|Initial release||July 11, 2001|
9.5.1 / December 16, 2019
9.6.0DP4 / April 16, 2020
|Operating system||macOS, Windows, Linux, Unix, Android, iOS, HTML5|
|Platform||i386, AMD64, ARM|
|OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Unix, Raspberry Pi|
LiveCode (formerly Revolution and MetaCard) is a cross-platformrapid application development runtime system inspired by HyperCard. It features the LiveCode Script (formerly MetaTalk) programming language which belongs to the family of xTalk scripting languages like HyperCard's HyperTalk.
The environment was introduced in 2001. The "Revolution" development system was based on the MetaCard engine technology which Runtime Revolution later acquired from MetaCard Corporation in 2003. The platform won the Macworld Annual Editor's Choice Award for "Best Development Software" in 2004. "Revolution" was renamed "LiveCode" in the fall of 2010. "LiveCode" is developed and sold by Runtime Revolution Ltd., based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In March, 2015, the company was renamed "LiveCode Ltd.", to unify the company name with the product. In April 2013 a free/open source version 'LiveCode Community Edition 6.0' was published after a successful crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter. The code base was re-licensed and made available as free and open source software with a version in April 2013.
LiveCode runs on iOS, Android, OS X, Windows 95 through Windows 10, Raspberry Pi and several variations of Unix, including Linux, Solaris, and BSD. It can be used for mobile, desktop and server/CGI applications. The iOS (iPhone and iPad) version was released in December 2010. The first version to deploy to the Web was released in 2009. It is the most widely used HyperCard/HyperTalk clone, and the only one that runs on all major operating systems.
A developer release of v.8 was announced in New York on March 12, 2015. This major enhancement to the product includes a new, separate development language, known as "LiveCode Builder", which is capable of creating new object classes called "widgets". In earlier versions, the set of object classes was fixed, and could be enhanced only via the use of ordinary procedural languages such as C. The new language, which runs in its own IDE, is a departure from the transitional x-talk paradigm in that it permits typing of variables. But the two environments are fully integrated, and apart from the ability to create new objects, development in LiveCode proceeds in the normal way, within the established IDE.
A second crowdfunding campaign to Bring HTML5 to LiveCode reached funding goals of nearly $400,000 USD on July 31, 2014. LiveCode developer release 8.0 DP4 (August 31, 2015) was the first to include a standalone deployment option to HTML5.
The LiveCode software creates applications that run in many supported environments, using a compile-free workflow. The same computer code in LiveCode can play across multiple devices and platforms. LiveCode uses a high level, English-like programming language called Transcript that is dynamically typed. Transcript and compile-free workflow generates code that is self-documenting and easy for casual programmers to comprehend. For example, if the following script was executed when the system clock was at 9:00:00 AM:
1 repeat ten times 2 put "Hello world at" && the long time & return after field 1 3 wait 1 second 4 end repeat
Ten lines will be loaded into the first text field. (denoted as "field 1"), and seen as:
Hello world at 9:00:00 AM Hello world at 9:00:01 AM Hello world at 9:00:02 AM ...
repeat(and the associated
end repeat) is a control structure, illustrated here in just one of its various forms.
putis a command
"Hello World at"is a literal
the long timeis a function that calls the system time
returnis a constant equal to ASCII character 10 (linefeed)
afteris a keyword that is involved with an extremely powerful and intuitive system known as "chunking", a hallmark of xTalk languages.
field 1is an object reference, here denoted by the layer number of a text field. Almost all standard object classes are supported, and may be referred to in several, highly-intuitive ways.
LiveCode's natural English-like syntax is easy for beginners to learn. Variables are typeless, and are typed at compile time based purely on context. This makes the language simple to read and maintain, with relatively minimal loss of speed. The language contains advanced features including associative arrays,regular expressions, multimedia, support for a variety of SQL databases, and TCP/IP libraries. The LiveCode engine supports several common image formats (including BMP, PNG, GIF, and JPEG,), anti-aliased vector graphics, HTML-style text hyperlinks, chained behaviors and embedded web browsers. Accessing these higher-level functions is designed to be straightforward.
put url "http://www.wikipedia.com" into MyVariable
put url "binfile:picture.jpg" into url "ftp://john:firstname.lastname@example.org:2121/picture.jpg"
LiveCode project files are binary-compatible across platforms. They inherit each platform's look-and-feel and behaviors. Buttons, scroll bars, progress bars and menus behave as expected on the target platform without any intervention on the part of the one authoring a LiveCode application.
Compiling a LiveCode "standalone" produces a single, executable file (minimum size ~1.5MB) for each platform targeted. There is no separate runtime necessary.
The popflock.com resource article on HyperCard contains a more detailed discussion about the basics of a similar development environment and scripting language. Modern LiveCode is a vast superset of the former HyperCard yet retains its simplicity. LiveCode includes a number of features missing from the original HyperCard program, including multiple platform deployment, communication with external devices and many fundamental language extensions. The LiveCode toolkit, as compared to HyperCard, has the ability to access internet-based text and media resources, which allows the creation of internet-enabled desktop applications.
|9.x||10.9.x - 10.13.x Intel||7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||32 or 64 bit, 32-bit ARMv6 (Raspberry Pi) glibc glib gtk/gdk lcms pango/xft gksu esd mplayer|
|8.x||10.6.x - 10.12.x Intel||XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||32 or 64 bit, 32-bit ARMv6 (Raspberry Pi) glibc gtk lcms pango/xft gksu esd mplayer|
|7.x||10.6.x - 10.9.x Intel||XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||32 or 64 bit, 32-bit ARMv6 (Raspberry Pi) glibc gtk lcms pango/xft gksu esd mplayer|
|6.7.x||10.6.x - 10.9.x Intel||XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms pango/xft gksu|
|6.6.x||10.5.8 - 10.9.x Intel/PPC||XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms pango/xft gksu|
|6.0.x - 6.5.x||10.4.11 - 10.9.x Intel/PPC||XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008, Windows 8.x, Windows 10.x (Desktop)||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms pango/xft gksu|
|5.x||10.4.11 - 10.8.x Intel/PPC||2000 SP4, XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms|
|4.6.x||10.4.11 - 10.8.x Intel/PPC||2000 SP4, XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms|
|4.5.x||10.3.9 - 10.8.x Intel/PPC||2000 SP4, XP SP2+, 2003, Vista SP1+, 7, 2008||2.4.x+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.3.2 gtk lcms|
|2.6.x||10.2.7 - 10.6.x Intel/PPC, 9.2.2 PPC||98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista||2.4+ 32 bit X11R5 glibc 2.2.4 gtk lcms|
iOS and Android targets are available in some versions.
Note: Complete Linux requirements for 4.5.x-6.x are the following:
LC9.6.0DP4was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Revolution ... grows out of HyperCard, a much-beloved and widely used Apple Computer product that the company abandoned a few years ago....
HyperCard, with its stacks metaphor, has a new heir in Runtime Revolution's Revolution Studio 2.1
Happily, Runtime Revolution provides a software development kit (SDK) for writing Revolution plug-ins, and this makes writing our plug-in a snap.