented implementation available, anywhere.

> the program is in the enviable position of being able to
> leverage the huge infrastructure and community assets of the VB world

Not really. While REALbasic will import VB forms and code, it does not
employ VB extensions (ActiveX controls and so on). We have no connections
with the VB community. Most VB users would probably have no idea what
REALbasic is, and probably think Apple went out of business years ago...

: )

> (for a
> good discussion of why this is critical for product adoption see Geoff
> Moore's book "Crossing the Chasm").

It's a fine book!

> As a thought experiment, imagine where
> any of the BASIC flavors would be today if it weren't for Microsoft.

I have no idea. Who knows?

> Meanwhile, if you look past the marketing

The implication is that our marketing is untruthful. It's not.

> and focus on results, on what a
> tool lets you deliver relative to your effort, as you've discovered
> Revolution provides a very strong return on investment.

People should certainly use what works for them! Don't take anyone else's
word for it either, check it out for yourself!

Lorin Rivers                      mailto:lrivers at
Vice President of Marketing       512.328.REAL (7325) x712 v
REAL Software                     512.328.7372 f
1705 South Capital of Texas Hwy.
Suite 310                         REALbasic: the powerful, easy-to-use
Austin, Texas 78746               tool for creating your own software
                                  for Macintosh, Mac OS X, and Windows.

More information about the use-livecode mailing list