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Scott Raney on xCards

Current Occupation: Between careers...
Previous Occupation: Software Engineer

How did you get into working on MetaCard?

Started the company to create the product.

Did you have a HyperCard-related job before you started MetaCard?

No. General consulting/contract programming before that.

Did you work with HyperCard before you started working on MetaCard?

Not really, though I was aware of it.

How is/was working on MetaCard?

Fun and challenging at first, more tedious toward the end.

What was your first job, ever?

Internships at engineering companies (programming).

What is the most important thing in life for you?

As James Taylor says "enjoying the passage of time".

How, when and by whom did you get introduced to MetaCard?

Myself.

What impressed you most about MetaCard?

Performance and portability.

What do you consider your main contribution to MetaCard?

Extending it by including features from other languages (e.g. arrays).

Please describe MetaCard in one sentence

Cross-platform application development for non-geeks.

Is there any particularly clever solution you applied to MetaCard you'd like to describe in excruciating detail?

Using an OO framework to make it more reliable and easier for a small team to develop and maintain.

If you could add one more feature to MetaCard, what would it be?

Better inter-app communication, but then, that something all apps need a better framework for.

How and by whom did you get introduced to HyperCard?

Saw a demo of it in a college computer lab.

What impressed you most about HyperCard?

No compile phase.

What do you consider your main contribution to HyperCard?

Cross-platform.

Please describe HyperCard in one sentence

It had so much promise.

If you could add one feature to HyperCard, what would it be?

(Apart from color - we all wanted that)

Needed cross-platform development.

Do you think there's a new HyperCard today?

All the clones have gone so far beyond it.

Do you think there is still a need for a new HyperCard?

Definitely.

What do you think your competitors did better than you?

SC had better integration/support for Mac-specific features.

What single thing do you think your application did better than its competitors?

Performance.

Did you ever get to meet any of the competing developers?

Not in person. I never even met most of my own development partners, for that matter (Tuv Snyder, Richard Gaskin, I did meet Kevin Miller once, though ;-)

Why did you start writing a HyperCard clone?

Application development on UNIX systems was way too difficult with existing tools.

Do you think HyperCard clones are a good thing?

Yes, and they still haven't achieved their destiny. Languages and paradigms are constantly evolving, but people aren't.

Scott, thank you for this great interview, and for MetaCard and your initial work on uniting xTalk languages.

 
A day of acquaintance, And then the longer span of custom. But first -- The hour of astonishment.