Revolution vs Visual Basic

Mikey mikeythek at
Wed Mar 8 14:49:46 EST 2006

> A lot of what you are looking for in Rev isn't built in but as others have
> shown in their answers here, creating the functionality in Rev is close to
> trivial. But the programming paradigm in Revolution with its Transcript
> xTalk language is so substantially different from the approaches taken by VB
> that twisting your head around it may prove challenging. That challenge is
> definitely worthwhile if you plan to create cross-platform software but if
> you don't, I'm not sure it's worth it.

I would tend to agree with and disagree with this statement at the
same time.  On the one hand, one of the things that is really great
about all of the HC derrivatives is that you have access to, and can
change, almost anything you want at any time.  It makes customizing
the environment or adding onto it easy, and dare I say, fun.

I would disagree with the statement aht the language is so different
that wrapping your head around it can be challenging, and might not be
worth it.  The advantage that Transcript and all xTalk languages have
is that the paradigm is really trivial BECAUSE it is so different than
most modern languages - it is, IMHO, more natural, and therefore
easier to learn.  The language itself is conversational, so the syntax
is very similar to English grammar, the vocabulary is nearly obvious
set the color of me to blue
get the rect of me
put item 3 of theList into address

Revolution's grandfather, HyperCard made the task of building
prototypes a trivial enterprise.  Revolution is also easy to use to
build prototypes.  The overhead that is usually associated with
building a project is for the most part abssent.  You don't have to
cast and instantiate anything.  Types are context-implied (see my
previous example).  In short it is REALLY easy to build something

Transcript's ability to parse strings (and make the code required to
parse strings) means that one of the most onerous tasks in computing
is very easy to achieve with minimal effort.  In development studies,
the two most common problems that programmers face are parsing and
communication (either between projects, devices, or programs).  All of
these functions are straghtforward and simple.

I would rate Revolution's learning curve (to the point where you can
be productive) as low-medium.  Once you understand things like
"inheritence path" and the basic grammar you should be able to pick up
RR in no time.
On the first day, God created the heavens and the Earth
On the second day, God created the oceans.
On the third day, God put the animals on hold for a few hours,
   and did a little diving.
And God said, "This is good."

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