Runtime Revolution announced their Kickstarter to create a dual licensed open source version of Livecode. This is a major next step for the platform – you can continue to ship commercial, closed source applications under the original plan, plus there will be a way to create your own open source apps free.
LiveCode is the true descendant of HyperCard, the one-time Apple product that made it possible to program visual objects in an English like language. Runtime did though what Apple didn’t do – instead of killing a wonderful product, they made sure you can build your apps on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and also deploy to Windows, Linux, MacOS X, iOS (yes, iPad and iPhone apps!) and Android. There is even a server-side solution.
Why use LiveCode? For one, its an extremely productive environment. The language is easy to learn – especially if you have no background in programming and do not want to become a hard core programmer. This allows specialists of all kinds – doctors, artists, chefs, etc – anyone with a specialized set of knowledge, to build applications around their specialized knowledge sets. The first company I owned, which was a translation/localization/testing company in Japan, had a set of localization tools built with the predecessor to LiveCode – which I learned to use with just the product itself and a stack of manuals…in Japanese.
Now even if you are already a programmer, or you want to pursue a career as a programmer, LiveCode is still an excellent product. You can get started sooner rather than later on building useful applications and, you learn in the process most of what you need to know conceptually that will carry you over to any other languages you might pick up later (and LiveCode is fully extensible with extensions you can write in other languages like C++).