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LiveCode, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, has a vision that everyone can code and makes the open source LiveCode platform for building native mobile, desktop and server applications. The visual workflow allows the user to develop apps live while the natural language syntax is powerful and uniquely accessible. The company is committed to promoting digital literacy – schools using the platform have seen a doubling of uptake for their CS courses. Commercial successes include both SMEs and Fortune 500 companies. LiveCode apps have grossed over US $100 million and include #1 best sellers, enterprise business systems, games, and productivity tools.

Everyone Can Create Apps


We designed the LiveCode platform to support you in becoming a professional app developer. Whatever app idea you have, with LiveCode you’ll be able to build it. We believe in empowering you and supporting you to be able to realize your vision. Let us be your partners. We’ll be there help you out on every step of your journey.

Whatever the app idea is that brought you to our site, you’ve come to the right place to make it. You don’t need any past experience to get started. We don’t expect that you’ll have written even a single line of code before today. You can build an app for your business or your new startup, add a brand new skill to your resume or get into app consulting. If you need a standalone app, a cloud app, an interactive ebook, a game, an app for your existing business, an Android app, an iOS app, a desktop app, an app for a startup…you can build all of it in LiveCode! We’ll show you how.

Create it With LiveCode

We invite you to take the App Builder course to get started on your journey. As you take the first steps on this exciting new journey we’ll show you how to build perfect replicas of the apps you already know and use every day. By learning how to build those replicas step-by-step you’ll know when you’ve got each app right, and you’ll learn a rich set of transferable skills that will allow you to build your own apps — whatever those might be.

You’re going to find the course incredibly enjoyable. As you start to experience the delight of being able to make your vision take shape you’ll feel a sense empowerment. As you grow in capability you’ll never look at your devices and computers in quite the same way again! Create It will open up a whole world of creativity and possibility for you that you may never have dreamed of before.

The course is well proven – tested in World Bank sponsored project in Armenia (93% of participants were able to build their own app at the end), with the NHS (UK National Health Service) to teach clinicians how to create their own apps, and by individuals the world over starting their first app or app business.

As you go through the course you can ask us questions in the dedicated course online forum area. We’re here to help you succeed.

A Workflow for the Rest of Us


The LiveCode platform allows you to author apps for all platforms from either a Windows, Mac or Linux machine. (The only exception is deployment to iOS, you can create for iOS on any platform but due to third party licensing restrictions you can only build iOS on a Mac at this time and you will need a Apple developer program membership to submit to the store.)

At the start of the app creation process is a drag-drop user interface builder. If you’ve ever used a paint, drawing or presentation program you should find this process familiar. You can simply drag out the user interface elements you want to use. You’ll see your app take shape in front of your eyes. Objects can be customized to each platform allowing you to create native-themed apps. (With LiveCode 8 this process is automatic.)

Once you’ve created your user experience its time to add some code to tell all the objects what to do. To make it as simple as possible, LiveCode sends something called anevent to every object whenever a user does something with that object. Think of it like a postman delivering letters to the objects in your app whenever the user interacts with them. For example, when a user taps a button a touchStart message is sent to that button. If you want the button to do something, you add code to handle (or respond to) this event. You can choose which events you want your program to respond to.

You’ll find that the LiveCode language is based not on complicated programing jargon but rather on English. You can express what it is you want your app to do using straightforward commands. There is still some learning to do – you can think of it more like learning a new language, a simplified and logical form of English. You won’t need very much by way of maths (unless you’re writing a program that involves complex processing algorithms). And as you’re learning you’ll discover that you can describe many actions in just the same way you think about them.

For example, imagine that you want to sort the lines of some text that is displayed on the screen. Many programs need to do that, for example to allow the user to sort a grid of data by clicking on a column header. In LiveCode during the Create It course, you’ll learn to say it like this:

And thats it. Your text is sorted!

Of course, you may want to do more than that. What if your text is comma separated and you want to sort it by the last column, in reverse alphabetical order? Now you will need to learn a little more. Text in LiveCode can be separated by word boundaries (which are auto detected for you by LiveCode in all the world’s languages including Chinese and Japanese) or it can be separated by other characters, for example by a comma. In LiveCode text separated by a comma is called an item (instead of a word). Once you understand that its not too much of a stretch to enhance that sort command to sort in reverse order by the last comma separated column:

sort lines of theText descending by last item of each

Incidentally, to do that in another language (JavaScript — this is NOT LiveCode) you need something like this

theText = theText.split("n");
theText = theText.sort(sort_item_3).join("n");
function sort_item_3(line1, line2) {
line1 = line1.split(",");
line2 = line2.split(",");
if(line1[2] == line2[2]) return 0;
else if(line1[2] > line2[2]) return -1;
else return 1;

Relax, with LiveCode you won’t have to learn how to code like this!

Finally, we know how much there is to keep track of while you’re building your app. That is why everything LiveCode is live. What that means is that you write your program in small chunks, adding capabilities to your user interface step-by-step. Each time you’ve added something you can test it out right away because your new program is always running. That means you get to store a great deal less in your head because if you make a mistake you can usually see it immediately. It’s also great for demonstrating changes in response to a client, a customer, or a tester’s input. Most other software languages require you to do something called “compile” your software, which means you have to wait a couple of minutes to be able to try each change to your software, often having to start at the beginning each time you compile.

Template Driven

LiveCode 8 makes it even easier for you to build sophisticated apps with the minimum of effort. Widget objects allow sophisticated app functionality to be contained in a single object and drag-dropped complete and ready to go into your application.

Examples of widgets include scrolling lists (these can contain hundreds of thousands of items), graphs, header bars, footers and many more. The widgets store allows you to use widgets that others have built – including both free and paid widgets. Widgets save you time and effort.

Widgets can be created to detect the platform your application end-user is running on and change their appearance appropriately. They also provide full access to the OS, allowing you or any widget maker in the LiveCode community, to write a widget that takes advantage of some new functionality in the OS or in a library written in another language.

A License for Everyone

LiveCode Community Edition is an open source edition of the platform licensed under GPL3. That means that anything you create and distribute with this free version also has to be open source GPL software. You can start with the open source version then upgrade to a licensed edition at any time. Open source software has many benefits, include that it allows advanced users to get in under the hood and make changes, then submit those changes back to the project.

Paid licenses start at $499/year for any business making less than $500,000 per year. This allows you to create closed source apps for sale, royalty free. For this price you get the same fully featured app platform that has been used to produce thousands of top apps. It includes a capability to secure the code you write so that it does not have to be open source.

All licenses include the App Builder course which shows you how to create your own apps and help you become an app-business guru. It also includes access to all our Academies, more advanced bite sized chunks of code and video that show you how to perform specific tasks.

We aim to keep licensing as simple as possible, there is no minimum term on the license and you can cancel at any time.

Write once. Run anywhere

When you’re ready, you can deploy your app to iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android (both phones and tablets), Windows, Mac, Linux, and Server (cloud) from one code base. We even have a community supported version for Raspberry Pi.

You have a choice when designing your user experience for each platform. You can build a custom multimedia experience that looks the same on all platforms, or you can customize your app to look native on each one. You can also hook into platform specific features as much or as little as you want to.

LiveCode creates native executables for each platform (using the Standalone Builder capability, next to Save in the File menu). Once you create those executables you are free to distribute them how you want, including to all the app stores: iOS, Mac, Windows, Google Play, Amazon and so forth.

Web browser deployment (using HTML5) is coming later in 2015.

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