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OS 9 Businesses Operating Systems Software Apple

HyperCard Gone for Good 187

Second to Last HyperCard Goddess writes "HyperCard has finally been removed from the Apple website. Read some comments about the passing. I read about HyperCard's demise on the RunRevolution list. It's pretty sad; the unexpected part was that it remained for sale at the Apple Store for six years without an update. Although we've all moved on, we'll certainly miss it." I won't.
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HyperCard Gone for Good

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  • by SewersOfRivendell ( 646620 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @01:34PM (#8726671)
    What killed HyperCard? Shunting it off to Claris, where it languished. Lots of good applications with plenty of future potential were killed at Claris, not least of them being MacWrite, MacPaint, MacDraw. Damn shame.
  • by xMac ( 766834 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:11PM (#8727101)
    >the unexpected part was that it remained for sale at the Apple Store for six years without an update. Although we've all moved on

    you followed diligently for 6 years! and didn't give up hope that it may be updated!

    i'd say you are gonna have a tough time moving on... good luck. :D

  • Re:Me neither... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:19PM (#8727189) Homepage
    0) Java sucks.

    1) HyperCard filled an entirely separate niche, so no.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:41PM (#8727404)
    we'll certainly miss it." I won't.

    *sigh*. It's easier to be negative that positive isn't it? And so I'll be likewise: maybe we don't care if you do or not Pudge. I certainly remember it fondly. And as someone who uses "classic macs" for fun, find it a very convenient tool to still use. So let the rest of us have our say.
  • by karnat10 ( 607738 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:53PM (#8727508)
    HyperCard was waaaay ahead of its time. Years before the common user knew about HTML, JavaScript, or Wikis, all those concepts were already beautifully united in HyperCard. Well, the network was missing, but it was already WYSIWYG (en contraire to today's Wikis).

    Seriously. I learnt to know HyperCard like 15 years ago and developed some nice applications, and I haven't used it again until recently, and then I was like saying: Wow, shit, it was all there already!

    It wasn't perfect though because only a few people had macs, and I think it was too intuitive and required too much creativity from average Joe (OK, mod me down for my arrogance, come on, come on, give it to me, yeah)

    Wars are God's way of teaching Americans geography.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @04:32PM (#8728802)
    In my opinion, the first and fatal blow to hypercard was when the full version was removed from the system software releases. When it was included with every single macintosh shipped, it promoted the idea that anyone could be a programmer. Anyone could build a tool useful at least to themselves and make their work on the computer more productive. It didn't matter if it was adding a field to the address book, copying a button with a canned script into a new stack, or adding new handlers to the home stack.

    Everyone had the tools available to them, everyone could share their work. (It was also fertile ground for viruses, but lets ignore that for the moment. I don't want to speak ill of the dead.) Everyone could peak into the source of a stack and see what was going on.

    When Apple started shipping "Hypercard Reader" with the systems for the "users" to have and requiring people to choose to be "developers" and buy the development environment from Claris, Hypercard lost its purpose.

    Everything since then has just been a slow decline.
  • by chillybean77 ( 767182 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:02PM (#8730892)
    I don't think Apple has killed Hypercard at all.
    I think the fundamental principles behind Hypercard have been translated into Objective-C, Cocoa and many of the MacOSX technologies relating to these - Applescript, Delagates, outlets, forward chains, the runtime message lookup, object introspection, cocoa bindings, and most of the current Mac OS X frameworks are based on or around the principles and OO patterns of Hypercard.
    These architectural principles have been available in other languages for a while, but Apple has paid careful attention to the designs of MacOSX, and I think they've learnt from the Hypercard experience of yesteryear, and brought that experience into the new age of software development for the Macintosh.
    The difference between the development environment that Apple provides today (xCode), and what it used to provide (HyperCard) is that today's tools give all the seasoned C/C++/Java programmers the ability to develop however they want to AND in addition, Apple provides the opportunity to use the frameworks MacOSX provides (which, to labor the point, I think are Hypercard-like in principles, hence the elegance of Cocoa app designs) So we get our cake, and get to eat it too! :)

    While everyone debates about the fact that Apple has given Hypercard the flick, I disagree. It's fundamentally there in MacOSX if you look beneath the surface.
    Software development is about learning from your experience and using that to your advantage, and this 'experience' is what software engineering using systems of patterns is all about. The developer documentation is pretty heavy on the patterns, architectures and designs inherent in MacOSX because they want people to use them and benefit from them, beacuse, in turn, Apple benefits.
    I think Apple has combined both the business and programming experiences they got from the 'Hypercard days', with the culture and benefits of the opensource community and that's why they are steadily gaining a strong foothold in the marketplace with MacOSX and their products.

    Hypercard still kinda-sorta lives on. At least, that's what I rekon. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:26PM (#8731168)
    (* Written by Cecil Esquivel
    Requires DialModemOSAX from Javier Diaz Reinoso
    J avier Diaz-Reinoso <>
    Place this script in ~/Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/
    property national_prefix : "1"
    property international_prefix : "011"
    property length_of_local_number : 8 -- number of characters in a local number (no prefix needed to dial). Include dashes.
    property my_version : "v1.0"

    on prefixed_num(num)
    if first character of num is "+" then
    -- if number starts with a +, it's international.
    return international_prefix & "-" & characters 2 thru (length of num) of num
    else if ((characters 1 thru (length of national_prefix) of num) as string is not national_prefix) and &#172;
    ((characters 1 thru (length of international_prefix) of num) as string is not international_prefix) then
    -- if number starts with neither national nor international prefix, assume local unless has more digits than length_of_local_number
    if (length of num) > length_of_local_number then
    return national_prefix & "-" & num
    return num
    end if
    end if
    -- number is already starts with a national or international prefix
    return num
    end prefixed_num

    using terms from application "Address Book"
    on action property
    return "phone"
    end action property

    on action title for aPerson with aPhone
    set thephonenum to (value of aPhone) as string
    set thephonenum to prefixed_num(thephonenum)
    return "Dail " & thephonenum & " with Modem"
    end action title

    on should enable action for aPerson with aPhone
    return true
    end should enable action

    on perform action for aPerson with aPhone
    initModem "/dev/cu.modem" with "~^M~AT&F1E0S7=45S0=0L2^M"

    set thephonenum to (value of aPhone) as string
    set thephonenum to prefixed_num(thephonenum)
    delay 1
    dial modem "ATDT" & thephonenum
    display dialog "Dialing " & (name of aPerson) & "'s " & (label of aPhone) & " at " & return & (thephonenum) & return & &#172;
    "You can pick up the reciever, then click OK to hang up modem." buttons {"OK"} default button 1
    hang up
    end perform action
    end using terms from
  • by highbrow ( 716454 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @08:35PM (#8731780)
    I have always seen HyperCard as a great opportunity lost by Apple.

    I had my first development job in 1993 producing university teaching materials using Hypercard & Quicktime. Back in those days developing using a Mac only product wasn't a problem, as the majority of our labs were Mac anyway. As Apple as a platform slumped in the mid-90's people's expectations changed- they wanted things to run on PC too.

    All that needed to happen was to produce a Windows runtime, and Apple could have maintained a stranglehold on straightforward multimedia creation. No-one's saying it was a great tool, but as a simple mechanism to convey rich content to users, it couldn't be beaten.

    Why Apple never dedicated the resources required to do this I will never know- perhaps it was so tied to Quickdraw that a port would have amounted to a complete rewrite... there were rumours too that playback was going to be built into QuickTime, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking.

    Anyway, it never happened, and it was pretty obviously after a few years of point upgrades that it was never going to.... the lame way that colour was bolted onto the original 1 bit code (using a plugin or XCMD) didn't bode well for where the product stood in Apple's priorities.

    I tried SuperCard, which at least natively supported colour and multiple windows, but the end result could still only be run on a Mac. The product changed owners so many times, it never boded well, and a Windows player or, better still a plug-in (Roadster, anyone?) were always just around the corner.....

    So I, and many others I imagine, moved to MacroMind Director v4. It was clunky as hell back then, interactivity strapped onto an animation package. But it has got better ;-). Coming from a Mac-dominated environment, we also discovered that you could use these tools on PCs too- perhaps not as elegantly, UI-wise, but with the price differentials in hardware, many grew up creating content on PCs for PCs. That can't have helped Apple at all.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @11:20AM (#8736720) Journal
    When it was included with every single macintosh shipped, it promoted the idea that anyone could be a programmer. Anyone could build a tool useful at least to themselves and make their work on the computer more productive.

    I may be way off here (I bought my first Mac last year, and I've never used HyperCard), but do you not think the AppleScript studio included with OS X does the same thing?

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @12:21PM (#8737509) Homepage
    Problems with AppleScript studio:

    Not as easy
    Not cutting edge in the same way
    More business oriented
  • by Swedentom ( 670978 ) on Friday April 02, 2004 @11:42AM (#8746886) Homepage
    I don't think Steve Jobs hated HyperCard at all. In fact, HC was originally created by Bill Atkinson, who was a good friend [] of Steve. I think the reason Apple dumped HyperCard was the same as with the Newton. They simply had to prioritize more important things, such as the iMac.

VMS must die!