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LiveCode - A Revolution in Programming ?

You don't have to learn a complicated programming language such as C/C++ to write computer programs. If you've ever had the desire to be a computer programmer but you've never learned a programming language, then LiveCode is for you.

Gone are the days of cryptic programming code filled with curly braces and colons that read like gibberish. LiveCode is an easy-to-understand programming interface that reads like plain English. The best part is that you can write the code once and deploy it on multiple platforms including Macintosh, Windows and Linux. LiveCode also offers the ability to code for Web applications and mobile platforms such as iOs and Windows Mobile. Database support includes Valentina, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle and others.

History of the LiveCode Programming Language

LiveCode is one of the oldest of the object-oriented programming languages and has been through many revolutions. The history of the language goes back to HyperTalk, the object-oriented language used in HyperCard and released by Apple in 1987.

The initial release of LiveCode in 1992 was called MetaCard and its claim to fame was the ability to convert projects from other programming tools such as HyperCard and SuperCard with minimal fuss. They were all based on a language style called xTalk, which used an easy-to-understand English-style syntax.

The language used in MetaCard was virtually identical to the language used in HyperCard. In many ways MetaCard was simply an extension of HyperCard. MetaCard, however, was a more complete language offering all of the features of C/C++ without the complex learning curve. HyperCard had limitations and instead of moving it forward with the times, Apple abandoned it.

MetaCard was bought out by Runtime Revolution in 2003 and the MetaCard programming language was renamed Transcript. In 2010, Revolution was renamed LiveCode but remained under the same ownership and management as its predecessor.

The Plain English Programming Language

LiveCode is a robust programming tool that allows you to write computer programs using plain English in a fraction of the time it would take to write the software using C/C++. For example:

on mouseUp
rollTheDice
end mouseUp

on rollTheDice
put random(6) into diceRoll1
set the icon of button "Dice1" to (diceRoll1 & ".png")
put random(6) into diceRoll2
set the icon of button "Dice2" to (diceRoll2 & ".png")
if diceRoll1 = diceRoll2 then
if diceRoll1 = 1 then
answer "You rolled snake eyes!"
else answer "You rolled doubles!"
end if
end rollTheDice

Knowing nothing about the programming language can you guess what this code does? Not only is the language easy-to-understand, it gets even better; you can see the code in action while you are still writing the code. You do not have to wait until you've written the entire program to see each part of the programming code in action. You can test your code on the fly.

Point and Click Programming Interface

Creating the two dice for the rollTheDice example is even easier. You simply drag a button from the Tools palette to your work window, then select a few options for how you want the button to look. Drag the button where you want it to be, drag a corner of the button to resize it, and then write the code for what the button will do such as rollTheDice.

LiveCode Offers Pricing for Businesses or Hobbyists

From simple dice rolling to highly complex programs, software produced with LiveCode is used by schools, universities, corporations, and gamers. With LiveCode you can create virtually anything you can imagine even if you've never written a single line of code before.

LiveCode has several versions with price points for virtually every budget. You can download a free trial version and see it in action before deciding which version is right for you. For more information about LiveCode or to download a trial version, go to the LiveCode website at runrev.com.

Short summary:

Introduction to LiveCode, the programming tool that lets you program in plain English. Includes the history of LiveCode, an example snippet of code, how to try it out before you buy it, and where to get LiveCode.

Photo credit: Riebart via Foter.com / CC BY

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