Chilton Webb yearns for the good old days of development to HyperCard, Apple’s long-lamented interactive application authoring environment, and SuperCard, a modern successor now owned by Solutions Etcetera. As a result, Webb is hoping to spur independent SuperCard development by releasing “externals,” tiny snippets of code that provide SuperCard users with added abilities.
SuperCard carries on the HyperCard tradition by providing users with a similar authoring environment. But unlike HyperCard, which Apple stopped developing some time ago, SuperCard has continued to be improved — it works natively in Mac OS X and is available in “standard” and “developer” editions depending on your needs.
“In the olden days of SuperCard and HyperCard, I remember two instances where developers were writing an external every day, and releasing them to the general public. That, in turn, sparked a ton of cool new apps,” he wrote on his
.Mac Web page.
With that in mind, Webb, a Mac software developer, is creating an entire year’s worth externals to SuperCard. He’s releasing them one by one on a daily basis. While they’re currently on his .Mac home page entitled Chilton Webb’s DevHQ, he soon plans to migrate that to the DevHQ.com Web site.
Written in C, C++ and Cocoa, Mac OS X’s built-in application framework, each of Webb’s externals are what he describes as “tiny enhancements” to SuperCard. Users who are developing their own SuperCard projects are free to incorporate these externals into their works if they provide utility.
So far, Webb’s collection includes “Stuff,” which he describes as “an entirely RAM-based database-like thing,” “SetWindowAlpha,” which provides transparency levels for your project running on Jaguar or Panther and more.