Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Got a LiveCode personal license? Are you a beginner, hobbyist or educator that's new to LiveCode? This forum is the place to go for help getting started. Welcome!

Moderators: Klaus, FourthWorld, heatherlaine, kevinmiller

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:02 am

FourthWorld wrote: Clearly I'm just not understanding what you're looking for. I hope you find it.
well dunno how to explain it any better. If you guys look at the 101 livecode blogger site and think it represent the best "Scope" in Commercial software applications you must either all do small app and business database applications Or you are in too deep to smell the coffee. What happened to the Social network with thousands of users I asked about. Not understandable either?

Thanks to Dhurt and dixie though.

its been REAL (don't freak out now guys) LOL.

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:37 am

Dixie wrote:
and now I’m smiling… I have been called ‘Dixie’ for as long as I can remember, since my school days anyway, but don’t feel bad… this happens now and again

Mr John Dixon… :D
ROFL. My apologies sir but it takes a man with oomph to call himself dixie on an internet forum :D lol. Plus given the other responders in this thread you seemed calmer (like most women)
liveCode has a lot of things coming to it, in its stretch goals, after the success of the ‘kickstarter’ campaign last year that brought in a shed load of money to take ‘liveCode’ to being an open source platform… have a look at … to see what is coming, including a physics engine for the ‘gamers’ amongst the liveCode community… much of it is very late being delivered as it was promised by August 2013 … and here we are :-)
Ah okay. I had read that but I will take a closer look at the roadmap.
liveCode does not have the computational speed required to power an application like a ‘Final Cut’ app, but there again, not many languages do… it lies in the realms of ‘C’…
I got you. Video editing software like that is a beast. What about a MS office clone (not looking there either but trying to get a sense of the applications that Livecode might be inappropriate for. Sorry to ask again but right about now you seem to be the only one not offended by the tqustions
The web side of liveCode is excellent, with that there is no problem… being able to use liveCode on the desktop and also to use liveCode in .lc scripts server side is a great pleasure… the .lc scripts are really a substitute for php… Yes, liveCode server side scripting is good.…and Yes, liveCode is more than capable of handling a real ‘social network’ with thousands of users…
Very good to hear. Excellent in fact. When I saw that thrown out there and with no real examples - you know how it is - you wonder if its just marketing talk. I mean people need to realize that no app builder or IDE comes out and states what can't be done. Sometimes like everything in software you only find out what you can't do down the line. Sometime waaay down the line. So sure you can say build the next social network with our software but when you look around and no one has you must ask - why?

Thats all to this thread. it cannot simply be assumed, given that very real and rational reason to ask, that there has to be some ulterior motive or putdown being implied.


Anyway thanks a lot man (I got the gender right this time :D ).

[-hh]
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:52 pm
Location: Göttingen, DE

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by [-hh] » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:03 pm

This is a really interesting discussion. Some arguments I've never heard before. Let me add an answer. This is my main point.

"What is LC really good for?"

LC is a perfect tool for *developping* ideas. It is not necessarily "the" tool to translate an idea into an app, but "the" tool to find, to come to and enrich the idea.

I used to do this creative phase with pseudocode. Xtalk is close to this. And LC is currently, from several valuable aspects, the best representant of 'Xtalk & Sons'.

Pseudocode is the only 'programming language' that has no limits but the possibilities of your brain. And for non-genious persons like me there is always a big part of it that can be done with LC and one can see or estimate where it goes to and what is realizable.

One will never find such ideas on websites or public listings, it would, as you say, "make no sense to detail those out on a public forum". But they all are made with the creative tool LC.

If you look for such a tool, you've found the (currently) best one.
shiftLock happens

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:36 pm

[-hh] wrote: LC is a perfect tool for *developping* ideas. It is not necessarily "the" tool to translate an idea into an app, but "the" tool to find, to come to and enrich the idea......If you look for such a tool, you've found the (currently) best one.

Hey -hh thanks for your input. That certainly is an enriching thing from a mental aspect and its a truly great thing that that does it for you but no I am not really looking for such a tool. I'd rather a tool that can do more than enrich an idea and can translate an idea into an app. I don't know if everyone would agree with you on that. Personally I am hoping not.

FourthWorld
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 6791
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:05 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by FourthWorld » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:53 pm

I agree with -hh that LiveCode is useful for prototyping, but one of its distinguishing benefits is that it's often equally good for development and deployment as well, making it an end-to-end solution for a wide range of apps.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:30 pm

FourthWorld wrote:I agree with -hh that LiveCode is useful for prototyping, but one of its distinguishing benefits is that it's often equally good for development and deployment as well, making it an end-to-end solution for a wide range of apps.
Richard in searching around I read an interesting statement from you regarding the use of various languages in which you stated to the effect that for the things livecode handles it is really good at. I guess thats another way of coming at my question. What is it not good at. The marketing blurb on the home pages states the following

"LiveCode is a flexible software platform that allows you to create any solution, the only limit is your imagination."

Now in answer to your previous questions one of the applications I am interested in is desktop and web automation. From what I am reading Livecode is not suitable to those tasks or perhaps any tasks that involved image recognition (which would include quite a few practical applications) . I am not allowed to link to discussions or any urls but Mark, who I gather has written a book on livecode directly stated in a thread it was not possible in answer to a question about desktop automation .

BTW you also in another thread gave me another reason to explain why i have not seen many commercial grade apps - previously being a proprietary language held back revolutions adoption. Makes great sense to me.

dunbarx
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 6117
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by dunbarx » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:51 pm

Anthony.

Why don't we change gears...

I have three desktop automation projects running right now, two commercial, one private. Two written with Hypercard, (goes back many years, but still ticking) one written with LC. What are you looking for?

Craig

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:11 pm

Thats great Craig.

Desktop automation

User does an action the system records it and can replay it (image recognition not just positioning)

Web automation

the user goes to a page and fills out forms, drop downs etc. System records it can replay it at any time OR fills out forms the way roboform does (and quite a few web browsers)

You have that app for sale anywhere? I'd love to see it and even buy it.. I'd be curious as well how you are running three image recognition automation tools at the same time. LC must rock even more than I thought. Thats almost magical. :D

Dixie
Livecode Opensource Backer
Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:53 am
Location: Bordeaux, France

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by Dixie » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:42 pm

[h-h] wrote
LC is a perfect tool for *developping* ideas. It is not necessarily "the" tool to translate an idea into an app
Yes, liveCode is the perfect tool for helping to develop ideas because the programmer, developer… call him what you will can quickly build his app edit his code, run his app all compile free… there is no break in the work flow… but after doing all that work in ‘liveCode’ you suggest moving to another tool to finally build the app ?… err… I think that, that really would be a waste of time !…

Let’s ‘back up’ here a little… No, ‘liveCode’ will not be used to build the next ‘Photoshop’ or ‘Final Cut’, not many, if any tools other than C or a derivative would produce the goods… but it is as good a tool for the majority of tasks that are usually required by those dreaming of the ‘next big thing’…

Desktop or web automation ?… Yes, liveCode is good at that.

‘image recognition’… not right now, it’s not exactly mainstream… the people developing image recognition are more dependant of having a massive bank of images to compare rather than the code needed to spot the similarities or differences… so, could liveCode be part of something like that ?… Yes, if there were the externals available for it… for just as with the ‘PhotoShop’ and ‘Final Cut’ comparisons made earlier computational speed would be of the essence here…

The bottom line to this discussion is that 'liveCode' is a very competent development tool... but just like other tools, it may stumble with some of the esoteric demands people might place on it... as I have said, so would the majority of the other tools out there, none are perfect ... at 'the end of the day it is horses for courses'

Dixie

dunbarx
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 6117
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by dunbarx » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:50 pm

Hmmm.

Perhaps I am using the wrong terminology. Two of my apps control external electronic hardware that comprise complex interactive lighting controllers. The other is a machine controller in an assembly line. It sounds like you need something completely different.

Craig

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:01 pm

Dixie wrote: Desktop or web automation ?… Yes, liveCode is good at that.

‘image recognition’… not right now, it’s not exactly mainstream… the people developing image recognition are more dependant of having a massive bank of images to compare rather than the code needed to spot the similarities or differences…
We must be talking about two different things. I don't see how you can claim Livecode is good at desktop automation without being able to do image recognition. Perhaps you thought previously that I meant automation tools to test applications but I did spell out to Craig exactly what I meant. They are also known as macro recorders and theres nothing esoteric or out of the mainstream with them. Several companies develop similar tools in C# and VB and they do not have prexisting banks of images. They do captures during recording of the screen and then compare them in playback.

Image recognition esoteric? Isn't OCR a form of image recognition? bar code reading? Anyway no you really cant look at a whole industry of desktop automation tool makers and call it esoteric

so, could liveCode be part of something like that ?… Yes, if there were the externals available for it…
If there are not externals as seems to not be the case then isn't that a no and not a yes? and if there are what are they? You can't say yes "if" when the if is not in existence.

The bottom line to this discussion is that 'liveCode' is a very competent development tool... but just like other tools, it may stumble with some of the esoteric demands people might place on it... as I have said, so would the majority of the other tools out there, none are perfect
[/quote][/quote]

No sorry. the bottom line to this discussion is that this is the promise of Livecode

"LiveCode is a flexible software platform that allows you to create any solution, the only limit is your imagination."

I am old school i guess. I think marketing should still be honest. Don't fool newbies like myself. Human resources, speed of hardware those are separate issues. Can C# create any solution I can conceive of - yes. SO can VB. Thats exactly what I was asking and a poster snarkely told me good luck in finding anything I could not do - and now in 14 hours or so we have the whole subject of image recognition that cannot be done.

At this observations I have no doubt I will upset the evangelists but all I am is a guy asking what can and cannot be done and the answer I see all over which is just not true is that livecode can do anything. And lets be honest here. its not the only thing. Searching the forums you can see multiple answers to peoples issues that involve them having to use work arounds involving them having to dive into python, applescript etc. Vbscript etc all to work aroubd what cannot be done.

At this point I think I agree with you that Livecode is an excellent platform. No doubt - but overselling anything never does that thing any good. Be real about the limitations and be real about what has been produced. Theres a guy recently in another thread saying the same thing I did in the OP. The examples so far of what livecode can do are NOT good. his answer? He's working on creating better.

Thats a MUCH better approach than Pointing to the livecode1001 blogspot com site and saying see I am sure you can see the great and fantastic things livecode can do even at the commercial level . Thats just terribly ridiculous. No one who has spent any time looking at development languages and IDEs would be impressed at that output. IF livecode were an overly difficult language it would inspire no one on the fence. So the merits of that gallery are not very good.

Great platform and looks like a solid community. Jut needs to ease up on the advocacy and be a little bit more real. If livecode is ever to be mainstream being real about where it is now can only help not hurt.


Thats said diving in with both feet into the web scripting and hope to be buying the commercial license soon if all pans out with that.

FourthWorld
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 6791
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:05 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by FourthWorld » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:12 pm

amthonyblack wrote:Now in answer to your previous questions one of the applications I am interested in is desktop and web automation.
Thanks for that. Knowing the focus of your interests is very helpful.
From what I am reading Livecode is not suitable to those tasks or perhaps any tasks that involved image recognition (which would include quite a few practical applications)
It depends on the specifics. There are those who might say LiveCode is best for everything, and those who might say it's best at nothing. As with any extreme position in any area of human endeavor, I believe both would be wrong.

Let's look at the areas you've mentioned:


Web Automation
I wouldn't attempt an HTML rendering engine in LiveCode, but then again very few even attempt that in C. Today there are only three such engines in common use (IE, WebKit, and Firefox); it's a daunting task in any language.

Similarly, WYSIWYG HTML authoring tools are an area where, although I've made some for specific sites, a generalized app for that is so challenging that there are only a handful in all the world worth using (Dreamweaver and Blue Griffon come to mind).

But "web automation" is a broad field, so broad that I don't think a single definition could apply.

Spidering, scraping, indexing, mashing and dozens of other methods may be relevant. While I've used LC for all four of those, in some cases it's a good fit and in other cases off-the-shelf systems, like Lucene for indexing, are a better choice than any custom one-off, regardless of the language you'd write it in.

In addition to my relatively simple WebMerge tool (which despite its simplicity has been used by AOL, the US Library of Congress, BMI Music Publishing, and thousands of smaller web shops), there have also been other web tools built with LiveCode like Altuit's Hemmingway CMS and Blue Mango's Screen Steps, and many more.

On my plate at the moment are two more projects involving web automation: one is a custom client-server CMS solution for one of the largest privately-held companies in America, and the other is a server-side CMS solution for more general use (I'll be making it available for free later this year; more on that later). Both of these use LiveCode exclusively, for everything all the way down to the data store.

The Web is largely comprised of just plain text: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. LiveCode is unusually adept at manipulating text, and can use GET and POST over HTTP very easily. It's nearly as easy as Sed and Awk for working with delimited text (often easier), includes extensive XML support, with libraries for JSON and other common formats available. It also includes support for common data stores like SQLite, MySQL, and even Oracle, and I believe libraries for interfacing with MongoDB and CouchDB are being developed by members of the community.

Smartly applied, there's almost no end to what can be done with LiveCode to build Web production apps and services.


Desktop Automation
The situation is similar on the desktop: many automation solutions involve using LiveCode as middleware between other apps. With LC's ability to parse command line arguments sent to it, send and receive Apple events and AppleScript, send VBScript and shell scripts, read and write from serial ports, use sockets, stdIn and stdOut, read and write Registry settings, and with an externals API available for anything it doesn't handle out of the box, it can be very useful in a surprisingly broad range of contexts.

Even my modest WebMerge tool provides a very simple but useful mechanism to allow it to be used in larger workflow automation: its settings files include an option to automatically run, generate pages, upload them, and quit whenever the app is launched with such a document. Many of our customers take advantage of their DBMS' ability to launch documents with a specified app (FileMaker, Access and many others support this) to integrate WebMerge into completely automated solutions.

While the current version of LiveCode lacks direct support for generic Windows DLLs, anyone considering a lower-level language for that could write LiveCode externals for those, so they get the best of both environments.

But given what's in the box, most folks I know using LC for automation don't commonly need to write custom externals.


Image Recognition
As for image recognition, that's among the types of tasks so extremely computationally expensive that not even Java is widely used for that, and almost never any scripting language. C was invented as a replacement for Assembler, and as such it's a good choice for that sort of work.

But of course for any algo to be useful it also needs a UI. For command line utilities it wouldn't matter of course, but most apps will need a graphical user interface, so it can make good sense to implement an image recognition algo (or any computationally-intensive algo, like neural nets, graphs, etc.) in C, then access that from LiveCode's externals API where you could then get the strongest value from both languages.


In General...
John Ousterhout's seminal paper on the value of scripting languages helps identify the sweet spot for dynamically-compiled languages like LiveCode:

Scripting: Higher Level Programming for the 21st Century
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf

While originally written to promote TCL, the arguments he puts forth there apply well to other scripting languages, whether Lua, Python, or LiveCode.

He describes a good scripting language as being a sort of glue, allowing a developer to tie together highly-optimized functionality compiled from C, but with the productivity benefits inherent in high-level typeless systems. This provides a strong balance for a wide range of applications programming tasks, with the business logic in script driving the heavy lifting done by the underlying engine.

Of course higher-level languages won't be the best solution for every task, but when GUIs are needed LiveCode can often be used well. LiveCode is among the most efficient scripting languages both in terms of developer productivity and runtime performance. Its native scripting language is most commonly used by itself to produce a great many products. When anything that's not already in the box is needed, its externals API allows it to integrate anything else you might need from other languages, so its scope is indeed almost limitless.


I can appreciate the desire for any entrepreneur to avoid tipping his hand too much on the details of a product in development, but as you find other specific questions the folks here will be happy to help. Hopefully you'll find enough interesting in LiveCode that it can play at least a supporting role in your work, and perhaps may even be attractive for the final product itself.
BTW you also in another thread gave me another reason to explain why i have not seen many commercial grade apps - previously being a proprietary language held back revolutions adoption. Makes great sense to me.
When I was a kid proprietary languages were very popular (Director, Toolbook, MS BASIC, others), and even the best tools for working with open languages like C and Pascal were themselves proprietary (Think C, Metrowerks, etc.). Back in those days, what we now call LiveCode was known as MetaCard, and being proprietary didn't hold it back as much as the marketing needed relative to industry giants like Macromedia. Indeed, even as they were promoting Java, at least one Sun office maintained a site license for MetaCard for many years.

But it's a different world now. Developers pretty much require open source for any language to be taken seriously. LiveCode has only been open source about 9 months now, and we're already seeing tremendous benefit from this move in so many ways, from rapidly increasing adoption to code contributions.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

FourthWorld
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
VIP Livecode Opensource Backer
Posts: 6791
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:05 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by FourthWorld » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:40 pm

Hello amthonyblack -

I tend to write many of my posts in a separate editor, and after returning to post my last reply here I see you've since provided more details that make my reply largely irrelevant. No prob. I'll leave my post here in case any of it's useful for anyone else.

Now that we finally have an idea of what you're looking to build, I have to wonder why not just use an off-the-shelf tool like Eggplant?
http://www.testplant.com/eggplant/

Its scripting language is similar to LiveCode so you can leverage what you've learned here thus far, but as a tool dedicated for that very specific task you may find it quite satisfying.

LiveCode's snapshot command and binary operators could be used for much of that, and the event handling to trigger actions in other programs could be handled using LiveCode's externals API.

But since, as you noted, so many solutions for this exist already, it seems a lot of work to take on just to reinvent a wheel.


I appreciate your clarifying the source of your discomfort with LiveCode here:
amthonyblack wrote:No sorry. the bottom line to this discussion is that this is the promise of Livecode

"LiveCode is a flexible software platform that allows you to create any solution, the only limit is your imagination."
I've submitted a bug report to the webmaster, suggesting replacing "any solution" with "nearly any solution", which I agree would be clearer with regard to the native language, and would seem to satisfy your request.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:45 pm

FourthWorld wrote:I wouldn't attempt an HTML rendering engine in LiveCode, but then again very few even attempt that in C. Today there are only three such engines in common use (IE, WebKit, and Firefox); it's a daunting task in any language.
However You do not have to reinvent that wheel to do web automation. there are at least twenty companies i know that do web automation tools and yes most do them in C# and VB
Spidering, scraping, indexing, mashing and dozens of other methods may be relevant. While I've used LC for all four of those, in some cases it's a good fit and in other cases off-the-shelf systems, like Lucene for indexing, are a better choice than any custom one-off, regardless of the language you'd write it in.
Doesn't seem relevant to what I was discussing though - developing a stand alone web automation app -not merely completing a given task
On my plate at the moment are two more projects involving web automation: one is a custom client-server CMS solution for one of the largest privately-held companies in America, and the other is a server-side CMS solution for more general use (I'll be making it available for free later this year; more on that later). Both of these use LiveCode exclusively, for everything all the way down to the data store.
Great! I will be happy to see it. I would have taken a look at hemingway but it seems to have been discontinued some time ago. I am liking what I see on the web side of things no doubt. the only concern i had was for performance on the server as theres little data anywhere I have found on that.
I can appreciate the desire for any entrepreneur to avoid tipping his hand too much on the details of a product in development, but as you find other specific questions the folks here will be happy to help. Hopefully you'll find enough interesting in LiveCode that it can play at least a supporting role in your work, and perhaps may even be attractive for the final product itself.
Thank you. I just needed to adjust expectations by getting a more realistic view of Livecode. Once I realized there were probably petty good reasons why the apps were not that impressive for the desktop, some of which relate to livecode itself, i am now settling in in my mind where it will fit.

Thank you for your time.

amthonyblack
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

Re: Whaat is Livecode realy good for besides mobile apps???

Post by amthonyblack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:03 pm

FourthWorld wrote:
But since, as you noted, so many solutions for this exist already, it seems a lot of work to take on just to reinvent a wheel.
just as like with word processing there are various needs within automation some of which have not been addressed. Frankly I could do with just automation as basic as being able to place variables in web forms like form fillers do, I presume that could be done with post but I have seen indications Livecode has problems sending a click event to browsers. I am still hoping that is not the case. Web automation tools are not quite as arduous as you indicated. I know small C# companies with just two programmers turning them out. identifiying and utilizing selectors such as css being the biggest hurdles.

I've submitted a bug report to the webmaster, suggesting replacing "any solution" with "nearly any solution", which I agree would be clearer with regard to the native language, and would seem to satisfy your request.
More than fair especially to us newbies :) . We know next to squat and cannot read through that kind of language to anticipate later road blocks.

Locked

Return to “Getting Started with LiveCode - Complete Beginners”