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Apple's HyperCard

From http://www.apple.com/hypercard/ : "HyperCard organizes information into easy-to-use "stacks" of cards through which users can navigate and search for the information they need. Simply by clicking on a button, they can view related text, see a graphic, hear a sound, watch a QuickTime movie, or listen to text spoken out loud."

Maybe we could use some ideas of HyperCard, i.e. to trigger some programmable actions when a button is pressed. Like combining HyperCard functionality with the FormTemplateSystem?

A Python based HyperCard project named PythonCard just started, http://sourceforge.net/projects/pythoncard/ is the home page for PythonCard. http://pythoncard.sourceforge.net/samples.html has some screen shots.

-- PeterThoeny - 24 Aug 2001

I have been a Hypercard afficinado since the days of the first Mac. I even eventually bought an old Mac just so I could work with Hypercard.

I suppose an analogy between a topic and a card could be made; likewise between a stack and a web; likewise between Hypercard (the home stack) and TWiki (site level). One could therefore implement some of the hierarchical nature of Hypercard scripting in Twiki. Scripts in Hypercard are first searched for on the card (metaphorically on the backside of the card is how I thought of it), then on the stack, then on the home stack (it is moderately more complex then this, but this is a reasonable simple abstraction). Equivilently, one could search topic->web->Twiki for scripts. I think the interesting issue is that the javascript (obvious candidate for "TwikiCard" scripting imo) would have to reach back to the TWiki server to fetch scripts from Web or Site level script staches. I guess alternatively, that "TwikiCard" could deduce the needed scripts at topic evaluation/rendering time and download them as needed.

Personally of the two ways one could do templates, I think the one chosen for the current TWiki is the less suitable of the two for an OO-ish approach that would be more congruent with how Hypercard works.

I also kind of wonder where TWiki is going to stop? Adding bells and whistles like this seems to move it further from being a collaborative information exchange tool and more towards being a presentation tool. I would be much more interested in extensions to TWiki that enhance people's ability to share information.

-- DavidLeBlanc - 25 Aug 2001

Doing hypercard features is interesting, but like David, I'm mainly interested in better information sharing - the fact that anyone can update a TWiki page makes it a less than ideal platform for carrying scripts, due to the security issues. I'd prefer TWiki to provide true WYSIWYG editing via Java/JavaScript frontends, EasierExternalLinking, easier installation, good support for offline laptop users (including searching on local TWiki pages), etc.

-- RichardDonkin - 25 Aug 2001

I'm another one of those folks who still miss Hypercard as a general-purpose platform to create simple hypertext applications, presentations, etc. HyperCard Forgotten, but Not Gone is an interesting article about the void still left by Hypercard's neglect by Apple.

We can talk about the technical differences between TWiki and Hypercard but in some basic respects I feel their appeal are fundamentally similar. Some of the attributes I have in mind include:

  • A "blank slate" basic platform that doesn't presuppose a particular data structure and (to a certain degree) interface and therefore engages users' imagination about what all it could be used for.
  • Low-learning curve for non-technical users to create basic hypertext systems.
  • Graduated options to create more sophisticated applications.

For these reasons, I do feel that TWiki could be an heir to the market niche left by Hypercard. Only now, the potential of that niche is exponentially expanded because Hypercard did not anticipate (even while it foreshadowed) the broader hypertext context of the internet. (HyperCard: What Could Have Been is an interesting article in which Bill Atkinson, Hypercard's inventor, reflects on what he missed.)

-- LynnwoodBrown - 16 Aug 2002

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Topic revision: r4 - 2002-08-16 - LynnwoodBrown
 
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