Monday, June 9th, 2008

TileStack: HyperCard for the Web

Category: Framework

LtU pointed me to TileStack, the latest attempt to resurrect HyperCard and bring it back to the Web (they are closely related of course).

Running online there are going to be limitations about which stacks can be ported, which may reduce the usefulness and impact of this project, but maybe a standalone version will come later.

The system compiles Speak (the TileStack version of HyperTalk) to Javascript. If the result is not obfuscated, something I haven’t verified, it may be possible to augment the output from TileStack with additional capabilities not supported or not yet implemented.

From the compatibility angle it is interesting to note that they renamed the language and seem to imply they are going to extend it beyond HyperTalk, without giving any specific guarantee about future compatibility. I’d suggest releasing the compiler that’s as close to full HyperTalk compatibility as a separate product (or even, if they can bring themselves to do it, releasing it as open source).

What does Speak look like (remember, not Squeak!):

Speak is the name of the language that all TileStack’s use to describe what should happen when someone interacts with a stack you’ve created. It is directly related to the HyperTalk language that was used by HyperCard for the same purpose.

It is in the same vein as the “kinda like English” languages like AppleScript, COBOL, BASIC, …

set the name of card field 1 to "My Field"

go to the next tile

get the first word in field "First Name"

The team is working on being able to embed these Tiles anywhere on the Web (gadgets, etc).

Posted by Dion Almaer at 3:31 am
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