Look and Learn . . .

Richmond Mathewson geradamas at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 20 05:15:31 EST 2008

Marl Swindell wrote:

"Yes, and the documentation was so bad I couldn't make
heads or tails  
of how to script anything, even though I knew
HyperTalk.  It was  
functionally a rich multimedia PowerPoint for kids...
and well before  
PowerPoint.  They missed a great opportunity."

And I really want to "unpack" that:-

1. "a rich multimedia PowerPoint for kids"

Why, Oh Why, does it seem that when people conceive of
something that does not involve direct programming by
the end-user we always end up with a glorified

WHAT is needed is something with nearly all the
capabilities of Runtime Revolution with a FRONT-END
that is fully automated in such a way that a Professor
of Anatomy (for example) can sit down in front of
their computer and rapidly, and with no need to learn
xTalk, Logo, "Bogo" or what-have-you, put together a
slick and efficient program that does what ever the
Prof. requires without silly restraints imposed by
people who think that computers are only used by
"real" programmers and slide-show freaks: the usual
problem of the excluded middle.

2. "the documentation was so bad I couldn't make heads
or tails  
of how to script anything"

Well that's an enormous problem should you want to
script anything

(and one could stop for a moment of b*tchiness here
about the state of the RunRev documentation' with, of
course, the caveat that is is still
lightyears ahead of the documentation on my
HyperStudio demo CD)

BUT . . .

There is a crying need for a RAD that offers a GUI
that will allow our hypothetical Professor of Anatomy
"go the whole hog" without any reference to scripting

3."They missed a great opportunity."

Yup, and so is everybody else,including the developers
of HyperNext, Supercard (which, increasingly, looks
less and less super) and Runtime Revolution.

4. {admittedly not an quote from Mark Swindell}
"Richmond is a pain in the ***."

Yes, I am a pain in the ***, and aim to continue to be
until this HUGE problem is resolved.

When I was a child, way back in 1976, the British
government was pumping schools full of propaganda that
stated that in the great and glorious future we could
order up anything we wanted from computers without an
additional cognitive load  (well, they didn't go as
far as using fancy pseudo-psychological terms as
'cognitive load') caused by having to learn to
navigate our way round increasingly complex GUIs both
of operating systems, and of RADs; and learning
programming languages.

Runtime Revolution has a lot of good "buried under the
hood"; and 
non-experts have to spend such a long time learning
how to see and interpret what is under the hood that
it is hardly worth the bother.

Runtime Revolution with a fully automated interface
based on a vast decision tree should blow the pants of
every other RAD (or silly PowerPoint thingy) out

Sorry to keep plugging; but I did develop an extremely
primitive "seed" of what could be done as my MSc
project; it is enormous, clunky and incredibly
inefficient - but it proves its point:


(all the code is there)

my recent 'Splash Screen Designer' (revOnline) uses
exactly the same principle; which, I believe, is the
principle, the whole RR GUI is based around.

sincerely, Richmond Mathewson


A Thorn in the flesh is better than a failed Systems Development Life Cycle.

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