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Hypercard Programing


Well-known member
i was wondering how many people lately have done programing in hypercard, and if so, what you made.

Right now i'm working on a database stack that allows the owners for macintoshes to catalog there computers, the one thing that I am trying to use hypertalk to script the forward button to detect if there is a card after the one you are on, and if not insert a new one

Screenshot of what I have so far:




Well-known member
Ken - That's a pretty cool project. No one seems to use Hypercard anymore, not even the guys here. I'm with you though. I've spent some time collecting Hypercard how-to books and have run through a few of them. I still like Hypercard and think it has a lot of use left in it. You certainly can't knock it's creator either, there simply isn't a better programmer out there than Bill Atkinson.

I haven't decided what my Hypercard project will be yet but I'd love to learn Hypercard inside and out. I've got my SE/30 set up permanently and an Apple Scanner to help dress up my cards. I'm having trouble with the floppy drive on my SE/30 so I haven't been at it in a while. You've certainly inspired me to get back to Hypercard though. Others may be interested in your project but just aren't posting. Either way, keep up the good work and keep us posted!


Anonymous Freak

Well-known member
I haven't done HyperCard programming since high school. Although back then, I made some pretty advance ones.

I had an interactive map of the school for open house (we stationed SEs throughout the school.) I even had an 'easter egg'. The school was two stories. To switch stories, you could either click the "FLOOR 1" "FLOOR 2" buttons at the top, or the stairways. The easter egg was that if, while on the top floor, you clicked on the 'balcony' that was above the library entrance, with a view to the bottom floor, it would play three slides of 'falling' down through the open area and go to the first floor map. (I dangled a QuickTake on a rope to get the pictures.)

I also made a Dungeons & Dragons character generator / Dungeon Master assistant. The dice roller was the painful part, as was making a randomizer that stored values.


Dog Cow

Well-known member
You might find this useful: comp.sys.mac.hypercard

There's all of the posts from Oct '87 up to Jul '91 and then from 2006 to the present, but those newer ones probably aren't so great as the older stuff. A lot of programming discussion, so you could search around.



Well-known member
I would love to see Bill share some of the Hypercard stacks fans have sent him over the years. Surely he still has them. Anonymous Freak, that sounds awesome! Cool use of Hypercard.



Well-known member
yea i know there are some spelling errors but I got them fixed :lol:

The book that I am using for reference is The Complete Hypercard 2.2 Handbook, I rescued it from the going to be tossed pile from our local library!!! The reason why i like this book is it has a very extensive Hypertalk programming section. I don't know about anyone else but i think hypertalk is a really good programing language

http://www.dannyg.com/pubs/index.html (scroll down a bit and you will see the book, you can also download sample stacks!!!)



Well-known member
Anonymous Freak, the interactive map sounds pretty cool. Also, sweet link! I've been to Danny Goodman's site before but didn't notice the sample stacks. I'll have to download those. I was all over Hypercard a few months ago but a hectic life made me lose some steam.




Well-known member
My first attempt to make use of Hypercard started around 1995. After some months of worries and searching for ressources I managed to set up a programme to remotely control a precision balance and do some differential analysis of weight, visualise the results and perform automatic file operations for documentation.

Some years later I used the same know how to do automatic data acquisition and to set up a control software for a micro movement drive in the laboratory.

In 2008 was my last use of a custom made Hypercard stack at work. There was an old Performa available and I set it up to control a stepper motor driver. That was real work I got paid for. The result was excellent. I should have used that setup to join the RetroChallenge ;-)



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I never learned HyperTalk properly. It's too bad, it's such a brilliant language. I thought about organising my computer collection using HyperCard, but I went with FileMaker instead, being OS X native. I've had a cocktail recipe database in mind for some time, for my dining room Classic (or Classic II if I can get it to work).



Well-known member
I don't only enjoy finding and fixing up old Macs — I really like old software. I find the new stuff much harder to understand and use, as the more complexity that goes into it the less efficiency comes out of it, in my view. And I happen to have a full, boxed version of HyperCard 2.3. Thus one thing leads to another.

A few days ago, I discovered on an old CD from a 1995 magazine cover a Shareware HyperCard program called "Dock" by an obviously brilliant man by the name of Randy Ayling, an American who was living in France in the 90s. I have been exploring it on and off in the days since.

The program functions somewhat like a wiki with automated links like wiki tags, but it works on as little as a 9" Compact, is text-based, and extends the functionality of your basic Hypercard (full program, version 2.1 or above) in interesting ways, to thousands of cards and to trees of inter-related knowledge in principle. It is brilliant and eccentric, having some basis in Asimov's science fiction, and containing well-informed philosophical references to artificial intelligence and to the history of science.

The program is a small challenge to learn, as the documentation is also eccentric, being provided in the program itself, as a tree of ideas leading off in many directions. Where to begin? Anywhere at all, basically. At first glance, it looks like it doesn't do much, but on closer inspection it turns out, I think, to be one of the most interesting software programs I have encountered in a long time, taking the user well beyond the usual rolodex approach to the Hypercard app. It is a fully-fledged, and well-conceived, integral, automated hypertext system. It works as a sort of text-based idea-keeper/ memory extender, capable of "growing" with the one doing the writing, and of reminding him or her of paths travelled.

I am considering using it for research/ thought collection, as it could easily accommodate 20 years of intellectual development in ways that, like this development, are going to be far from linear. So I am in "Where have you been all my [academic] life?" mode presently.

For example, the research for a thesis or a book could be sketched in gobbit-sized chunks, all linked together in an electronic tree, all growing together in a structured way. A text-based system is also precisely what is needed for thinking through ideas, documenting books read, pondering implications of one idea for another, etc.

For a Hypercard program, it is sizable, as it comes in at just over 4MB. It adds a great many menu items to HyperCard when it is invoked within HyperCard, while not changing HyperCard per se. As I cannot find it online anywhere, including in Info-Mac archives and such, I would be open to suggestions as to where to send it for access so that others can explore if it is of any interest.

And yes, in principle, it could even be used to document a Macintosh collection and record bits and pieces about the models acquired over time, together with (B&W) PICT graphics and such.

All of this on something like a Classic II if desired. So there's a use for the thing!



Well-known member
I have uploaded it to preterhuman as Hypercard Dock. The zipped version is corrupt, coming as it does from an OSX machine, but the .sit files should be fine, having been done on my Wallstreet in OS9.

Probing a little further in Dock, I can see that the added functionality does not appear to be by way of XCMDs but rather comes from Hyperscripts, which is nice because everything that way remains "native." I plan to tinker, as the program as it comes depends heavily on keystrokes, and I want to see if I can create a floating Palette with the scripts on it as well in order to make it just a little more Hypercard-like.



Well-known member
If you are into HyperCard programming, consider to obtain a copy of HyperTalk 2.2: The Book, by Dan Winkler, Scot Kamins, Jeanne DeVoto, Random House 1994, ISBN 0-679-79171-X, 736 pages. Of course, you will need to fetch a used book. Also check Jeanne's House o' HyperCard and other resources linked from there. 

As of January 9th, 2021, four copies of the book are available here: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=067979171X
Wow, 10 years resurrection!

Now that you’ve resurrected this old thread, I’ll add some input here.  

I was a HyperCard developer in the 90s and in fact I still use it daily. 

I built an email client/server app that setup a server using System 7 file sharing and the clients sent and received local network mail and files. 

I have used Compile It! To turn HyperTalk into XCMDs. 

I then built a complete mail order system, including customer database, invoicing, shipping, and inventory in HyperCard. Then I expanded it to be multi user over 5 different clients. Updating using a Linux server and HTTP requests. 

HyperCard is what got me into Macintosh and I’ve been hooked on HyperCard ever since. 30 years later.