Bob Sneidar wrote:
> Richard wrote:
>> Mike Kerner wrote:
>>> The ST integration is one of the things that is really slick about
>>> Levure.
>> "ST"?
>> "Space Telescope"?  "SuperTux"?  "Starship Trooper"?
>> Any of those integrations would be awesome.
> Integration for Starship Troopers is still in beta.

I'm anxious to get my hands on it, as I'll need for for my new widget library, Perpetual Changelog. ;)

Graham Samuel wrote:
> Just read in Trevor’s reply to me - it’s Sublime Text.

Ah, right. Of course.  Thanks.  I hear it's a nice editor.

UDAs can be confusing.

> (Rant-style observation: I see really that what the whole Levure thing
> is doing is moving towards a more industrial-scale development context
> for LiveCode. This is great if you need it. In the past I worked on
> (for my sins, even tried to manage) software development projects with
> more than 50 participants. In those days we had pretty lousy tools for
> version control etc. I do appreciate that such things have moved on
> and are an essential part of modern team development. In the past, LC
> and its predecessors, including especially HyperCard, were conceived
> as one-man-band type of development tools, I think. There are still a
> lot of people like that out there, and I admit to being one. This is
> not to say we’re all hobbyists - some of us are certainly developing
> stuff that we believe will be seen as professional by paying users,
> but we do not operate in that industrial context. All development
> needs discipline, sure, but individual developers do have to consider
> the cost in labour of committing to a new and different way of doing
> things, IMHO. Rant ends)

Good rant. I had a similar reflection this morning reading a forum post in which Mark Wieder was waxing about the benefits of declaring variables. It got me thinking:

  Variable declaration
+ coded descriptions of objects rather than laying them out visually
+ separation of code from UI
= an ever more C-like workflow.

If these practices were the norm back when many of us got started, we might have just taken up C. Or if we prefer more typing, Pascal. :)

Today, the logical choice would be JavaScript, no longer just the only language in browsers but also great on servers and even some native mobile and desktop app packagers. Many of the benefits of C but with the sort of live coding scripters enjoy.

While there are some nice things unique to xTalks as a language family (esp. the under-appreciated value of having GUI objects as native language elements rather than tossed in after the fact from completely separate third-party frameworks as though making applications is somehow an afterthought), the real allure of The xTalk Way is the whole gestalt, including the secret charm of binary stack files, and how it shapes a very different way of working.

You can make something useful, ship that one file to someone else, and they have something useful - no assembly, no compilation process, no folders full of tiny files to sift through. Just make, share, enjoy a single simple file.

We still have that.  And I hope we never lose that as an option.

But now we also have other options available to us, which open up many more doors than could be possible without.

So whatever process you use, if you're having fun and your users are having fun, keep doing it.

And if you need to bring in other developers, now you can more easily than before.

And if your clients demand managing the code base in Git, no problem.

The simplicity of HyperCard will never be matched, but not so much because of design, but because needs have changed since 1987. Computing went from being a fringe hobby to achieving multi-device ubiquity. Our collective knowledge of computing systems, and our expectations of what we want from them, have expanded along the way.

With the world of options opening up across all of software development, and in our LiveCode world along with it, we can dream a wider range of more interesting dreams than ever before.

If I have any concern at all it's for the UX, the tender loving care that can only come from eyes unjaded by years of staring at C compilers, to keep the LC experience as clean and inviting as it can be for the next generation of xTalkers.

 Richard Gaskin
 Fourth World Systems
 Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web

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