EDINBURGH SOFTWARE HOUSE Runrev has started a Kickstarter project to create an open source release of Livecode, which aims to reinvent Apple's Hypercard coding tool.
The Livecode project already has over 500 backers that have pledged over £55,000 toward its goal of raising £350,000 and will run at Kickstarter until 4:17am EST on 28 February.
If the project gets funded, Runrev promises to develop a version of its Hypercard programming language Livecode that's licensed under the free, open source software (FOSS) General Public Licence version 3 (GPLv3). Licensing under the GPL will mean that all users will be free to obtain and modify the source code of the Livecode implementation, contribute to it and extend the language over time.
Livecode will be delivered with a visual editor and a virtual machine environment running on six platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Server, comprising some half a million lines of C++ code.
The initial open source version of Livecode will be released "as-is" in March, followed by the repackaged version in several iterations leading to a projected final delivery in Autumn 2013.
The minimum pledge is £1 and backers pledging £3 or more are offered a variety of incentives include games, videos, digital and printed documentation, training materials, courses, classes, training and so on at many funding levels.
Hypercard was originally released by Apple in 1987, priced at $49.95, and was included free with all new Mac computers at the time. It preceded and prefigured the development of HTML and the world wide web. Apple withdrew it from the market in 2004, but it survives in Runrev's Livecode and some other derivatives. Over the years it has been used by many people, programmers and non-programmers alike. µ