The Electronic Labyrinth

Knowledge Pro

Knowledge Garden Inc. have designed Knowledge Pro to be a programmer's toolkit--providing functions for hypertext, list processing, and interface creation. Two versions exist: KPDOS 1.0 for DOS, and KPWin 2.0 for Microsoft Windows. Judging by the version numbers, development of the Windows product has been given priority. KPDOS, for instance, supports only text modes. We will focus our discussion on KPWin.

Knowledge Pro is sold in a base form ($250) to which extensions may be added. Currently available is support for graphics ($180), video ($300), video disc ($250), and database ($250). KPWin implements the multiple scrolling window interface that is native to Windows. Text fonts, colour, icons, Dynamic Data Exchange, and other options are available. As the product is primarily a toolkit, no navigation features are built in. The object-oriented language is built on a C core, and is designed to hide the bulk of the complexity involved in Windows programming. Low-level calls are possible. A screen designer is included. Notably, this is written in KPWin; source code is provided.

KPWin is available with an unlimited runtime license as KPWin Gold for $550.

Though often mentioned alongside other hypertext products, Knowledge Pro is not for the casual user. It is certainly easier to build an attractive application in KPWin than in C, but the process still requires a programmer. For a review from that perspective, see Hildebrand.

Since KPWin is an interpreted language, it suffers a performance penalty in comparison with those which compile to machine instructions. A newly-released KPWin++ ($895) generates code which can then be compiled by Microsoft C/C++ 7.0. The application is then available royalty-free. It would appear from the availability of this product that Knowledge Garden is promoting Knowledge Pro as a high-end developer's package.

Knowledge Garden Inc.
5116 Hartwick Ln.
West Palm Beach, FL
USA, 33415

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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