The real Challenge for every development platform

Dan Shafer revdan at
Mon Jan 24 03:17:43 EST 2005

Speaking as the only author who has produced a book specifically about  
Rev (at least as far as I know) and who began his project with the idea  
of simply converting my HyperTalk Programming best-seller to  
Transcript, I have a couple of observations on this topic.

First, a simple port or conversion is not possible. There are not only  
subtle differences between Transcript and HyperTalk, but such a book  
would end up: (a) recommending poor Transcript coding practices and  
techniques; and (b) be horribly incomplete.

So I converted about 1/2 of my original HyperTalk book into volume 1 of  
"Software at the Speed of Thought." It took about four times as much  
time and energy as I'd originally anticipated. Sales of the book have  
been dismal at best. I didn't do this project to get rich, but neither  
did I intend it as a philanthropical undertaking! Kevin Miller and I  
decided that if we were going to have any potential success with the  
book series, that could not happen with RunRev as the book publisher. I  
tried publishing two of the chapters for Volume 2 -- the two that  
readers voted as highest in demand -- separately so we could see if  
that model would work. I sold almost none at a mere $5 each.

So Kevin and I decided -- and announced some time ago -- that we would  
seek a traditional publisher to undertake production of the books. TO  
date, no publisher has expressed the slightest bit of interest.

Clearly Kevin and I need to do something to resolve this problem. Due  
to recent staffing changes and illness on RunREv's part, I've been  
holding off making any decision or announcing anything but hopefully  
you'll see something soon.

I am absolutely open to any great ideas for how to turn Rev books into  
some potentially meaningful business, but so far nothing we've tried  
has had even a semblance of success.


On Jan 23, 2005, at 12:04 PM, Alejandro Tejada wrote:

> on Sat, 22 Jan 2005
> Judy Perry wrote:
>> You know, kinda like what Hypercard provided.
> That's exactly what i thought. A lot of the users
> of RunRev were HyperCard users.
> Sorry Judy, but we, (ex-hypercard users) are not
> fair judges. ;-)
> In some way, we have developed a fixed point of view
> about how things must be done... the Hypercard point
> of view. Oddly enough, i believe that this explain
> why exist too few educational materials for beginners
> in this platform:
> Hypercard users do not need this material, because
> it already exist for HyperCard...
> So my first question is:
> Why not ask the autors of all these excellent
> programming books about HyperCard to update
> their contents for RunRev?
> < 
> ref=dp_searchBox_1/103-0642774-2193463? 
> url=index%3Dbooks%26dispatch%3Dsearch%26results-process%3Dbin&field- 
> keywords=hypercard&x=0&y=0>
> 105 books in total. :-))
> Dan Shafer has already started...
> so why not contact:
> Danny Goodman, George Beekman, Winkler, Kamins,
> our Jeanne DeVoto, William B Sanders,Peter Desberg,
> John Anzovin, Greg Harvey, Barry Shell, Dennis Myers,
> Annette Lamb, Rebecca Gold, Steven Anzovin,
> Richard Maran, Fred Ventura, Joseph F. Hofmeister,
> Joyce B. Rudowski, Stephen Michel, Jerry Daniels,
> Lesley S.J. Farmer, Jean Hewlett, David R. Adams,
> George H. Culp, G. Morgan Watkins, Myke Gluck,
> Tay Vaughan, Michael Fraase, John Dilbeck, Nicki Fink,
> Barry Shell, Gary Bond, Carol Kaehler, Stephen Wilson,
> Glen Bull, George Coulouris, Susan K. Baumann,
> Steven L. Mandell, Mimi Jones, Dave Myers,
> Sandra Turner, Michael Land, Alan L. Eliason,
> Lorilee Sadler, Katie Withey, Nathan Goldenthal,
> Judy Gray, Sherry, Dr. Francis, Paul Goodman,
> Lyn Pemberton, Russell T Okinaka, Paul Kahn,
> W H O'Hanlon, Kenneth W Estep, Christina Knussen,
> Patricia Anne Morbitzer Koetter, Henry Robert Burger,
> Dominique Vannier, Dave Moursund, Sharon Yoder,
> William R Higgins, Joel Brandt Augustine, Jeff
> Stodard,
> Jennifer A Dasovich, Dale Dougherty, Giorgio Volpi,
> Katherine A Richards and the quintaessential
> publisher for beginners: Dummies Technology Press...
> and many more in other languages.
> I understand that RR has limited resources to
> promise revenues to every author that update
> their books but it's worth a try, because some
> of them will want to test this software and
> surely some of them will become hooked on
> this platform.
> My wish were that RR buys the rights to publish some
> of these "out of print" books
> (for the abandoned software Hypercard) and offer
> them as a free download from their website.
> And finally, Why not HELP some user to write
> a book with their software experience in this
> platform?
> I'll pay (as i already paid for the 3 volumes
> that Dan Shafer is writing) for a book describing
> "Integrating RunRev, Apache, MySQL and PostgreSQL"
> by Pierre Sahores.
> I'll pay for a book (that included a cdrom
> with Free compilers for every platform)
> about creating DLL or XCMD for RR or MC
> wrote by many developers that
> already are in this mail-list.
> As you noticed, these are not beginners books.
> Gordon Webster wrote:
>> As a new user to rev and in spite of the fact that I
>> like it very much, I could see how potential users
>> might be deterred by the lack of a clear roadmap for
>> getting started with Transcript and the whole
>> Hypercard thing.
> [snip]
>> but the information a new user needs is so spread
>> around that finding what you need to know is like
>> panning for gold. Dan's book certainly goes some way
>> to addressing these needs but I think we need more
>> of that kind of pedagogical approach to rev for new
>> users
> New users that were not Apple and Hypercard users...
> That is an important distinction!
> 95 % of actual computer users fit this description
> ;-)
>> I think rev is great and my gripes (if you can call
>> them that) are based upon the fact that I like rev
> so
>> much that I'd like to be able to use it for
> That's a mind opening phrase:
> "I'd like to be able to use it for EVERYTHING!"
> How many people begin using this platform and after
> some time  start looking a way to use RR
> for everything???
> I'll be one of the first to raise my hand, but
> had learned that before that would happen,
> had to gather a lot of knowledge scattered, as you
> said among:
> many mail list messages,
> many open code stacks,
> many software commenting and debugging sessions
> and many powerful minds that join us
> everyday in this mail list.
> Best,
> al
> =====
> Visit my site:
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