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MetaCard 2.3: Cross-Platform Development

For immediate release

Contact: Scott Raney (raney@metacard.com), 303-447-3936

METACARD SOLIDIFIES LEAD IN CROSS-PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT

Boulder, Jan 24, 2000 — MetaCard Corporation continues to deliver on the
promise of hassle-free cross-platform development. Whether you need it for
application development or multimedia authoring, MetaCard 2.3 has the
features to make the job go quickly and smoothly:

* Support for Windows 3.1/95/98/NT/2000, all popular UNIX platforms
including Linux, and MacOS 68K and PowerPC. No preprocessing, recompiling,
redesign, or platform-specific debugging is required to deploy an
application on all platforms simultaneously. MetaCard has a fully
functional development environment on all platforms and doesn’t rely on
limited-function “players”.

* Native look and feel on all platforms, with cross-platform support for
advanced controls including combo-boxes, auto-scrolling hierarchical menus,
and a tab control. Combined with built-in support for popular audio, video,
and image formats, this means there is no need to hunt down or pay for
external components to complete an application.

* New integrated support for QuickTime via a dedicated object class that
can be moved, sized, and even positioned underneath other objects.

* Build single-file double-clickable royalty-free applications on all
platforms: no shared libraries, virtual machines (Java or otherwise),
browsers, installers, or other add-ons are required. This means no DLL or
JVM version conflicts, and high reliability and low support costs for
applications you distribute.

* The advanced graphical Integrated Development Environment (IDE) includes
a graphical layout editor, script editor, and debugger. The IDE boosts
productivity far above what is possible using scripting languages that are
designed to be used with a text editor and console window. The entire IDE
is built using only standard MetaCard features, which not only demonstrates
the power of the MetaCard, but also provides something not available in any
other tool: you can change any aspect of the development environment to
make it suit your needs.

MetaCard’s easy to learn high-level language (MetaTalk) enables even
non-programmers to build the productivity-enhancing applications they need.
Experienced developers will appreciate the flexibility they gain from
advanced language features like associative arrays, regular expressions,
support for manipulating binary data, and built-in HTTP GET and POST.
MetaTalk offers the power and productivity of Perl without the syntactic
gymnastics.

MetaCard 2.3 includes support for Internet-standard sockets with the
highest-level API of any scripting language. No need to struggle with the
thinly disguised Berkeley sockets API other scripting languages provide:
MetaTalk’s message-based implementation is much easier to learn and use.
And because it buffers both incoming and outgoing packets, performance is
better than with languages that require polling, using threads, or spawning
separate processes to manage socket communication. Sample implementations
for email and HTTP/FTP, both client *and* server, are available.

High-performance “virtual compiler” technology provides faster script
execution speeds than other scripting languages (at least 5 times faster
than other xTalk languages such as those used in HyperCard or SuperCard,
benchmarks available on the MetaCard WWW site
http://www.metacard.com/benchmarks.html). High-level commands offer
potential performance increases of hundreds or thousands of times over
languages with a more limited set of built-in commands.

MetaCard 2.3 is currently in gamma (final) test and will be released
January, 2000. The free MetaCard Starter Kit is available now from the
MetaCard WWW and FTP sites http://www.metacard.com/ and
ftp://ftp.metacard.com/MetaCard/ and from distributors world wide. The
Starter Kit is a fully functional GUI development and multimedia authoring
tool, but there is a limit on the length of scripts you can create with it.
Purchasing a license key enables the full functionality of MetaCard. Free
converters are available to convert projects from HyperCard, SuperCard, and
OMO (Oracle Media Objects) to MetaCard.

Pricing is $995 for a single-user, all platform license (that’s right: a
single license key can be used on any supported platform, no need to buy a
separate license for each). Educational institutions receive a 50%
discount. K12 schools can purchase MetaCard through a special program for
$250 for a 10-user license which comes bundled with “MetaTalk Programmer”,
a CBT package that has kids programming in a matter of hours.

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