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FaceSpan 5 and the HyperCard Dream

I admit it. I’m one of those lost HyperCard fans, sulkily roaming through the world awaiting the return of the Messiah. That is why I’m playing with AppleScript Studio, which, for an amateur like me is incredibly unsatisfying and nowhere near the ease and intuitive beauty of the old HyperCard or SuperCard environment (though SuperCard is still lurking around in undead form, with a full Scottish resistance being waged out of Edinburgh with Revolution, I’m tired of paying so much money for solutions that always seem on the verge of disappearing from the market).

I’m hoping that FaceSpan 5 will bring back the dream, greatly surpass the failures of alternatives like SuperCard, Revolution, overcome some of the problems of pure AppleScript and avoid the complexities of AppleScript Studio. And…is this asking for too much?…I hope the price will be reasonable.

Read more about the development of FaceSpan 5, which is currently in alpha, on their official blog. I’m just a little concerned that the last posting was in September of 2007, as of this posting.

The Facespan mailing list offers a bit more news.

After some users asked for an update, the developer, Mark Alldritt, responded

The simple answer is that I massively underestimated the effort needed to turn FaceSpan into the product I want it to be. This has impacted all of my other work as FaceSpan 5 has expanded to consume almost all my resources and delayed the release of other products (Script Debugger 4.5, Affrus 2).

This said, the FaceSpan 5 is progressing. The FaceSpan IDE now includes Script Debugger’s AppleScript editing and debugging. This means that you can single step through the code in your project and manage breakpoints directly within the IDE. Script Debugger’s dictionary windows, including the Explorer, are also fully integrated into the FaceSpan IDE.

There are still some key missing features (eg. tables, outlines) which I want to implement before opening the testing program to the public. However, if you want to begin using FaceSpan 5 in its current form, you can join the private Alpha testing program by emailing me privately.

It is sad that this looks like a one man show.