Why HyperCard Had to Die: This is a well-written polemic that laments the death of HyperCard, around which there’s been a cult of fandom for decades. In the middle of this post is a lo-o-o-ong set of screencaps that give you a nice introduction to just what HyperCard is (was), so if you’ve never heard of it, you can see what all the fuss is about.
If you already know what HyperCard is, keep scrolling to the bottom where the author explains his view on why HyperCard and Apple are no longer compatible.
The reason for this is that HyperCard is an echo of a different world. One where the distinction between the “use” and “programming” of a computer has been weakened and awaits near-total erasure. A world where the personal computer is a mind-amplifier, and not merely an expensive video telephone. A world in which Apple’s walled garden aesthetic has no place. […]
[Steve Jobs] returned the company to its original vision: the personal computer as a consumer appliance, a black box enforcing a very traditional relationship between the vendor and the purchaser.
Jobs supposedly claimed that he intended his personal computer to be a “bicycle for the mind.” But what he really sold us was a (fairly comfortable) train for the mind. A train which goes only where rails have been laid down, like any train, and can travel elsewhere only after rivers of sweat pour forth from armies of laborers. (Preferably in Cupertino.)
Given the popularity of HyperCard, I’m surprised there isn’t some web-based emulator that hasn’t caught on and ignited the fervor of the HyperCard faithful. This guy doesn’t think there’s anything, but if it was so successful as an installed Apple product, why couldn’t it work in the cloud?
(I’ve always thought that the best part of HyperCard was the acronym of the International HyperCard User Group, or iHug. That group may be defunct too, as I couldn’t find a website for them.)
Hypercard was the last vestige of Woz in Apple – of the hacker spirit that said development was just another neat thing anyone could do, like drawing and writing. Jobs excised the program because he had never agreed with that spirit. He wasn’t just dispossessed of it; he was its enemy from the start.
He wanted the original Apple computers to be glorified word processors. He went to his grave still viewing ‘his’ computers as appliances. He’s the reason iOS won’t run your ‘hello world’ app unless an unseen authority has rubber-stamped it for use by all ages. He’s the reason OS X won’t install on any computer lacking an Apple logo. His grand contribution to modern computing is that everything is clean and shiny so long as none of you primitive user-types touch anything.
Good riddance, you tightassed marketeer.
If that’s true, perhaps this explains why Woz loves Android so much.