Mac users with a passion for multimedia, some scripting experience (HyperCard, Director, SuperCard or AppleScript), and a modicum of Internet savvyness, check out new Allegiant Roadster, a high-performance plug-in for playback of SuperCard multimedia projects on the Web. It's available now for viewing selected sites and for beta testing from the Allegiant web site.
Roadster translates the Allegiant SuperCard authoring technology into a powerful Web authoring tool for delivering multimedia or "Java-like" web applications over the Web. You'll need the current version of SuperCard to build projects for Roadster to run, but SuperCard's not a bad investment anyway, having won the MacUser Editors' Choice Award for "Best New Multimedia Authoring Application." SuperCard's "card & stack" metaphor for authoring "maps" especially well to the Web, and works great as a CD-ROM authoring tool as well.
What Roadster means for Web publishers who are looking for innovative ways to create media-rich Web sites is nothing short of tossing complex HTML scripts and multiple plug-ins out the window. Having a highly interactive scripting language, all popular multimedia formats (animation, vector and bitmap graphics, sounds, movies, RTF text, etc.) plus significant user interface controls in a *SINGLE* plug-in is really empowering.
Web developers can also "pre-load" media under script control, thereby sequencing and locally caching media in anticipation of browser's requirements. The net result is that the user will experience little or no delay when interacting with a site and Web applications will therefore behave much more like traditional "local" applications or CD-ROM titles, with minimal wait times. This is an entirely difference paradigm for Web development and we predict that this will lead to a dramatic increase in the number and variety of potential uses for the Web.
But don't take our word for it exclusively: Keith Martin, a contributing Editor for MacUser UK. Martin wrote last week that "Roadster promises to bring new levels of interaction to the Web without forcing developers to learn C-level programming skills," and "in the right hands, the SuperCard/Roadster combination could even begin to rival the flexibility and functionality of Java applets."
Alasdair Scott, from AMXdigital in the UK (authoring the 4 CD-ROM product "D&AD Interactive '96" in SuperCard), simply said: "Roadster rocks!"
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