65 posts
Idea for a visual assist for programming
Edited by Shastic on

So Godot dropped visual scripting because only 0.5% of their users were using it.

This reminded me of when Jon asked on twitter for visual scripting language ideas, so users can mod his game. Someone posted this link which has lots of attempts. Dion Systems' idea is not listed there, but it should be, as I think theirs is the most interesting one so far.

http://blog.interfacevision.com/design/design-visual-progarmming-languages-snapshots/

While I was out looking a visual programming idea, I came across this and I was impressed. Why? Because it is trying to solve a problem I have.

Adding Interactive Visual Syntax to Textual Code

"Turning geometrical thoughts into code is hard, and linear text does not do justice to such thoughts. We propose a novel mechanism for conveniently extending textual programming languages with problem-specific visual syntax."

I find plain C very easy to program. You just stack functions on functions and pop them off. Then you have arrays, ifs, and loops which are also easy to understand. The hard part of C is making complex functionality with pointers, or when someone puts arrays inside arrays, because you must visualize these structures in your head if you are very clever, or use pen and paper to sketch them.

while ((Idx > 1) && (PQ->Keys[PQ->Heap[Idx / 2]] > PQ->Keys[PQ->Heap[Idx]]))


These people are trying to come up with a solution for that problem. The example they give is a node graph you animate? using a DSL, and it produces code for you. This would make programming a lot easier, and far less error prone.

Perhaps Dion Systems is also doing this?

186 posts / 1 project
Idea for a visual assist for programming
Edited by Dawoodoz on

I had been thinking about generating images instead of text for debugging, so it seems like a good way forward if it can be scaled up and down for an overview.

Fully visual programming makes collaboration difficult in large companies due to the large files, difficulties with copying and pasting, bugs in the visual interface, frustration with the lack of expressive power...

Anything that lets beginners easily do the same things that others spent years mastering will make developers with low confidence and big egos insist that the company's framework needs to be more dangerous and difficult to use, maybe even use C++ iterators everywhere (instead of letting the compiler optimize away indices and lambdas) mixed with unnecessary inline assembly (instead of portable hardware abstractions), only to keep new recruits out.