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SuperCard is a rapid application development (RAD) tool, a multimedia development environment, and a presentation creator. It’s a great tool for developers, multimedia publishers and teachers.
Since the first release of SuperCard for Mac OS X a large number of bugs have been fixed, many of them not down to poor programming on behalf of Solutions Etcetera but because Apple keeps changing the rules as it develops Mac OS X.
With Panther’s release the look of many of the Aqua controls has altered significantly. The tab control and group boxes, for example, have been updated for this release.
However, not all the controls that Apple has introduced since the arrival of Mac OS X are covered. SuperCard 4.1.2 supports sheet windows, for example, but not drawer windows or the brushed-metal look, which is surprising considering the use Apple makes of them in Panther’s Finder.
SuperCard 4’s Developer Edition includes an additional editing environment as well as the Runtime Editor. SuperEdit, which is a separate application that is exclusively used for building and editing SuperCard Projects, has advantages over the RTE in certain situations.
SuperEdit is a single-purpose editor that is optimized for building SuperCard Projects. In SuperEdit, your scripts do not run. For example, if you need to change something fundamental about a project, such as adding a Window or resource, it’s easier to work in SuperEdit.
To better accommodate the OS X file-system layout and permissions scheme, the default locations where new files are created when no path is supplied has changed from the SC pouch to the desktop.
A new function, supportsExclusive FileAccess(), lets users check whether or not exclusive permissions are supported on any volume under the Mac OS version SuperCard is running in. If this function returns true, then the scripter can be confident that attempts by multiple copies of SuperCard/standalones and/or SuperEdit to open that project at the same time will not end up damaging the file.
The import of JPEGs has changed to use QuickTime instead of the image-compression manager and the ability to import pictureData directly from variables has been added. SuperEdit 4.1.2 includes substantially reduced memory requirements for importing pictureData.
Sadly, despite the improvements and the great number of bug fixes, I get the feeling that SuperCard isn’t keeping up with the competition. It’s a year on from the first SuperCard version to run under Mac OS X, and there are still no built-in database functions or socket connections, while both REALbasic and Revolution are making the most of being able to connect to various database flavours while connecting seamlessly to the outside world.