Realbasic on the web without plugins

Chipp Walters chipp at
Fri Sep 23 02:12:55 EDT 2011


If it were only JavaScript, I'd say, SURE, I'll take that bet!

But it's not.

It's the ever-changing landscape of xHtml, HTML5, JavaScript, various DOM
versions, and it's about the vagaries and hassles in trying to create actual
working decent cross browser CSS. Its about learning Apache components, and
understanding caching techniques, and how to connect to different databases,
each requiring their own flavor of SQL or other language. And learning about
schemas and relational databases, how to set them up, how to access and
optimize them. It's about learning when and how to write stored procedures,
and in what language.

It's about deciding what framework is best, and what other client side AJAX
APIs you need to learn. And most importantly, it's about the full time job
of trying to keep up with all this technology and the HUGE and RAPID changes
that are being made.

There are individuals whose full time job is just keeping up with CSS. There
are companies who ONLY purpose is to convert a Photoshop layout to HTML/CSS.

That's the beauty of LC. You only have to learn a single IDE, and you CAN
develop for all these other platforms.

If I thought it was as simple as typing a few lines of JavaScript, then I'd
be there. Sadly, it's not.

But, look what RB is doing. They allow you to create a RB application which
runs fine on your desktop, then wrap it in a binary exe and run it AS IS on
a server as a CGI. And it returns a perfectly formatted HTML, JavaScript,
CSS full-featured cross browser solution, without the dreaded plugin. And
without the need for me to be on top of the latest CSS browser hack which
makes something look right in iOS Safari.

Now, I know RB is nowhere near as flexible as LC, Jerry tells me you can't
even change the color of the the text on a button without having to write a
C-plugin, and don't even think about "rolling your own controls," BUT...

If they can figure out how to take a subset of their functionality and build
a full functioning web app, then surely it's in the realm of possibility for
LC? Just sayin'.

On Thursday, September 22, 2011, Richard Gaskin <ambassador at>
> Keith Clarke wrote:
>> But even if it isn't easy, if RunRev don't grasp the nettle on
>> this, developers who must deploy standards-based rich apps into
>> cloud and locked-down Enterprise environments will be forced
>> elsewhere, which would be a shame.
> I wrote about this last year:
> <>
> Like too many of my posts that's a long one, but it represents pretty much
everything I came up with that's relevant to the discussion, and I've been
thinking about this a long time since two of my biggest projects are all
about the web and are based in LiveCode.
> In short:
> There are two sides to this, client and server.
> On the server side RunRev has already provided what may be the most
cost-effective solution for that with RevServer.
> But the client is a whole other game, fully immersed not only in a very
different language but also in a deeply well-defined object model that, in
many respects, bears little resemblance to LiveCode's.
> We use LiveCode because a good scripting language lets us build things
more quickly than we could do in a lower-level language like C.
> But JavaScript is not a low-level language.  It's almost as high-level as
LiveCode, and as well integrated into the object model it supports as
LiveCode is with its own.
> But the object models are very different.
> Attempting full translation of LiveCode to JavaScript would not be
impossible, but very expensive.  IMO, when you consider the limitations
inherent in such a task, it's probably much more expensive than just
learning JavaScript.
> That said, there are many opportunities for using LiveCode to generate
some portions of the client-side experience for the web.  A starting point
was outlined here in 2006:
> <>
> I haven't used the RB/web implementation, but I'd be surprised if it did
full RB->JavaScript translation; my guess is that the server side is very
much like RevServer and the client side is like the ToolBook approach I
outlined in 2006.
> We can have that too, and we needn't wait for anything from RunRev -
anyone with sufficient time and motivation can build this today.
> But somewhere along the way you'll eventually find limitations between
what LiveCode can do on the desktop and what a translation to a different
object model will be able to do on the web.  There's more to apps than
> And for those you'll want to use JavaScript.
> Fortunately, it's kinda fun to learn and there are orders of magnitude
more resources for that than we have for all the things we've learned about
> Dive in, the water's fine.
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World
>  LiveCode training and consulting:
>  Webzine for LiveCode developers:
>  LiveCode Journal blog:
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Chipp Walters
CEO, Shafer Walters Group, Inc.

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