Monday, June 18, 2007

Easy front-end for Flex? Don't hold your breath.

Andrew Wooldridge speculates on a potential Hypercard-like environment for building Flex applications inFlex 2 : The HyperCard for the Web?:
I'm just waiting for some enterprising person or persons to create on top of Flex (or Laszlo, or some other flash derivative) a clone of Hypercard. Perhaps a Flex-lite which only does a few things like a button, an image, and a few form elements.

What wouldn't I give for a true Hypercard replacement? I very much doubt that Adobe are the company to deliver it though, as they seem increasingly invested in complex development solutions that tie people into their expensive tools. Remember, Hypercard was free and bundled with all new Macs at the insistence of its creator Bill Atkinson (Daniel Eran's latest article provides some great background). I toyed with the notion of Keynote getting some useful interactivity framework to complement its slide-based metaphor, but gave that one up after 20 minutes thought. Right now I think the best chance we have is something built from a combination of WebKit and Dashboard Widgets. The 'stack' concept isn't that far from Widgets, and they might slot right into the Dashboard layer, the iPhone (via Safari) and the Apple TV (surely I'm not the only one to think that Dashboard is a shoe-in for the living room's 10-foot interface?).

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