Best Native App Development for Armenia: LiveCode

After undertaking a successful Kickstarter campaign in early 2013, RunRev officially launched LiveCode 6.0, the very first open source edition of its native app development software, which is great for Armenia. Till now, the cross-platform coding environment, which targets both amateur as well as professional developers, had been available to app developers as a paid service.Since Native App Development is Armenia has become so important, We think LiveCode deserves a look.  The company aimed at giving more users the opportunity to work with LiveCode and hence, started a funding campaign in the hopes of collecting funds in order to release its open source version.  After raising $749,000, the company was able to realize its dreams and has now released its free community edition, making the service available to anyone who seeks to develop fully featured apps for both desktop and major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux.

LiveCode may seem like an odd “top pick” because there are probably no users currently in Armenia (or none that we could find). But it is a system that has been around for some time and also recently won the  2013 Mobile Devices Readers’ Choice Awards Winners. It’s focus is also as a development system for multi-platform desktop applications for the Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems, in addition to iOS and Android mobile devices.

Why is LiveCode the Best Native App Development for Armenia?

LiveCode is designed with an intuitive user interface to make application development easier using a language that uses an understandable English-like syntax, that is a quick and powerful package for app design. It will allow you to develop apps with a lot of support for the features offered by iOS. The list of items it supports is rather extensive, but if I had to name a few I would mention support for scrolling, graphics, the accelerometer and motion detection, multi-touch gestures, media playback and much more.

 

You can read all of their features by going to their website, but the main reason we selected LiveCode for mobile development is for one simple reason - it is easy and free to get started! Many traditional programmers (myself included) will not like LiveCode because of it’s simple natural language syntax. I have been a C programmer for over 20 year and would have just selected XCode as the best native app development system - but it is not. Very few people who start ever make it past the first few weeks of trying.

I think there are thousands of people in Armenia who wish to become programmers but will NEVER be able to learn and be productive in Apple iOS’s Objective C or Android’s Java. For this review, it becomes an issue of how we can get more people in Armenia becoming productive programmers as quick as possible. I think that answer is LiveCode.

RunRev (developer of LiveCode) CEO Kevin Miller said, “By introducing the first open source version to the community, we’re introducing significant new features that our customers have been asking for, all designed to improve productivity and workflow. For users new and old, LiveCode 6.0 is our most exciting release yet and will truly change the way people learn and establish careers around programming and development.” We here at iTechnology.am could not agree more.

 

Open Source + Commercial = Best Option

LiveCode 6.0 can be used to develop apps that run on Mac 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 to be open source and the source code be made public, even if you’re selling your app. But this is a great way to learn the basic concepts of software development FREE. One of the reasons I liked LiveCode was that is also has an option to migrate out of the free and open version, into a commercial version which people can profit from.

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 as well as other licensing options starting at $499. Additionally, if you plan on making 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.

 

Understanding LiveCode

 

LiveCode is based on the Hypercard code concept of programming first developed by Apple for the Macintosh (maybe because it was how I first learned to program it has a special relevance for me). HyperCard is based on the concept of a “stack” of virtual “cards”. Cards hold data, just as they would in a rolodex. Each card contains a number of interactive objects, including text fields, check boxes, buttons, and similar common design elements. Users “browse” the stack by navigating from card to card, using built-in navigation features, a powerful search mechanism, or through user-created scripts.

Users build new stacks or modify existing ones by adding new cards. You place design elements on the cards using an interactive layout engine based on a simple drag-and-drop interface.  The layout engine is similar in concept to a “form” as used in most rapid application development (RAD) environments such as Microsoft’s Visual Basic.

The design elements, applied to the cards, are tied together and thus forming an app using the English-like language that I mentioned earlier. That language is similar to other scripting languages, but is much less so then even Javascript. You do all your development and testing in real-time, which helps beginners because they do not need to compile first.   Once you are done with the coding and design,  you can actually then  test your app in the iPhone Simulator that ships with Xcode. Once you get the hang of it, LiveCode is quick and easy.

 

Getting Started

  1. Download and Install the Community version
  2. Start with the online free course from Live Code.
  3. Pick your first project to create an App and make it happen!