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Jolt Awards: Coding Tools

, January 09, 2012 Going to the very heart of the developer's toolbox, we select four outstanding tools.
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Jolt Productivity Award: RunRev LiveCode 5.0

Based on the venerable Hypercard, which begat Supercard, LiveCode uses the same card stack idea for developing application forms as well as containing the code to be triggered by a variety of click, pinch, and I/O events. LiveCode supports all on-board sensors, radios, and cameras on both Android and iOS devices, as well as a variety of resolutions and screen orientation modes. In addition, applications can also be exported to Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops with the appropriate add-on packages, complete with custom application icons and basic look-and-feel widgets.

The main criticism against LiveCode in its current release is its inability to use native widgets and resource files from Xcode and Android projects. Consequently, while scrollers, text views, and other functional aspects are quite serviceable in LiveCode, they just don't look quite right in the native iOS and Android environments. This is due to the cross-platform, uniform widget behavior inherent in the environment, just like Java Swing once had its own peculiar look-and-feel issues.

Still, for those developers looking for an incredibly fast mobile application prototyping tool that can help customers quickly visualize how an iPhone or Android app should function on their devices, LiveCode offers a jolting alternative to traditional mobile app development. — Mike Riley

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