Wednesday, April 10, 2013

HyperTalk hype

You may briefly see a resurgence in HyperCard script hype.

The script, HyperTalk, uses quasi-English as a gimmick aimed at, say, high school teachers who do not relish teaching programming and may only know a procedural paradigm.

Enter, stage left, "stacks" and "cards" without programming.

But a time comes when some text needs to be modified in accordance with some rule or pattern.

This is a teaching example :

function replaceStr pattern,newStr,inStr
   repeat while pattern is in inStr
      put offset(pattern,inStr) into pos
      put newStr into character pos to (pos +the length of pattern)-1 of inStr
   end repeat
   return inStr
end replaceStr

Can you see why the example is problematic?

No one who understood this code needs "is in" and all the rest of the quasi-English of this supposedly "non-programmer" scripting language.

So if someone tells you that your kid can build software in, say, RunRev "LiveCode" for free without learning how to program "the old way" you might ask them if that amazing thing comes complete with free money and winning lottery tickets as well.

There are alternatives out there : Rebol, Icon, Smalltalk but there is no escape from programming in software development ... not even for "mobile" or Android or iPad or "the web".

Posted with the usual apologies for not mentioning LISP in that list.

Smalltalk config candour

What follows is my reply to an exasperated Smalltalker :
CC  rider : config issues are as old as commercial Smalltalk ; I keep an entire mail bin of these (separate from 'user' or 'tips' conversations.) At least this is not
                    eclipse+CVS+Java+open-source !
I work in a very advanced commercial OOP created by MIT Lisp gurus and THAT IDE has package circularity issues that have to be addressed by developers who push beyond the pre-tested envelope.
Does the issue exist for commercial PROLOG implementations with packages ? That would be amusing .... (there had been SOUL and QSOUL projects for Squeak as well as a Prolog and then Lisp for Squeak )
I would not be surprised to find packaging issues with functors in Mozart/Oz ! And I could check the Mercury dev mailing list ... (Mercury - which can gen Erlang code ! )
The Puppy Linux folks have a real challenge in getting tools into their light Linux ... but so far so good (mostly) - I say "mostly" as I cannot get the ObjectIcon IDE to run in their JWM X ... but Icon with objects could be used to address that very config issue in a maintainable, readable fashion !!!
Practical computing : tasks which keep our sense of irony well-honed ;-) (even without management)
Needed : Pre-Factoring browsers ! ;-)
and please do keep smiling ... but only if the crows' feet crinkle at the edges of the temples ...

HyperCard open source

RunRev's "Community Edition" of HyperCard is now available for download.

RunRev is prone to hype and has a rep for poor support, so caveat emptor !

This grew out of a KickStarter ( yes, kick-starting HyperCard — so as I said …

Note: this is now multi-platform HyperCard under the moniker "LiveCode".

Note : with RunRev nothing is ever as it seems : you must register to run this "open source" "community edition".

Poor support item picked at random : StackOverflow complaint ; the web abounds in such exasperated customers over the years. You may also want to add a rule to the mail account used to register so as to send the hype-mail to the bit-bucket.

Their former personas include
The LiveCode programming language (formerly the "Revolution" programming language) is a commercial cross-platform rapid application development language.
Formerly MetaCard formerly HyperCard ( which still belongs to Apple ?)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

one poem view

My response to The Toronto Quarterly blog post on Landale.

I still think [that] a better idea [would be to] use a cookie to keep [limit / restrict] user [web page visitor] to one poem at random ... more work for the webmaster, but for the many of us with cottonwoods in our past, but who are not taken with this one poem … [] 
[T]hink of a book of poems as a gallery of paintings : [consider] the visitors' paths versus the guided tour of "we only have time to let you look at this one canvas" … or with a restricted "cordoned clockwise path" for the visitor. 
Give me open gallery space ANY day.
A cat entering a space may show agreement with its feet every time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baudelaire edits

Small correction to « Petits poĆ«mes en prose » of Baudelaire at ( Curl "Surge" RTE browser plugin 7 or 8 required ; see )