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Vertical Market
Volume Number:4
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:HyperChät™

The Vertical Market

By Fred Stauder, HyperChat Editor, Zurich, Switzerland

on HyperChat 

-- HyperEditorial

HyperCard: what will the future hold?

HyperCard is just over a year old; some people say that it’s not the panacea that everyone thought it was; others say it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

What is it being used for? We don’t see hordes of stackware, in the shelves at the local computer store, yet do we? Well it seems to me that Apple was right with it’s obscure placement of HyperCard as System Software. Does HyperCard really fall into this category? HyperCard is used as controller for sound digitizers, MIDI devices, CD-ROM’s, Laserdiscs, and Scanners. It also allows other programs such as Macromind’s Videoworks to run as drivers. It can act as a finder replacement and much more.

With the introduction of MacPaint, the rest of the world started to play catch-up to develop paint programs. We shall see programs that have similarities to HyperCard emerging. Once again Apple was not that interested in the sales of MacPaint, it used it to “Change the World one Computer at a time” and drive it’s market forward. It is interesting that both programs are by the same author, namely Bill Atkinson. HyperCard is not the “be all and end all”; it is merely the start of the next generation. We should call it the “HyperGeneration” or “MultiMedia Generation”, just as MacPaint was the forerunner of the “Graphic Interface Generation”

College curricula are already offering courses in Hypertext and MultiMedia. We don’t hear about the most interesting HyperCard applications because they are vertical. A few examples:

Techniques in surgery of the hand (utilizing scanned images and videoworks)

The electric cadaver(using laserdisc)

Genetic maps and molecular biology

Floorplans of large automotive factories

Artificial archeology.

This list shows the diverse nature of HyperCard. It is possible now to fill a lot of previously hard to access niches. Well what kind of vertical market opportunities are out there? Just look around; A catalog of parts and part numbers for regional offices, Training disks for employees. How do you get into developing vertical market applications? We have seen that the market defines that the content of a stack in particular (naturally a good interface is vital) is important, and, if you can produce a stack that is “Educationally Entertaining”, all the better. For example, you are a HyperCard developer and a scuba diver; you might get together with an instructor to make a stack to teach diving. You can do it simply(text and some graphics), or animated graphics or videoworks animation(color and sound); if it gets too big, put it on a CD-ROM. You can even go as far as using video and putting it onto laserdisc. The extent and depth you wish to go to depends on the usual factors, time and money. The beauty of HyperCard is that if you only do a simple stack it can easily be expanded by someone else. There are literally thousands of opportunities waiting in the vertical market arena. I was recently in the Serengeti Wildlife Reserve in Tanzania Africa, on a Photographic Safari and I met a scientist that studied leopards. He told me he had all this video footage of the leopards; how they kill their prey and drag them into the tree tops to eat them, plus stills of bone fragments, and tooth pressure data obtained from the bones etc. He was saying wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could put all this data from different media together and present it. When I told him about HyperCard and what it can do he nearly fell over backwards and told me I was a godsend. So you see it is not hard to find vertical markets even when you are on vacation.

A really good book that gives great insight into planning a HyperCard project is Applied HyperCard: Developing and Marketing Superior Stackware by Jerry Daniels and Mary Jane Mara it is published by Brady Software and comes complete with a disc.

figure 1.

You may remember the authors made a stack called MacTV, a type of future look at what TV will be like when controlled by a computer. They take you from basic concepts of HyperCard and hypermedia through project management to marketing and distribution. The appendices list distributors, publishers, press contacts, user groups as well as a hypertalk glossary. This is a book that is ideal for the developer who is thinking of going commercial.

figure 2.

As mentioned earlier Apple has released a development package for Videodisc. It comes complete with drivers for most players, or you can write your own.

figure 3.

It also gives some great ideas for interface design with controllers. Such as the simple controller that looks like the control panel on a Videodisc player.

figure 4.

The human interface group at Apple did a great job with the gesture controller, when you are watching the video you can go back and forward using the mouse without taking your eyes off the screen. This package is well worth getting (through APDA). The investment in Videodisc technology is not that expensive at well under $1000 for player and monitor.

figure 5.


Dear HyperEd,

I have found an interesting bug (or maybe it is just a feature?) in HyperCard (versions 1.2 as well as 1.2.1, system version 4.3, finder 6.0 under or without multifinder 1.0).

From any stack, open the message box, then

1. Hide card window (from then, HyperCard loses control of your keyboard, even in blind-typing mode).

2. Hide the menubar and finally;

3. close the message box; from that point , the Mac is hung and I could not find any means to get control back other than rebooting. Even under multifinder, and using macsbug is of little help.

Sent in by Jean-Pascal J. Lange

Commission of the European Communities

Joint Research Center


This month I have written a script that will show all the hidden buttons and fields. I have used a single button and depending where you click it, it will do that operation. I will leave it as an exercise for you to try to improve the script so that it remembers which ones were originally hidden. This should be easy for the people that followed the AutoHyperEdit evolution.

-------- ••••ShowHiddens  by Fred Stauder  Oct 1988•••• ----------
-- Hold the mouse down on cdBtn to show hidden card buttons
-- it will show all of them or until you release the mouse button

on mouseDown
  get trunc(((item 1 of the  clickloc) - (item 1 of the rect of me)) 
  (((item 3 of the rect of me) - (item 1 of the rect of me)) / 4))
  if it is 0 then
    repeat with i=1 to the number of card fields
      if the mouse is up then exit repeat
      show card field i
    end repeat
  else if it is 1 then
    repeat with i=1 to the number of background fields
      if the mouse is up then exit repeat
      show background field i
    end repeat
  else if it is 2 then
    repeat with i=1 to the number of card buttons
      if the mouse is up then exit repeat
      show card button i
    end repeat
  else if it is 3 then
    repeat with i=1 to the number of background buttons
      if the mouse is up then exit repeat
      show background button i
    end repeat
  end if
end mouseDown

Non-Comercial use only - All Rights Reserved
Fred Stauder, HyperCard Editor, (HyperChat) MacTutor
------ ••••ShowHiddens  by Fred Stauder  Oct 1988•••• ----------

figure 6.

Have a HyperChristmass from the HyperChat Team!

end HyperChat

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