The New HyperCard

Voice Card  -  Volume 16  -  John Card Number 20  -  Thu, Oct 11, 1990 5:36 AM

Way back in Volume ONE I stated that HyperCard Version 2.0 "is rumoured to be coming soon." That was in September of 1988. Two years later, the rumour has finally come to pass. HyperCard version 2.0 is here at last!

Actually, the copy we are now using is a pre-release version, distributed to developers and user groups, so you are probably the first on your block to receive the new HyperCard. Although a basic version of HyperCard will continue to be included free with all new Macs, Apple/Claris plans on charging for the unfettered developer version. No one is exactly sure how this is going to work yet, but until the situation is resolved you may want to avoid passing around the version I sent you.

The complete upgrade includes FIVE disks, including help stacks and various odd goodies. I only shipped the HyperCard program itself, but I will probably pass along some of the other stacks in the months ahead.

So, what does this long-awaited new version actually do? At first glance it doesn't look much different than the old version, but in fact there are hundreds of new features. The new version is so different internally that you must convert your old stacks before you can use them under then new system (you can still look at the old stacks; you just can't change anything in them). Fortunately, conversion is quite simple. Just choose Convert Stack from the HyperCard File menu. Of course, all the stacks I've shipped you have already been converted.

It is now possible to have cards that are bigger (or smaller) then the standard Macintosh screen. And the text fields now behave the way they should. No more dangling quotation marks! No more need for our special sticky punctuation! And we can have Bold face and Italics and Outlines and all that good stuff! (See the next card for details on how YOU can change styles within text.)

I won't try to describe the hundreds of other changes; suffice it to say that I am VERY pleased with the New HyperCard and we will all be enjoying the new features in the months ahead. I have used it extensively in the last few weeks and I have yet to find a bug. It looks like it was worth the wait!