Re: Looking further than the end of your nose - Was “Toolin’ Around”

Richmond richmondmathewson at
Mon May 5 08:34:12 EDT 2014

On 05/05/14 14:47, Francis Nugent Dixon wrote:
> Hi from Beautiful Brittany,
> Richmond,
> That’s one hell of a rant against ToolBook. I think it fair to add
> a few comments.

Indeed! With Feeling!

> Making choices about the software that you find, like and
> use is based upon ……   those three words !
> Find : Sometimes you use the wrong software for solving
> your problems, quite simply because you didn’t find the
> one that did what you wanted, with “user-friendly” ease,
> and with the bells and whistles you needed.
> Many software users don’t LOOK for the right tool for them,
> and so they prat around, some quite happily, oblivious of the
> fact that “out there” is the tool that they would happy give an
> arm and a leg for ! Ignorance is bliss …….

Ignorance can be bliss.

BUT Revolution could do more to make people's bliss less provisional.

> Like : If your list of needs is limited, then the first piece of
> software you find may do the job. Tough luck, because
> there is always a better tool to suit your needs, if you
> spend the time looking for it.
> Use : In this brave new world, there are millions and
> millions of individuals, companies and administrations
> using the same complex (functionally) and exhorbitant
> (look at the price) tool for knocking out messages, simple
> letters, memos, what have you, when they don’t use more
> than 1 % of the functions available (heard of Microsoft Word ?)
> People who use the wrong software for solving their problems
> deserve all they get. Companies and administrations use a
> hammer when they think that their basic problem is a nail.
> People who have not found LiveCode, are suffering from
> those three little words.

Which 3 are those?

"Looking in the wrong place" is 5 :)

>   Just thank your lucky stars that you
> DID find it. A good product is not always sold because of
> a high profile advertisement program. Most of the top-notch
> applications are sold by the users who were lucky enough to
> search and find it, and then broadcast the good news to
> friends and collegues.
> When Hypercard finally died the death, I was like a fish out
> of water for quite some time before I literally stumbled on
> Revolution. I was pratting around with unsatisfactory apps
> for years before I found GraphicConvertor, EazyDraw, Skim,
> and other such gems. Then, after finding these apps, I went
> through the “Like” and “Use” before I was sure that I had
> what I needed.

I went to work in the KSA and the UAE in 1996 and was happily pumping 
out Hypercard stuff
including embedded QTVR movies and suchlike [Hey . . . QTVRlike moveis 
would rock in Livecode], colour, and so forth . . . when the

Sheikh . . . who was supremely confident in his absolute ignorance . . . 
had his toes kissed by a Microsoft
Executive . . . and, Lo, it came to pass, all the Macintoshes were 
chucked out quicker than you could
say "Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan" . . . and replaced with IBM compatibles 
sporting Windows NT . . . and poor
old Richmond was lobbed a copy of ToolBook (whatever the version number 
was then) and told to 'jump'.

Well; knowing who was paying the piper right then (!!!!!) I jumped right 
to it, and learnt how to "do things" in Toolbook . . . and quickly 
worked out that Toolbook, as it was then, was very much the poor
relation of Hypercard, or, more accurately, what Hypercard showed itself 
to becoming: the fact that
it was ritually garrotted by the high Priest himself was not even 
foreshadowed at that stage (??? well,
certainly not in the dark and sweaty corners of the Arabian Gulf).

On reaching Scotland after my sojourn in Arabia Felix, the first day I 
started my job as a lab-maintenance and CALL designer I stumbled on 
Metacard . . . about a week later it was Runtime Revolution . . . the 
end is history.
> I spend possibly a few hours a week googling for apps
> which may better solve some of my problems. I
> download and test hundreds of apps before dropping
> most of them in the trash. But sometimes, I am rewarded.
> Oh ! and of course, they have to be “inter-app” compatible !
> And often, because I am an insanely difficult person to please,
> When I don’t find what I want ….. I write it in LiveCode ….
> So don’t knock Toolbook because it doesn’t DO what you
> think it should. Knock off a few scripts in Livecode for
> an “Ad Hoc” problem you have, and be happy that you
> are not using papyrus and slate to record your thoughts,
> your needs, and your solutions. You’ll feel better !!

I always use a slide-rule for all my mathematical calculations, because 
when I make a mistake
I can see where I've gone wrong!

I use my BBC Master for trying the odd thing out in BBC BASIC because it 
is quick and delivers like nobody's business.

> And finally, you may explain to your buddies,

I'm very, very careful NOT to acquire "buddies".

My wife uses Linux and LibreOffice; one of my sons uses Mac and 
OpenOffice, the other uses Windows 7 and LibreOffice.

>   that you use
> a word processor that is free, and which does all a normal
> user wants, with ease, and find that they never even tried it.
> This is because they already have


hence, NOT buddies

>   Microsoft Word, and
> HATE the idea of learning something NEW and BETTER.
> They found their hammer, and…… they use it !

Toolbook is not bad if you want to convert your Powerpoint presentations 
into web presentations.

Apart from that; it is tied to one platform (admittedly the dominant one 
right now), has a clunky
programming language, and has its feet in 2 camps: being neither a 
full-blown object oriented
IDE, nor a LEGO kit for non-programmers.

> Best Regards
> -Francis
> “Nothing should ever be done for the first time”
The point of my posting was to show what was wrong with Toolbook, what 
was right with Livecode, AND
to point out a feature of Toolbook that is good and Livecode might 
contemplate adopting (LC did once,
obviously in a dud way as it was dropped quicker than a hot potato).


More information about the Use-livecode mailing list