LiveCode Server vs LiveCode HTML5: Which Should I Use for My Web Project?

Both LiveCode Server and LiveCode HTML5 are supported on our servers. However, users sometimes confuse the two technologies.

LiveCode Server and LiveCode HTML5 are very different beasts, and while they can be used together in some cases, many web projects should only utilize LiveCode Server.

LiveCode Server apps

Websites and web apps that are powered by LiveCode Server run on the server side, with output data transmitted to the user’s web browser.

Think of a LiveCode Server app as being a replacement for a PHP, Perl, or Python app, except you get to code in an English-like language for the website or web app’s backend.

LiveCode Server, in conjunction with knowledge and implementation of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (where required), is suitable for powering nearly all modern websites and web apps including blogs, forums, and user login areas.

LiveCode stacks can be utilized by LiveCode Server apps, mostly as code libraries. LiveCode stacks running on LiveCode Server do not have their visual interfaces show up in the web browser.

LiveCode HTML5 apps

LiveCode HTML5 apps, like desktop and mobile apps, run entirely on the client side, but within the visitor’s web browser.

LiveCode HTML5 allows your LiveCode stacks — not just their code, but also their visual interface — to run within a visitor’s web browser, with some limitations.

This does not mean your LiveCode IDE (development environment) should be used as a replacement for an actual website editor, or that a built LiveCode HTML5 app should be thought of as being a replacement for what most people would consider to be a modern web app.

Due to their nature, LiveCode HTML5 apps do not in most cases feel like modern web apps, and in addition require noticeable initial loading time to allow the LiveCode HTML5 engine itself to first be downloaded to the visitor’s device.

With this in mind, even though a LiveCode HTML5 app technically comprises HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it behaves more similarly to — and is more of a replacement for — a browser-based client-side app created in Flash or Java (not to be confused with JavaScript).

LiveCode HTML5 is typically only considered when, taking into account its limitations and feel, a quick and dirty conversion is required from an existing LiveCode desktop or mobile app so that it’s able to run within web browsers.

Other specialized uses for LiveCode HTML5 include certain types of in-house web apps, browser-based games, and custom animation.


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