Rails and Hypercard

22 December 2005

Gavin mentions the idea that Ruby on Rails might just be the new Hypercard – something I may or may not have discussed with him.

I think he’s right. After one of the London Ruby User Group meets, someone commented that all Rails really needs now is a killer easy-front-end for page layout, or an IDE for apps of some form, and it could really hit the jackpot. I immediately thought of Hypercard; it had the requisite simplicity, grace, and convention, and would be nicely suited to Ruby (just as it was to Applescript).

I’ve mentioned Hypercard before on this site. It was pretty formative in me finding a way I could program computers that wasn’t necessarily reams of code, of first making me aware of UI design, and of making programming fun. Rails has had a similar effect, properly kick-starting me into OO programming, and finally making me understanding and appreciate scripting languages.

The speed of gettings things working, that’s what matters. Not finished – finished might be a long way off – but you’ve always got something to show for your labours. That’s why I like it.