Prompted by an article on how Steve Jobs killed HyperCard as the antithesis of the disneyfied walled garden that was his vision of the Internet, I went looking for HyperCard's successor. Some proposals were languages I had already tried, like Squeak. Others were new to me. Here is my short list of things to try and why they're good or not.
- Squeak: Kind of sandboxed. Unnecessarily syntactically complex.
- Google App Inventor: Great idea, but simplistic. Also moribund.
- FreeBasic: A QBasic clone that enables you to create both Windows and Linux native executables. I like it. I have already written this guy to see if he'll open-source his QBasic games (which I love) and let me port them.
- RFO BASIC!: This is a BASIC for the Android. With a little effort, you can package the programs as real Android apps. Worth watching.
- SL4A: Scripting Layer for Android. I've already ported the ii script (from Mindhacker) to it. It's great to have my Android suggest interesting websites to me. Again, you can make real apps with this.
- Gambas: The winner, which enabled me to port about 2100 lines of Macintosh RealBasic code from circa 1999 and resurrect it as a living Linux application, essentially over the course of a recent weekend. Available for any Linux you care to name, has a proof-of-concept version for Mac, may one day (sigh) run under Windows, although it will probably run on Android first.
- Lazarus: Kind of like Gambas for Pascal, but I had a hard time getting started.
Is the BASIC of the early 21st Century — BASIC? I don't know, but must admit calling Gambas "RAD" (a rapid application development environment) has a nineties ring to me.Further thoughtfood: