As Seen in The Wall Street Journal
Apple HyperCard - Failure Museum

Launched in 1987, HyperCard was a tool for making tools – Mac users could use Hypercard to build their own mini-programs to balance their taxes, manage sports statistics, make music – all kinds of individualized software that would be useful (or fun) for individual users. These little programs were called stacks, and were built as a system of cards that could be hyperlinked together. 

Mac users have an innate sense of “Mac-like”; most Mac users can determine whether a particular software package is Mac-like within 60 seconds of launching it and poking around. And HyperCard stacks, never felt even close to Mac-like. It always felt like HyperCard was its own little GUI universe running within the Mac OS (even though we didn’t call it “Mac OS” back then). Stacks felt and looked consistent with other stacks, but never felt, looked, or acted like other Macintosh apps.

Not only did HyperCard stacks eschew the standard Mac OS GUI control widgets, but they even went so far as to hide the menu bar. Which is fine for games, but for just about anything else, it’s an outright insult to Mac UI sensibilities.

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Sean Jacobsohn

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