One of the books I read while on vacation is The Salmon of Doubt, a collection of short pieces culled from the archives of the late Douglas Adams. The pieces are of uneven quality, but there are some amusing stories and articles sure to delight Adams fans.
This article may interest LtU readers interested in end-user programming:
I know it's unfashionable to say this, because a lot of people feel that HyperCard simply isn't powerful enough to do useful work in. It is, after all, a first stab at an idea that's in its infancy. The list of things you can't do with it is almost as long as the list of macros in Nisus (what are all those things? The very act of pulling down the macros menu causes lights to dim all over North London) but it's a sensationally good idea, and I would dearly love to see something like it become the whole working environment for the Mac. You want the number crunching power of Excel? paste it in. You want animation? paste in Director. You don't like the way Director works? (you must be mad. It's brilliant) paste in the bits you like of any other animation tools you find lying about.
It has been a while since we last discussed end-user programming, and I still remember the wide variety of views on the subject. It is interesting to read what Adams had to say, seeing as he was an end-user, albeit one addicted to technology.
The underlying technical view presented in this article (If it's properly written in object oriented code it should be as easy as writing HyperTalk) is, of course, simplsitic. However, it is not completely out of sync with the way things did in fact evovle. Just think of scripting Microsoft products using what I like to call "the object-model as API approach."
Posted to general by Ehud Lamm on 9/27/03; 3:10:08 AM