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News about HyperCard 3.0

News about HyperCard 3.0 from Norway

News about HyperCard 3.0

In May 1996 Jon Pugh posted to the HyperCard Discussion List the following report:

Hypercard 3.0 is official and able to run demos. Kevin Calhoun showed it off at the WWDC in a session titled, Hypercard 3.0, the Phoenix Rises.

The key to the future of Hypercard is QuickTime 3.0. The QT folks were looking at adding a control language to QuickTime for what is now titled QTML (QuickTime Media Layer) and decided that Hypertalk was just what they wanted, so they are integrating that into QT, and consequently redoing Hypercard on top of this interactive QT.

What this means is that every Hypercard stack is a movie and can be played by ANY existing movie player, including (and demoed) MoviePlayer, WordPerfect, Netscape and OpenDoc's movie part.

It also means that full integrated color is finally here with complete painting tools and full importing, as well as cross platform playback, since players already exist for all three versions of Windows.

In addition, since they are making new media handlers, they are adding ones which can read media off the net, which makes it really easy to run your stacks in Netscape or CyberDog over the net since they start working the moment you download the first frame and they can reference content on multiple servers.

In addition, you can embed any QT content anywhere in Hypercard, so you can have QTVR, regular movies and sounds integrated right into your stacks.

Basically, this puts Hypercard more firmly into the multimedia authoring realm, in addition to making it even easier to make insanely cool interactive movies.

Later in May Kevin Calhoun added the following to Jon's report:

I'm glad to see that we've made a splash with our WWDC preview of HyperCard 3.0. Let me try to answer some questions.

First, QuickTime provides a standard format and playback mechanism for all kinds of stuff -- digital video and audio, obviously, but also 3D models, sprites, animations, text, MIDI, and images in a large number of formats. And that's just what's supported by QuickTime 2.5. So when you think of a QuickTime movie, you should think of a container that may have any or all of that stuff in it.

A HyperCard stack is also a container for stuff -- buttons, fields, and images -- with a particular structure based on the model of cards and stacks. QuickTime is an open architecture; it can be extended so that QuickTime movies can be structured according to the same model as HyperCard stacks, can contain the same stuff that HyperCard stacks contain, and can have the same basic behaviors. These movies can also contain any or all of the other multimedia stuff if you want it, in color, cross-platform, over an Internet connection, with or without background music, integrated or not integrated with whatever else QuickTime does.

From TidBITS-329 ( May 1996 )

HyperCard and QuickTime -- Almost overlooked in the Internet-hype of WWDC was a significant public statement on the future of HyperCard and QuickTime. Despite recent signs of life and a steadfast following, HyperCard has had a moribund reputation for several years as its multimedia capabilities were eclipsed by products like Director and SuperCard. (Though HyperCard remains one of the most useful prototyping tools around.)

At WWDC, Apple showed running demos of HyperCard 3.0, and the biggest surprise is that the new version is built around QuickTime 3.0. Essentially, every HyperCard stack becomes a QuickTime movie, and is playable in any application that can handle QuickTime, including MoviePlayer, Netscape plug-ins, Cyberdog, and word processors. Using QuickTime finally gives HyperCard completely integrated color capabilities as well as cross-platform support (QuickTime is already well established on Windows). According to the presentation, existing HyperCard externals will continue to be usable and there will be Internet-savvy media handlers giving HyperCard (and QuickTime) the ability to use remote content. Both QuickTime 3.0 and HyperCard 3.0 are scheduled for release in spring of 1997.

MacWeek -- SEPTEMBER 16, 1996

HyperCard's new deal: QuickTime authoring

By Clifford Colby (

Apple is reportedly at work on a version of HyperCard due in mid-1997 that will move the development tool into the world of cross-platform multimedia.

Sources said the remake, Version 3.0, will allow users to play HyperCard stacks from within QuickTime-enabled applications, including Web browsers.

Version 3.0 will reportedly be rebuilt atop the QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) architecture. QTML is Apple's catch-all term for its collection of multimedia technologies, including QuickTime and QuickDraw 3D. Sources said Apple will position the HyperCard makeover as an authoring tool for the QTML platform.

To better integrate the technologies, Apple last week gave its Interactive Multimedia Group official control over HyperCard as well as QTML, which the company is rapidly extending to non-Mac platforms.

By being wed with QTML, sources said, HyperCard will gain fully integrated support for color and complete painting tools. But the marriage will open new opportunities for the tool. Apple reportedly will change how stacks are stored, using QuickTime-defined formats for stacks.

Sources said the change will let users play HyperCard stacks in any application that can run QuickTime movies and on any platform that supports QTML. Apple will reportedly also add media handlers that will allow users to view stacks in Web browsers, although sources said this addition may appear in a release between now and HyperCard 3.0.

HyperCard stacks are expected to continue to act and behave as they do now, and QuickTime will be expanded to play stacks. The remake is expected to let users fold QTML media types -- including video, audio, text virtual reality, 3-D and MPEG -- into HyperCard.

Sources said Apple will enhance the HyperTalk scripting language with the reimplementation of HyperCard and will make HyperTalk the control language of QuickTime.

According to sources, one of Apple's goals with HyperCard 3.0 is to ensure compatibility with HyperCard 2.3's file format and provide a converter for pre-3.0 stacks. Apple also plans to continue support for external commands and functions on the Mac.

"Version 3.0 is going to solve a lot of HyperCard problems," said a developer familiar with Apple's plans. "Just the color alone will bring us into this century. But it also solves the cross-platform issue: You'll be able to play HyperCard stacks wherever QTML is supported. People in the know say this is ingenious."

Another developer said: "When people think of QuickTime, they think of movies. But QuickTime is a method of storing information. Developers will be able to create a HyperCard application and won't have to port it to another platform; it will play on any platform that has QuickTime."

MacWeek -- NOVEMBER 11, 1996

HyperCard reshuffled for Web as Apple plots course for 3.0

By Kelly Ryer (MacWeek)

Hoping to give a new meaning to "Home" on the Internet, Apple next week will begin shipping the HyperCard 2.3.5 Value Bundle. Meanwhile, Apple is offering some glimpses into HyperCard's future.

The $99 bundle will update the company's user programming environment and add a number of third-party applications aimed at the Web.

According to Param Singh, manager of media authoring products in the Apple Interactive Media Group, HyperCard 2.3.5 is a first step toward a dramatically different version, 3.0, due next summer.

Along with features from Version 2.3 such as 24-bit-color support, text-to-speech capabilities, and button tasks that ease scripting of navigation or QuickTime playback, HyperCard 2.3.5 offers a performance boost on systems with many fonts. In addition, Apple fixed bugs and eliminated licensing fees for distribution of the HyperCard player.

Connecting HyperCard to the Internet is LiveCard from Royal Software Inc. of Largo, Fla., a CGI that runs HyperCard stacks over the Web. LiveCard converts stacks either to HTML or graphical images while preserving virtually all of the interactive features of the original cards. LiveCard will work with any Mac Web server that supports CGIs.

"I also use [Allegiant Technologies Inc.'s] SuperCard and [mFactory Inc.'s] mTropolis," said LiveCard user Todd Richmond, an assistant professor of chemistry at the Claremont (Calif.) Colleges. "The biggest advantage of LiveCard is that the client doesn't need a plug-in. A student with a home machine is likely to have a lower-end Mac or PC with 8 Mbytes of RAM, and they can't run a browser with plug-ins."

Apple will bundle a time-limited version of the StarNine WebStar Web server; Myst, Broderbund Software Inc.'s HyperCard-based CD-ROM game; and Movie Cleaner LE and Web Motion from Terran Interactive Inc. of San Jose, Calif. Movie Cleaner LE contains many of the QuickTime-optimization and -compression features of the company's Movie Cleaner Pro, but some advanced settings are disabled.

While Apple would not reveal detailed plans about the forthcoming HyperCard 3.0 , the company said it plans to implement richer and deeper support for QTML (QuickTime Media Layer) media formats, cross-platform playback, data from multiple sources, an easier-to-use interface and more HyperTalk commands.

"HyperCard 3.0 will target authoring of rich-media projects that highly leverage QuickTime, QTML and other industry standards," Singh said. "It's targeted at publishing in cross-platform media such as hard disks, intranet, CD-ROM or the Internet. 'Media' to me means not only video, audio and music data but text and data from many different sources."

Version 3.0 will be backward-compatible with stacks from HyperCard 2.3.5 and mostly compatible with earlier versions' stacks, Singh said.

Richmond said: "We're anxiously awaiting 3.0. It sounds like they're getting their act together. For serving up QuickTime movies, I'm still futzing with media-handling issues, and I think those will be addressed. Compelling content in HyperCard 3.0 will be completely bongo."

A free updater from HyperCard 2.3 to Version 2.3.5 is available at; CD-ROM versions of the $99 bundle will be available via Apple Developer Catalog at (800) 282-2732 or Apple at (800) 538-9696.

HyperCard Discussion List 13 Feb 1997

From Jacqueline Landman Gay

HyperCard 3.0 will have integrated, easy to use color.

Someone made the comment that maybe we should all be studying up on QuickTime. I don't think we'll need to. Just as I don't need to know how the engine in my car works in order to be able to drive, authors won't need to know how QuickTime works in order to use the new HyperCard.

All the commands we are familiar with will be there, and some new ones too. Since 3.0 will be backwardly compatible with 2.3.5, our old scripts will work as they do now, and scripting will work as we are used to. The engine running the machine will have changed, but from a developer's standpoint, we'll run it with HyperTalk pretty much the way we always have -- with the exception that there will be wonderful new capabilities we never had before, and commands to control them.

I'd like to clarify that a bit. My intent here was to stress that our scripting processes would be similar to those we have now, that we wouldn't have to learn QuickTime, and that we would author stacks in a manner consistent with the HyperTalk we now use.

However, as someone pointed out to me, due to the nature of QuickTime there may be some commands that can not be completely implemented, or cannot be implemented in the same way, in the new version. I don't know what commands those might be, but it makes sense that there will have to be some adjustments for the way the new engine works. So the line above that reads "our old scripts will work as they do now" should probably have been written "our old scripts will work as they do now, barring the limitations of QuickTime."

The team has stated their intent to make 3.0 as backwardly-compatible with 2.3.5 as possible, and I think they are going to do everything they can to fullfill that promise.

It is very tempting when thinking "QuickTime" to think "movie", because that is all we've ever known, pretty much. The associations are strong. But QuickTime is a remarkable compression engine capable of dealing with a great deal more data types than just movies. Apple is rewriting QuickTime to include another layer, one which will interpret and deal with user interactions. This will allow embedding HC stacks into any application that accepts QuickTime. HyperCard's engine, as we know it, will not be needed for runtime. QuickTime will run it instead. Think what that means -- no more embedded Player. No more bloated standalones. No more requiring the user to own HyperCard.

QuickTime will be a HyperCard player basically, just as QuickTime now is a movie projector and a tape player. We don't have to learn QuickTime, we just have to know HyperTalk because QuickTime will run HyperTalk. It's ingenious. Not only that, but it is full color, it's fast, it's flexible, it's expanded, and it is going to be very big when it hits. And it is going to open doors for us like you wouldn't believe.

MacWEEK May 16, 1997

Clifford Colby and David Morgenstern

Apple also reaffirmed its commitment to its cross-platform QuickTime Media Layer technologies and laid out features slated for future versions, including Java integration, interactivity, and enhancements to existing sprite and streaming video capabilities. The company showed technology demos of interactive sprites on Windows and Mac platforms, including animated clouds with transparency effects. In the future, QuickTime will send Web-based animations to users more quickly, Apple said.

QuickTime Architect Peter Hoddie said that Apple in early 1998 will release QuickTime Interactive, which will offer a standard player interface and let interactive media tools work with each other.

According to Hoddie, HyperCard 3.0, due early next year, will become an authoring tool for QuickTime Interactive. Hoddie used an early version to edit objects with behaviors and create button and slider controllers. In the demo, QuickTime 3.0.'s standard video transition effects were triggered with HyperCard buttons.

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