R.I.P. HyperCard

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by voicegy, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    Apple removed the HyperCard sub-directory from the main Apple site and you can no longer buy HyperCard from the Apple store. HyperCard was one of the applications that made the Mac "insanely great," and was the creation of Bill Atkinson, developer of QuickDraw and MacPaint, and founder of General Magic.

    Goodbye, old friend. We had some fun in the old days. :(

    related blog:

  2. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Wow! Hypercard! I remember my DAD using that eons ago (must be old if he used it!). I believe it was on our SE or SE30. Here's to an oldie but certainly a goodie!
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I missed out

    Hypercard was the best. Too bad it wasn't one of the iApps. Call it iProgrammer or something. Maybe iLife '06 or iLife '07 will have it. iLife '05 will probably have a graphics creation program to complement iPhoto.
  4. jamdr macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    HyperCard was the best...

    HyperCard is truly the best piece of software ever created and is the only thing that initially made me buy a Mac. Again, it is an example of how Apple created a whole new type of product, and it inspired many, many clones (SuperCard, MetaCard, WinPlus, Revolution, even REALbasic). I have a lot of good memories using HyperCard and I'm still sorry Apple felt it had to kill it. Even now that I use "more powerful" languages for everything, I still wish I had HyperCard around to create the simple programs.

    HyperCard still has a strong following, even though it is only truly fully functional under OS 7 and earlier. When Apple released Keynote, some people had hope that it would eventually transform into a HyperCard-like application, but that doesn't seem like it will happen now. I don't think Apple will ever incorporate it into iLife because they just don't know how to market it. Calling it a programming tool scares a lot of people away who could make good use of it. But how can you describe it, then? It's more like a database, really, than a traditional IDE.

    SuperCard and Revolution are still around and work well with OS X, allowing you to compile for other platforms. They are very similar to HyperCard, but don't have that magic Apple interface design. Nothing will ever substitute for the original...
  5. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I remember QuickDraw and MacPaint, but I don't remember Hypercard. As long as we make progress, that what's important.
  6. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I remember using HyperCard in 5th grade! I was the only one in my class who really knew how to use it, and I think I knew more than the lab assistant, because I was helping more people than she was, and she often had to ask me for help... And that was in 5th grade. Ah, the memories... Farewell HyperCard...
  7. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I remember using it in grade 2,3,4 and 5 for clipart on the old macs. :)
  8. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Would anyone like to explain exactly what Hypercard is (was)?
  9. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    "It is a hypermedia program, with built-in capabilities for playing sounds, creating animations, and combining text and images on a single card.
    HyperCard uses two important metaphors. A single screen is called a "card" while a document created by HyperCard is called a "stack". Stacks are composed of one or more cards.

    A card can contain one or more of the following elements:

    * Buttons (controls that can be clicked on to perform an action)
    * Fields (for entering and storing editable text)
    * Graphics (HyperCard has its own paint tools, and can import standard IIGS APF paint files, as well as Macintosh MacPaint files)

    In addition, each card has a background layer, which can be shared by several cards. By placing one of the above three elements on a background layer, each card that shares that background automaticallygets those buttons, fields and graphics. A stack can have several backgrounds." :)
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Sure. Hypercard was something like a mutant hybrid of a database, a simple programming language (or a scripting language, really), and a website.

    Basically, you created "stacks" of "cards". Each card could have a variety of media on it--text, images (later on color was sort of cobbled in), sound, and I believe even video. You could create clickable and editable objects on these cards, as well, and when the user clicked objects or did other things you could program the system to do various events.

    The basic card-with-media-containers style was something like web pages of today, and a lot of informational hypercard stacks (which I made many of) were quite a bit like a nice looking modern website, and can easily be replaced by one.

    Since you could programatically create new cards, you could also sort of do database things--heck my boss still, to this very day, uses a Hypercard stack for his addressbook... on OSX 10.2! Still works just fine, shockingly enough. These capabilities can be recreated with a web frontend to a MySQL database, but that's a whole lot of work, and they can also be duplicated by specific applications (Address Book). The closest modern equivalent, though, is Filemaker, but that's ten times more expensive and harder to learn.

    Finally, the built-in programming features (using a language that was even easier to learn that Applescript) could do everything from perform simple operations when you clicked to fairly fancy sequences of events. This sort of functionality can be replicated by Applescript, but again that is significantly harder to learn, and doesn't come with as easy a way to create a user interface.

    So, there are now apps that can do everything Hypercard could do (Filemaker strikes me as the one closest to it, though still much different and vastly harder to use), but not really any single thing that puts them all together and makes them as easy as Hypercard did.

    Hypercard was my second programming language, and I created a lot of great applications with it during high school. At this point, most of what I did can easily be replicated with the web, but it had a lot of potential that was never tapped. There is Supercard still (I think), but Hypercard will be sorely missed.
  11. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    Despite repeated attempts at getting my dad to use a more updated address book, he still uses HyperCard on his iMac. If I'm not mistaken, it's v1.x... he brought it over from his original Mac Plus and the thing still plugs away! Hypercard burned its image into many a Mac Plus' CRT at our old office. :D
  12. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC

    So is it something like Flash or more like Visual Basic or something else?
  13. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    The 909
    HyperCard was probably more than anything else killed by the web. As good as hypercard was for its time, a web page can now do most of what HyperCard did (plus the web is more platform independent, and free).
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Essentially more like VB than Flash, but more like HTML w/JavaScript than VB.
  15. pepeleuepe macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2002
    Los Angeles, California
    I remember using HyperCard in sixth grade to do school projects. It was amazing how easy a presentation could be made and presented so nicely. Apple really brought simplicity to an area where it was needed. This allowed anyone to create a multimedia presentation with little or no knowledge of computers (sounds a lot like an iLife ad). The application had a nice life and I'm sure Apple has plenty of other surprises for us :) .
  16. JackRipper macrumors regular


    May 14, 2002
    South Carolina
    A useless piece of trivia

    Myst was written in HyperCard. After I found that out it wasn't long before I had a "Debugger" to toy with in-game settings and a saved game editor. HyperCard was my best friend and I was pretty good at HyperTalk. I was even able to write a script editor stack that you could use with HyperCard Player ( after Apple decided to charge for it )! It's too bad they dropped it.
  17. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    Two of the greatest Mac games ever - "The Manhole", and "Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo" were Hypercard Stacks.
  18. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    Wow hypercard...

    I used that once or twice... had great functionality...

    I just never go around to use it much in the hey-day... ah well.
  19. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    Still have HyperCard on my old iceBook. Fun to play with, though I needed to get an external floppy drive to load it.

    BTW, those needing an update to the latest version should click here.
  20. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    *sigh* Goodbye old friend. I hardly knew ye.

    Actually, I was first exposed to programming with hyperscript. Making my own toy stacks and doing all kinds of crazy stuff on it was all I did when I was in grade 7.
  21. The_Dood macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Wow! I remember making my first programs using Hypercard in the 3rd and 4th grade. I think my love of computers really grew once I found the "cool" (at that time) things I could make. Brings back a lot of good memories :)

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