Transcript - HyperTalk book?

David Vaughan drvaughan55 at
Mon Jun 17 19:08:01 EDT 2002

On Tuesday, June 18, 2002, at 09:39 , Luciano Ramalho wrote:

> > I've stumbled onto Revolution and am trying to make sense of it.  I do
> > not have a Hypercard background but from what I can tell, Transcript
> > syntax seems to be closer to HyperTalk than anything else.  Would a
> > HyperTalk book  be the way to go?  Several are available on my local
> I used to have quite a few Hypercard books, but by far the best was 
> Michael Swaine´s Dr. Dobb's Essential Hypertalk Handbook, at least for 
> intermediate/advanced programmers. The best seller was Danny Goodman´s 
> book, but most of its content was a language reference (which is always 
> more convenient online than on paper). Swaine´s was shorter, but went 
> much deeper.

Rik (who started this thread on which we all pounced)

I agree with the various comments and advice that Transcript may be 
considered a superset of HT and thus starting with an HT book is a good 
idea. There are two caveats I would like to add from my own experience 
as a long term HC user now fairly well on the path of conversion.

The first is the shift from backgrounds and cards paradigm in HC to 
stacks and cards in Rev. Before someone shouts me down about background 
behaviour and so on, I know bg behaviour exists and I use it, but not to 
pretend I am still in HC. My larger programs are now collections of 
stacks with judicious and sparing use of bg behaviour, rather than a 
stack with collections of backgrounds. Given the clone command you do 
not even need bg behaviour to create a stack of identical cards. 
Initially I tended just to open HC stacks in Rev and then refine them 
but now that I am converting more complex stacks (in the throes of one 
right now) I am doing it by redesign and rewrite. So, when learning HC, 
be aware of this ultimate difference in how things are done.

My second caveat is that Transcript is not **just** a superset of 
HyperTalk, even though it can be treated as such in the conversion 
process (that is, anything that works in HT should work in TS). In my 
present view Transcript has what the late S J Gould called "emergent 
behaviours" where apparently incremental shifts in capability lead to 
whole new ways of doing things that were not necessarily "envisaged" in 
the initial change (not that evolution is teleological of course; just 
me trying to mangle a metaphor). So, I agree with the usefulness of the 
HC learning path but encourage you to consider it as just that: a means 
to the end and not a coding model.

> --
> Luciano Ramalho
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> use-revolution at

More information about the Use-livecode mailing list