Anatomy and physiology of HyperCard

Not sure anyone is interested in how they were arranged HyperCard. But not to write about it can’t. Something from a series “You want to talk about it?”.

The continuation of the previous part here, start here.

Conceptual framework HyperCard – stack of cards, with graphics and text, with controls and… a link between worlds separated by hundreds of light years.

In fact, HyperCard is much more interesting than the stars and interstellar space. What to say to Sirius with Betelgeuse?

Elements of the “typewriter” HyperCard

What’s the secret of the attractive power of HyperCard, because they are “ill” a lot of people. Something in him was such, psychedelic and transcendental?

Try to understand. We believe harmony with algebra, so to speak.

HyperCard is “a designer to create applications.” Is a virtual LEGO. It consists of a very small set of replicated user items (the stacks, backgrounds, cards, fields and buttons) and a small set of tools (some special stacks, the Recent screen and Message Box).

Replicated elements

Each replicated item is no small set of properties, setting which it could turn, if not in anything, then close to it. Each type of basic elements played its own strictly defined role – but within his role he could do anything.

Stack (stack) is both a unit file system, HyperCard document, the file type ‘STAK’ and a Creator code of ‘WILD’, and the area of habitat of all other replicable elements. Out of the stack they did not exist. Have a HyperCard type was, of course, ‘APPL’ and Creator code, which it was – the same as poolevery documents, the ‘WILD’.

The question arises: why not ‘HYPE’? What kind of wildness (wild English wild)? The answer to this question — at the end of the article.

The stacks were very different in size and usefulness. All applications created in HyperCard (stackvar) is stacks. Among them — such as Myst, the company Broderbønd, Focal Point and Business Class Danny Goodman, the prototype of wiki from Howard Cunningham – by 2004 there were hundreds of thousands more than decent programs, which was just a stack.

In HyperCard 2.2 is the possibility of turning the stack in a standalone app, which further hastened the development of stacks for industrial programming, however, depriving others of the ability to dismantle someone else’s program and see how it works. Something always have to sacrifice.

Background (background) is a Union of several cards (of any of their number) and, in addition, the combination of graphics, fields and buttons that are repeated on all cards included in this background. To edit a background in HyperCard was a special mode, and for clarity, he was allocated a dashed box around the menu bar that is similar to the edging of the shoulder straps the volunteers in the Russian Imperial army.

The stack was necessarily determined at least one background, it could be empty (without graphics and without belonging to it buttons and fields). Backgrounds could be anything.

Card (card) – the last of the replicable elements consisting of other elements. Something similar to the screens in the mobile operating systems. The card combined elements of the background to which it belongs, and its own. And besides, what is seen on the screen of your computer user of HyperCard, with very few exceptions (the Recent screen, for example), was one of the cards.

Other elements in the card’s fields and buttons.

Field (field) – the only way the existence of editable text in HyperCard. All other texts (graphics) in the best case could be edited only in the process of their creation. The field consisted of a theoretically unlimited number of rows. In practice, the system of the classic Macs standard (and very good) a structure for storing and processing the text restricts its size to 32 kilobytes.

In programs that had to deal with large texts, this was one of the significant issues which were successfully solved (but ways of its decision was kept secret). In HyperCard to overcome the 32 KB barrier is not reached. It was not necessary.

If the field belonged to the background, the text in the widget stored in the memory card.

Button (button) – interface element to start some action. In the original conception it was assumed that their sole function will be the navigation, the transition from one card to another, from the stack in the stack – but very quickly it became clear that much more interesting to make them universal. Buttons, as well as fields could be the background and the card.


Tools could include all of the commands proposed in the application menu, HyperCard, up to Copy/Paste and create/delete/copy the cards, but let’s not go to extremes. Although, if I wrote a book about some of them I would have written.

One of the most important principles of the miracle app, inspired by the transcendent spirit of the universal mind, was to navigate between cards. The very relationships between what at first glance may seem unrelated to one another. Here I could not resist without a hint of a starry night in Los Gatos, a few blocks from the parents ‘ garage of Steve jobs.

A Recent screen showed thumbnails of 42 cards on which the user visited last. If a card is visited more than once, Recent showed it only once. It was a modal screen to exit was only possible by choosing one of the cards. In my opinion, it has not changed in the HyperCard 3.0, forever remaining a public alpha version.

Actually, no esoterics in this navigation tool was not. This is one of the favorite ideas of JEF Raskin, and bill Atkinson, being a student, a course graphical user interface with Professor Ruskin.

To special classic stack HyperCard’vedenie (all editions Kumanovska “the Complete guide HyperCard” scattered in meaningless bits numerous guides Apple Computer and of my own works from the beginning of the 90s of the last century of the last Millennium), include Home and somehow Help.

The last one was great, I even translated into Russian, and today I am glad that he apparently has not survived. If someone has a Russian translation Help, quietly send it to me… And hush! Suddenly it is mine!!!

But Home really played an almost mystical role in HyperCard. So important that my first impression of the www was overshadowed by the lack in the Web of the main page. Home was the first card opened HyperCard. It had collected all (in the opinion of the merchants Apple) are important “links” to the most important stack. Fortunately, this card can be edited in the background you can add any number of additional pages of rotting changing world for themselves.

It was a center of navigation and it was great.

Message Box is a single line windoid (a window that is not a window in Mac like the system still has their analog, “floaters”, floating above the user interface and all other Windows… According to the rules of Human Interface Guide, these Windows should not be large and close too much space under it. Find out who invented in just such a floating window to display the Mac’s Help, the size of 3/4 of the screen… in which you can enter commands in the language, HyperScript.

And not only. It was a calculator app. Calculator with access to trigonometric and logarithmic functions. It was also used to struggle with locking of resources… And a lot of other things.

HyperScript, almost became WildScript, I will describe in a separate article.

Object-oriented space

HyperCard was an object oriented, without the possibility of creating new classes.

Classes officially had five:

  • stack;
  • background;
  • card;
  • field;
  • button.

Objects of these classes of exchanged messages among themselves and with “the system”, it was the role of the object hidden, private class – the application HyperCard.

Each of these object classes had a set of properties, and (except buttons) and still the content content. In the stack – one or more backgrounds, background, cards, buttons and fields, cards, fields and buttons, fields, text. The buttons were only properties, among them the style that determines how it should look and behave.


In Mac procedures for the rendering and control the many elements of the interface system was… model and overridable. Code of standard Windows controls, menus, and even menu bars located at code resources, types, wdef’s, CDEF, MDEF, and the like.

I’m not sure that it began with HyperCard, just earlier examples I can’t remember – on the same way went and HyperCard. For extend application-specific stacks, in their “resource fork” you can add your (or their) resources of type XCMD and XFCN.

But first they have it or find it somewhere, or write. At the end of the 80s, this code had to fit in 32K, but for native code it’s pretty much.

The difference between the XCMD and XFCN only in that the latter is a function that returns a value. Was called these resources “the code”. Theoretically, this resource could type in ResEdit, but… about the superpowers talk to other resources.

In the early 90s, many apps have acquired a code resource, it has become fashionable, and the market and free collections appeared sets of resources at all occasions, except only those that have occurred in the specific reality of your life.

WildCard vs Apple HyperCard

It’s simple: bill Atkinson called invented app WildCard, since the idea came to him suddenly and how come wild animals – but when it was release and for the legalization of a new product come from professionals, it became clear that the brand is already occupied.

It would seem, what nonsense – Apple uses someone else’s trademark (Apple Corps, the Beatles record company, in fact the ownership of Paul McCartney), but nowadays in the world there are two three-letter system, called iOS, and IOS.

To explain what iOS, AppleInsider’e seems to be inappropriate. IOS (all caps) is “internetwork operating system”, Cisco for routers and network switches of this company. For the recognition of lawyers it is sufficient and far more distant matches.

But as they say, quod licet iovi… iOS and Apple needed Steve jobs, and with it, few dared to argue, even in the late ‘ 70s. So the conflict of trademarks settled in court for a decent amount of money on some conditions. And it is the Apple vs Apple repeatedly returned to court – Apple, which was previously Apple Computer, just a repeat offender of some kind. She repeatedly violated previous agreements with Apple Corps, which immediately and with great pleasure complained to the court.

But as they say, what is permitted to Jupiter… to Sue the owners of the trade mark WildCard because of the illegitimate (even favored by the head of the company) of the program and the programmer may be very valuable to the company, no one was going. The Board of Directors would not understand.

0 Comments on “Anatomy and physiology of HyperCard”

  1. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed They say this man will rule the world under a one world igion called spiritualism

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace It will be a false peace for a period of time You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things They have their plans set in place It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name

    Here is wisdom Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name ” (Revelation 14:9-11)

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast


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