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Script for creators

NextScript is a next-generation script engine that enables development of iOS applications just by text-base markups. You can develop an iOS application by marking up the resource file and logic using a text editor.

Best suited for creating picture e-books

NEXTBOOK, Inc. is a publisher specialized in electronic publications. NextScript was developed in the process of promoting the efficiency of creating NEXTBOOK's own picture e-books. You cannot expect the expansion of the creator base for picture e-books if the picture e-books can be created only via Objective-C programming. So, specializing to a certain extent in picture e-book creation, NextScript has been developed with the aim of enabling creators themselves to write the script. Moreover, now we are releasing it so that it can be widely available for free, in the hope of expanding the creator base of iPhone/iPad picture e-books.

Expected level of skill

Creators are expected to have experience in writing HTML and/or ActionScript manually, but they do not need to have any full-fledged programming experience in Objective-C, etc. Meanwhile, NextScript is a script engine worth considering even for skilled programmers with extensive experience.

HTML-like development method

The first characteristic of NextScript is that you can mark up everything for an application in a text file format called "JSON". You can define things like how the objects within a screen are structured, how they behave, how the screen transitions from one to another, and their related variables, triggers and user events all in one single JSON file for each screen, and manage those files necessary for the application in folders. This is just about the same as the development of a website by managing folders containing HTML files defining the contents. Just as the groundbreaking markup language called HTML provided creators website creation skills in the early 90's, now NextScript provides a markup environment for creating iPhone/iPad applications.

Minimum learning requirements

The second characteristic of NextScript is that it boldly simplifies the script functionalities to the fullest.

- There are only 23 classes for pre-prepared objects.
- There are only 2 basic functions "start" and "stop" that trigger the behaviors of objects.
- There are only 18 sentence structures to define the logic.

This is a conclusion drawn from NEXTBOOK's own contents and experience, and you can give your application a surprisingly high level of expressiveness with just this amount of functionality. If you are a creator with some experience in HTML and/or ActionScript, you can master this script in only one day.

Applying plug-ins

NextScript is a script engine with limited functionalities and is not universal. However it contains a plug-in concept that could make it universal. You need some programming knowledge but adding given Objective-C code as plug-in will enable you to freely utilize objects and/or logic that NextScript does not support natively. By applying this functionality, you can create the same application as you develop using Objective-C from scratch. In other words, NextScript is a collection of design patterns typically needed for picture e-book applications, and enables you to define them in a simple JSON format instead of programming them from scratch in Objective-C. By plug-ins, developers can cover, as needed, patterns not prepared by NextScript.

No memory management necessary

The headaches always accompanying programming in C/C++ or Objective-C are the difficulty in memory management and the abnormal termination of an application. In NextScript the memory management of a marked up object is taken care of by the script engine, so you do not have to need any knowledge in C language-like memory management. Even a creator without any programming experience can create an iOS application that would not abend. This would be useful for skilled C programmers, too.

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