LiveCode Community Edition is released: HyperCard is free again and runs on anything!

April 26, 2013 at 1:28 am 9 comments

I’m excited about this and find myself thinking, “So what should I do with this first?”  LiveCode isn’t as HyperCard-like as it could be (e.g., you edit in one place, then compile into an application), and it has all of HyperCard’s limitations (e.g., object-based not object-oriented, lines are syntax).  But it’s freeincluding all engines.  I can program iOS and Android from the same HyperCard stack!  I can build new kinds of programming languages and environments on top of Livecode (but who in the world would want to do something like that?!?) that could compile into apps and applications!  It’s a compellingly different model for introductory computing, that sits between visual block programming and professional textual programming. Wow…

LiveCode Community is an Open Source application. This means that you can look at and edit all of the code used to run it, including the engine code. Of course, you do not have to do this, if you just want to write your app in LiveCode there is no need for you to get involved with the engine at all. You write your app using LiveCode, the English-like scripting language, and our drag and drop interface. Fast, easy, productive and powerful.

via Community Edition Overview | RunRev.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gflint  |  April 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I have spent about 4 hours with LiveCode over the last two days. I thought it might be an interesting direction for my advanced kids. After having spent those four hours trying to figure out how to make a simple adding machine program (add two user entered numbers and put the solution in a text box) I gave up. I simply do not have time to wade through the documentation written for people with high level coding experience. LiveCode has great potential but until a book for beginners is produced the average teacher would not have the time to deal with it.

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  April 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      That’s a good and fair point (and one of the possible directions I’ve been thinking about). I wonder what they’re using in Scotland — they must have curricular materials.

      • 3. Mark Guzdial  |  April 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

        I did find these.

        • 4. gflint  |  April 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

          This looked promising until I could not find the lessons. Maybe the download is messed up. It is still a good place to look around.

  • 5. yaxu  |  April 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Very much in two minds over this. On one hand, always great to see more free/open source software. On the other, this is not a free/open source software project. They don’t take patches without IP transfe. This is a nice way of making an educational license, but I think it gives people the wrong idea about software freedom. They even conflate “professional” with “closed source”.

    Also a pedantic point: you may be able to code both Android and iOS apps with the free version, but you’d face restrictions when sharing it with other iOS users.

  • 6. Peter Donaldson  |  May 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Livecode have an education microsite which has a collection of different programming materials suitable for 14-18 year olds.

  • […] I’ve mentioned before in this blog, CS educators far too swayed by industry fads.  I’m a big fan of Livecode, a cross-platform modern form of HyperCard. An ICER 2016 paper by Raina Mason, Simon et al. […]

  • […] to a colleague about how great it would be to be able to run Boxer and HyperCard again.  (Yes, I have a license for Livecode, but it’s not the same interface as HyperCard.)  Etoys still runs on everything, but […]

  • […] I’m an old HyperCard programmer, so I like LiveCode.  LiveCode does very well on the five principles I suggest for picking an educational programming language. The language is highly readable, and was actually designed drawing on research on how novices best understand programming. It’s easy to put together something that looks authentic and that runs on virtually any platform — much easier than Python, Java, Scratch, Blockly, or any of the other top five most popular teaching languages. Authenticity is often engaging for students. […]


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