LiveCode for FM

LiveCode for FM

How many of you remember HyperCard, a development system for Apple from the days before the world wide web (yes, there was a time when the web did not exist)?  Here's a bit of history:

HyperCard is application software and a programming tool for Apple Macintosh and Apple IIGS computers. It is among the first successful hypermedia systems before the World Wide Web.

It combines database abilities with a graphical, flexible, user-modifiable interface.[2] HyperCard also features HyperTalk, a programming language for manipulating data and the user interface.

This combination of features – simple form layout, database abilities, and ease of programming – led to widespread use in many different roles. Some HyperCard users employed it as a programming system for rapid application development of applications and databases, others for building interactive applications with no database requirements, command and control systems, and many examples in the demoscene.

HyperCard was originally released in 1987 for $49.95 and was included for free with all new Macs sold then.[1] It was withdrawn from sale in March 2004 after its final update in 1998. HyperCard ran in the Classic Environment, but was not ported to Mac OS X.

At the risk of dating myself, I developed several solutions for my business back then (a resort in New Mexico called the Damsite Recreation Area) using HyperCard. My wife, Dotty, developed a couple of games for her DECA students using HyperCard.  It was very powerful for it's time, but limited in what it could do. And it only ran on a Mac.  But we had fun with it? Then I discovered FileMaker, and that was the end of HyperCard.

How many of you have heard of LiveCode?

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:  

LiveCode (formerly Revolution and MetaCard[1]cross-platform[2]rapid application development runtime environment inspired by HyperCard. It features the Transcript (formerly MetaTalk) programming language which belongs to the family of xTalk scripting languages like HyperCard's HyperTalk.

LiveCode runs on iOSAndroidOS XWindows 95 through Windows 10Raspberry Pi and several variations of Unix, including Linux, Solaris, and BSD. It can be used for mobile, desktop and server/CGI applications. The iOS (iPhone and iPad) version was released in December 2010.[10][11] The first version to deploy to the Web was released in 2009.[12] It is the most widely used HyperCard/HyperTalk clone,[citation needed] and the only one that runs on all major operating systems.

LiveCode is HyperCard on massive amounts of steroids.  And it works on all major operating systems.

So what does LiveCode have to do with FileMaker?

LiveCode developed a plugin for FileMaker, a plugin that extends FileMaker's capabilities in almost unlimited ways.  Check out Kevin Miller, CEO and founder of LiveCode, at DevCon 2017:

LiveCode shipped it's first live version at DevCon!

Here are just some of the features:

  • Drag-drop to create a full user interface experience, include rich graphics and multimedia
  • Write code in English to crunch data from any source
  • Integrate your FileMaker app with the operating system or web APIs
  • Write Custom Functions using their interactive window
  • Build custom components
  • Custom Form builder
  • Upload, download, and share files to Dropbox - a forever free feature that comes with the free trial.

Here's what Richard Carlton has to say about LiveCode:

More Info

By the way, there is a developer version of LiveCode for FM, and it's only $50 per year.  It's limited to FileMaker consultants actively developing solutions for other companies.

The bottom line:  LiveCode adds some great features to FileMaker, and it very competitively priced.  Check it out and see if it helps your clients.

And finally, Kevin Miller knows how to draw attention:  At the reception on opening night at DevCon, a Scottish bag pipe player in full regalia marched through the crowd to the LiveCode booth.  That turned some heads...

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

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