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HyperNext for RAD?

hypernextAs you can probably guess, I was a big HyperCard nerd back in the day. Since then I've learned a number of programming languages and platforms, but none had that simple, almost zenlike feel of HyperCard. So I stumbled upon a sort of clone in HyperNext from TigaByte.

HyperNext 2.0 was recently released, so there's now a Windows and Mac (OS X and 9 for those who care) authoring tool and player.

HyperNext is a very simple drag-and-drop style application builder. We call it an IDE in the "biz" (whatever that is). Anyway, it's designed for ease-of-use so you won't find the dizzying array of objects in Visual Studio or RealBasic. Still, for some purposes it's a nice tool. Read on for ideas...

 What purposes? We used HyperCard to make games, business applications, and mini databases. Later I saw it used to make limited "expert systems," or quasi-intelligent repositories of knowledge. You can easily use HyperNext to do the same. The stacks metaphor in HyperNext makes it easy to place and manage controls and facilitate interactivity. Naturally there is a scripting language included with math operations, looping and decision structures, etc.

As an added bonus, TigaByte makes a plugin for HyperNext called Neural Creator. While it doesn't make entire brains, it will make nifty neural networks. Nice, huh?

What use is a neural network? Neural networks are great for analyzing certain types of data, especially when fuzzy logic (not discrete) is required. What route to travel for a vacuum salesman, or pattern recognition— those sorts of things. There's an example at TigaByte's site, so go make some software!