Runtime Revolution

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Developer(s) Runtime Revolution, Ltd
Stable release 3.5 / July 2009
Operating system Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris
Type Programming
License Proprietary
Website Runtime Revolution, Ltd

Runtime Revolution is a development environment of the Revolution programming language developed by Runtime Revolution, Ltd in Edinburgh, Scotland for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris.



Revolution began as an expert IDE for MetaCard, a development environment and GUI toolkit originally developed for UNIX development and later ported to support Microsoft Windows and Mac OS compilation. Runtime Revolution Ltd acquired MetaCard in July 2003 and released subsequent versions under the Revolution brand.

MetaCard built on the success of its predecessor HyperCard. Both HyperCard and MetaCard utilized an English-like language that arguably was easier to learn than BASIC.


The Revolution environment consists of a powerful and easy to use programming language, called Transcript, an IDE framework, and an engine, which are all used together as a Rapid Application Development solution for cross platform development. It natively supports both older PPC based Mac OS X targets and the newer Intel based Mac OS X; Revolution was the first third party development IDE to support Mac OS X on Intel.

Revolution projects can be deployed as standalone applications or as Revolution Player files. Revolution Player files utilize the Revolution Player as an external runtime.

The IDE allows building of graphical user interface by dragging controls into a visual environment, with interactive feedback and modification of existing and custom properties through property inspectors. The Revolution control palette includes both native application controls (edit fields, menus, buttons, operating system specific dialogs) as well as media controls such as a movie player and support for direct control over audio, text-to-speech, transparency and blend modes of all visual objects and more.

Although Revolution generates cross-platform applications, it is still possible to add operating system specific features. For example, it is possible to utilize Quartz graphical features of Mac OS X, execute VB Scripts on Windows, and run UNIX shell applications.

Revolution can support third-party media such as QuickTime (including Quicktime VR) and Flash. The development environment is used to develop software applications more quickly than traditional languages and the company has successfully grown a consultancy business designed to bring software to market in very short time periods. This is promoted under a Challenge RunRev banner where the company claims it can take on virtually any software development project and do it faster in the Revolution language than any other programming language.

The company is supported by a number of investors including Mike Markkula who originally invested in Apple Computer Inc in 1976 and brought that company to market.

Runtime Revolution hosts an annual developer conference which is normally held in the USA. However, it is was held in Edinburgh, Scotland from September 1-4 2009. The opening public keynote address was by Dr Robert Cailliau co-developer of the world wide web, with around 150 delegates in attendance. The 2010 conference will be held in San Jose, California.

On 11th November 2009 in San Francisco, the company officially launched version 4.0 of the Revolution programming language, officially bringing the powerful and fast revTalk language to the web.

Late 2009 the company launched the RunRev Partner Program giving all people programming in the rev language the opportunity to work more closely with the core rev development team. This provision of dedicated Technical Account Managers is part of the continued development of the rev language and is desgned to make it even more accessible.


Runtime Revolution contains a built-in help system.

A wiki for user-authored documentation:


Revolution runs on:

  • Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP, and Vista
  • the following UNIX variants:
    • FreeBSD or BSDI
    • HP-UX 10.20 or later
    • SGI IRIX 5.3 or later
    • Linux Intel 1.2.13 ELF or later
    • AIX 3.2.3 or later
    • Solaris 2.5 or later (also 2.3 and 2.4 for SPARC systems only)
    • SunOS 4.1.x or later

Standalone applications written in Revolution can run on the above, as well as Windows 3.1 and Windows Vista (with limitations).

Current Editions

Revolution has three editions: Media (entry-level), Studio (core product) and Enterprise.

Revolution Media is an entry level product that includes all of the controls and general features and includes wizard-like templates for media oriented solutions. Revolution Media projects always display a backdrop, do not have database connectivity built in and are limited to playback using Revolution Player.

Revolution Studio allow development and debugging on a single operating system but compilation to all supported operating systems from the same source code. Revolution Studio includes drivers for several databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Paradigma Software Valentina (Database).

Revolution Enterprise allow development and debugging on all supported operating systems and includes drivers for Oracle and SSL.

Studio and Enterprise editions offer per-user (not per-machine) licenses. The owner may install and use the software on as many computers as they personally use.

See also

External links

Personal tools

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