Apple's HyperCard to rise from the ashes

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Apple's HyperCard to rise from the ashes

A startup called TileStack is hoping to reinvent Apple's long-neglected HyperCard system for the web.

The company will release a beta this week of an online development system designed to allow non-technical developers to produce applications that can be exported to Apple's iPhone.

The system uses a visual layout and is supported by an English language-like scripting system called Speak, which is based on Hypertalk, the language originally used by HyperCard.

"You don't have to write code if you don't want to, but if you do the code should be very simple and very basic," said TileStack co-founder Ted Howard.

TileStack compiles Speak code into JavaScript, which is then executed in the browser.

"With the stacks you create online, you can embed them in your web site," said Howard. "You also have the option of exporting it as a Facebook application."

HyperCard was a hypermedia application designed for the Mac that predated the web. Originally introduced in 1987, it was effectively abandoned in 1998 after Apple ceased development on the project.

"There is a core group of HyperCard users that are still around. They're holding onto old machines that run Mac Classic just to run HyperCard," said Howard. "They're running businesses on this stuff and they had valuable information in these stacks."

These users will be able to upload their old HyperCard applications to the new system for web-based access and further development.

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