OT: Need better hardware vs need better software./ Sub-subject "HyperPad"

Wilhelm Sanke sanke at hrz.uni-kassel.de
Tue Aug 2 14:49:28 EDT 2016

7On Tue, 2 Aug 2016 10:23:54 +0300
Richmond<richmondmathewson at gmail.com>  wrote:

> Somewhere deep inside one of my backup disks I have a feeling
> there is a version of RunRev/LC for DOS . . . .
> There's certainly a version of Metacard.
> It might be "fun" to take it/them for a trot with FreeDOS.
> R.

Hi Richmond,

Somewhere in the depths of one of my computers I still have a copy of "HyperPad" (by Brightbill & Roberts), the first (and only?) Hypercard clone for DOS. I experimented with HyperPad for some time, used it among other authoring tools in a programming workshop at the Technical University of Madras, where I also presented as an example a stack about "Basic Hindi Grammar: Verbs".

Of course it was not possible to attach Devanagari to this DOS-stack, but I later ported it to Metacard and Revolution. This stack and other Hindi-related stacks are still available from here, if you should be interested.

HyperPad had a number of interesting features missing in Hypercard, Metacard, and still not having been added to LiveCode.

On April 13, 2001, I had written to <metacard at lists.runrev.com>, subject: "Metacard anniversary":

> (snip)

> With x-talk languages I started with Hypercard and HyperPad, moved to 
> Toolbook because of Windows, looked at Omo, worked with Supercard and 
> Spinnaker's "Plus", and finally arrived at MetaCard. HyperPad appeared 
> in 1989 and was - as far as I know - the first Hypercard clone for the 
> DOS-world. It was in a number of aspects a very much improved clone of 
> Hypercard. The big problem was that it was a pure DOS program and that 
> Brightbill&Roberts unfortunately never succeeded to produce a Windows 
> version. HyperPad was dead by 1995. The first thing worth mentioning 
> about HyperPad was its wonderful documentation, two volumes of nearly 
> 400 pages each (a "User Guide" and the "PadTalk Reference") that left 
> almost no questions open, partly because for each instance of the 
> PadTalk language there were clear practical examples how to use the 
> language in a given context. In the six years that HyperPad was 
> supported by Brightbill&Roberts I approached them about three times 
> about issues I had difficulties with. HyperPad had a clear, organized 
> user interface, could be easily connected to databases, and could be 
> extended with "extensions" (simlar to xcmds and dlls) - which again 
> was elaborated in the documentation. PadTalk contained a 
> standard-deviation function - back in 1989 - a feature Scott included 
> this month in Metacard 2.4. Two other "progressive" examples of the 
> PadTalk language: - There was a "trim" function, very useful for 
> creating educational software, that deleted leading and trailing 
> spaces of user input. - "lines" and "items" had features different 
> from other x-talk languages, including Metacard, e.g. the scriptline 
> put "something" after last line of... would create a new line without 
> having to add "CR&", putting something before or after an item would 
> likewise create a new item without having to add ","&. This made 
> scripting in many instances easier and comfortable. Of course, you 
> could always put something on the same line by then adding " put 
> something after last word (last item, last char) of line x", but the 
> number of occasions where you have to create a new line or item are 
> surely much more frequent than adding something on the same line. So 
> far part of a nostalgic look back at HyperPad.-- To come back to the 
> subject of this message: I support those that suggest approaches to 
> broaden the basis of Metacard. The 10th anniversary of Metacard (is 
> that correct?) would be one more reason for taking steps in that 
> direction. Regards, Wilhelm Sanke 

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