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I disagree with that. I think programmers don't even like to use flowcharts very often because they are too limiting. As you're perfectly aware, when you code you quickly stop thinking in terms of "this happens, then that happens, than maybe X or else Y". You're more likely to think like "I need those two things combined and spliced into that third thing in a way that depends on Z".

The way we work with text makes it easier to construct and layer abstractions. Having twenty thousand different boxes in a graphical language is not something we're used to in a way we can have twenty thousand different words in code (or in a sentence) - and if you start treating boxes as letters and grouping them, you're essentially inventing a textual language right there.

I'm not saying visual programming is a dead end - but I feel we need a much different style than just boxes with arrows. For one, text seems to exploit human ability to pattern-match much better than box diagrams; that's why we feel text is denser in information. Making diagrams more information-dense is not an area I recall to have seen explored in visual programming, but maybe we need to go there.

Anyway, best luck with the work on FMJ!




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