The spirit of HyperCard lives on with the release of LiveCode 6.0 from Runtime Revolution (RunRev for short) in two versions — a free open-source LiveCode Community edition and a LiveCode Commercial edition meant for developing professional applications. This follows the successful Kickstarter campaign to rejuvenate the cross-platform toolkit, which exceeded its funding goals in late February (see “LiveCode Crowdfunds Free, Open-Source Update,” 22 February
The 6.0 release of LiveCode is an “as-is” edition, promised as the first outcome of the crowdfunding effort. A few weeks ago, RunRev’s chief, Kevin Miller, explained in a blog entry that this version involved reviewing and updating the current code base to make sure it fully complied with the terms of the open-source license chosen by the company. The 6.0 release also required updating documentation, reworking licenses, and other cleanup tasks. The work starts next on the complete overhaul funded by the Kickstarter project.
LiveCode 6.0 can be used to develop apps that run on OS X, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux platforms, and the free LiveCode Community edition can be used to create apps for yourself or for commercial purposes. However, the GPL license used by RunRev requires all apps created using the LiveCode Community edition be open source and the source code be made public, even if you’re selling your app.
If you want to keep your source code away from prying eyes, you can opt for the LiveCode Commercial edition, which is offered as a $500 annual license subscription or via other licensing options starting at $499 (for embedding a LiveCode component in a single iOS app; pricing can rise depending on the number of employees in your organization). Additionally, if you plan to make your app available through one of Apple’s App Stores, you’ll need the Commercial edition, as the GPL license is incompatible with Apple’s own licensing requirements.
To learn more about creating apps using LiveCode, RunRev is offering three tutorials (called “academies”) — an overview plus two others oriented toward creating games — that can be purchased separately for $50 or bundled together for $99 for a one-year subscription.
LiveCode 6.0 can be run on Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger on PowerPC-based Macs, 10.5.8 Leopard and later on both Intel and PowerPC systems, and 10.6 Snow Leopard and later on Intel-based Macs. The free LiveCode Community edition download weighs in at 54.1 MB, and you can view the full list of changes from version 5.5.4 in this downloadable PDF.