Keep it Simple and ... Basic?
I just found the following design goals for a programming language on Wikipedia:
- Be easy for beginners to use.
- Be a general-purpose programming language.
- Allow advanced features to be added for experts (while keeping the language simple for beginners).
- Be interactive.
- Provide clear and friendly error messages.
- Respond quickly for small programs.
- Not require an understanding of computer hardware.
- Shield the user from the operating system.
The fun part is, that these rules are not for HyperTalk, but rather for ... Dartmouth BASIC. So, considering these goals could just as well have been Dan Winkler's goal when designing HyperTalk ... compare BASIC and HyperTalk, and how well they solved these problems considering hardware limitations of their time. Done that? Good.
Now, imagine HyperTalk was BASIC, and imagine how a new HyperTalk using the assumptions of 2006 instead of 1987 would look and behave. I don't think it would look much like SuperTalk or Transcript. Inform 7 is already closer, but there has to be something more...