Runtime Revolution Ltd.
has announced the release of a preview of Revolution 1.0, which it bills as “a state-of-the-art” rapid application development system. The new development environment is available for download in public beta test form, and works on the Mac.
Runtime Revolution is asking anyone who writes, designs or has an interest in creating software, from developers to hobbyists, to download the software and give it a try. Unlike many RAD systems, Revolution is designed to work on Mac OS, as well as Windows, Linux and popular UNIX implementations. Mac OS X support is also planned, according to Runtime Revolution.
Runtime’s managing director, Kevin Miller, says that the Revolution environment has been several years in the making.
“Not only have we made development and product maintenance easier than ever before, but we’ve done it on every major computer platform,” said Miller. “Revolution at last delivers true power to the developer with the ability to write once and play anywhere. We’re very excited to release this eagerly awaited preview version!”
Runtime Revolution Ltd. explains that Revolution 1.0 is similar to traditional tools like Visual Basic and C, but that it also borrows from Macromedia Director or iShell. In fact, Revolution is based on the nine-year-old MetaCard development system, and Revolution’s developers liken it to tools like Apple’s Hypercard, Oracle Media Objects and Incwell SuperCard.
“The cross-platform virtual compiler technology delivers vastly superior performance than any of these other scripting products,” said a FAQ on the company’s Web site.
Revolution utilizes a high-level scripting language called Transcript, which its developers indicate allows for more efficient application prototyping and development than is possible with any more traditional third-generation language. Revolution includes support for standard interface objects including buttons, text, bitmap (including GIF, JPEG and PNG) and vector graphics; to support for QuickTime and QuickTime VR; through to more advanced support for associative arrays and text pattern matching; and full script level support for Internet sockets — Runtime Revolution claims that a basic client-server application can be written in less than 10 lines of script.
Readers interested in giving Revolution 1.0 a try are encouraged to
fill out a form
to receive instructions on how to download and use the software. The preview version is free to download for any type of use, and will expire once the testing is completed.
Runtime Revolution plans to make the final version available in a number of different license types, ranging from a US$25 educational license for K-12 schools (with a minimum purchase of 10 units) to a top-end professional license at $995. The developers of Revolution 1.0 are courting hobbyists, too — Revolution’s “Starter Kit Edition” will be available completely free.