Welcome to the Dictionary of Programming Languages, a compendium
of computer coding methods assembled to provide information and
aid your appreciation for computer science history.
Browse the dictionary by clicking on a section:
Get a full dump of the dictionary:
List of Names
- Language type:
HyperTalk is the scripting language for
Apple's information presentation
system HyperCard. It has a simple and
English-like syntax, a modest set of
general and application-specific
data types, and the usual procedural
control structures. HyperTalk was
designed to allow HyperCard information
collections, which are called "stacks",
to be more dynamic and interactive.
Because Apple envisioned the users
of HyperTalk to be multimedia developers
and not traditional programmers, they
HyperTalk interpreter was designed to
be very forgiving: it allows various
syntactic sugar, type conversion is
automatic, and everything is case-insensitive.
Most of a HyperTalk program will often
consist of handers, subroutines to be
called when the end-user performs some
action or when a certain condition obtains.
HyperTalk supports the notion of
add-on 'external' functions and
commands; these are roughly analogous
to library modules in a language like C.
HyperCard 2 compiles individual HyperTalk
functions into intermediate codes the
first time the function is called. This
is done to reduce start-up time for
There are several versions of HyperTalk.
The two main versions from Apple
correspond to HyperCard releases 1 and 2.
Aldus SuperCard supports a superset of
HyperTalk called SuperTalk.
Commercial implementations of both
are available for the Macintosh. At
one time, SuperCard was also available
for MS-Windows, but that may not be
Atkinson and Winkler, Apple Computer, 1986?
- See Also:
HyperTalk continues to evolve along with
the HyperCard product (version 3 due soon),
but it is unclear whether it is still
going to be a viable language. Apple
is touting AppleScript as THE scripting
language for all Macintosh applications,
so HyperTalk may be superseded.
HyperTalk was very influential on the
niche area of multimedia scripting
languages. For example, the scripting
language used by the current (c. 1997)
market leader in multimedia authorware
resembles HyperTalk in many respects.
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
copy descriptions is granted as long as authorship credit is preserved.
Comments on this dictionary, corrections and suggestions, are all welcome.
Please use email, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org
[Ziring MicroWeb Home]
Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.