Why learn Hypercard?
Name: Brian Allen
Date: Around 1993
Who uses HyperCard for Training and Development? I have got
several students who are thinking about careers in programming, and they want
to know whether or not Learning HyperCard is a waste of time, assuming that no
one really uses it (I do, but they are still not convinced). I would like to
give them 'hard evidence' about Hypercards future use. I am new to newton,
but I like what I see. Thanks.
Brian, good question from your students. There are people who are
professional software developers, who write commercial programs with
Hypercard. I think Hypercard has an important future in "new learning"
applications. By that I mean we all have to become life long learners and the
"software" that will help us learn will be in a multimedia format. One way to
make learning packages is through hypermedia. Many hypercard developers
program in other formats too. Programming inhypermedia allows one to become
their own software company. I have written several stacks that have been used
in schools, and many of the laser disc companies have developers writing
stacks for them, granted they are not nearly as many openings for hypermedia
programmers, but there is a need. Try having your students develop stacks for
lower grade students. They will learn an awful lot about software development
and curriculum with that one "little" activity. They need to know about the
various hypermedia so that they could, using other programming, develop a
I would like to add to Tom's excellent response. Once you learn
one kind of programming environment, the others are easy to learn. Learning
how to program with Hypercard will be an invaluable experience to your
students, even if they do not go on to become Hypercard developers. I learned
BASIC in school and PASCAL in college. From there it was straightforward for
me to teach myself FORTRAN and only slightly harder to learn ASSEMBLY. The
hardest part to learn about programming is not to learn the syntax of a
particular language (that is easy), but to THINK in an organized and creative
fashion (that is much harder). This latter skill can be developed on any
programming platform. In any language Hypercard just has the additional
advantage of being fun to use.
I have a son who works for a company which is developing
multimedia presentations which are marketed to companies for employee training
and sales applications. He started out using Hypercard and has now migrated up
to a more feature laden hypermedia programming environment.
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Update: June 2012