Note: This page has fallen into abeyance; work on FaceSpan 5 has ceased. However, I’ve left this information here, as it might be useful to those interested. Just be aware that the facts may be out of date and that I have no intention of updating them.

FaceSpan 5

What is FaceSpan 5?
First of all, what is FaceSpan? Similar to HyperCard, FaceSpan is a software construction kit; it emerged at the same time as AppleScript, about 1991, and AppleScript is its programming language. As originally conceived, it was elegant and easy to use, a great way for AppleScript programmers to create a user interface for their scripts. It was bought by DTI in 1996. When Mac OS X came out, DTI first let FaceSpan languish, then rewrote it on top of Apple’s own AppleScript Studio, so that it lost most of its virtues and acquired a lot of AppleScript Studio’s faults.
Then in 2005, Mark Alldritt / Late Night Software, for whom I have done some documentation and programming work, bought FaceSpan and started to rewrite it from the ground up again as FaceSpan 5. The idea is to bring back the elegance and simplicity of the HyperCard-type model, where every interface object has its own script, messages are passed automatically up the containership chain, and every object can see every other object and its script. Plus, since Mark also writes Script Debugger, FaceSpan 5 will have debugging built in. This has turned out to be a massive task, but it’s coming along and the results are pretty astounding so far. I’ve been helping out with documentation and other forms of alpha tester support.

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