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Bill Atkinson and Andy Herzfeld reflect on the missed potential of Hypercard:

Bill Atkinson: They (Apple) didn't quite get normal people could create their own software. I found a lot of really ingenious creative things came up out of it. Someone that had a passion about some area and was newly empowered to express that in a piece of software that they could make themselves will come up with all kinds of really wonderful stuff. [...] I always thought it was easier to take someone who already had a pent up passion and provide them a way to express themselves through code than it was to take someone who was a good programmer and try to instill a passion into them. Hypercard was definitely a populist program, it was designed to open up programming to the masses and make the barrier to entry a lot less.

Andy Herzfeld: The industry is missing that to some extent today even though the tools are an order of magnitude more powerful. I would love to see the analogous of Hypercard on the iPhone for example to allow an iPhone or iPad user to create their own applications.

Bill Atkinson: I'd love to see the same thing on the web. Forget the iPhone and the iPad and the Mac and the Windows. It's the Web. That's the platform today.

Andy Herzfeld: I met with Alan Kay a little after I started at Google and Alan Kay told me what you should work on at Google is Hypercard for the web. And I didn't listen to him...

Bill Atkinson: It was a generative tool, an authoring environment, whereas the web browser that we got was sort of read only - only certain elite people could make a website. And now we've got kind of an in-between where at least you can type text into a blog - a sort of pre-made website where you fill in the blanks.

Andy Herzfeld: But we don't have the end-user scripting which I think is the essence.

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Added by Mihai Cernusca
Updated 4 months ago

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