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Exactly! I'm actually bewildered why some people think visual programming is a good idea at all.

I suspect it has to do entirely with affordances.

Programming in text, you have to learn, in advance, what the commands are that you're allowed to type, and remember them. That's a heavy up-front investment.

Visual programming generally makes it much clearer exactly what your range of options are -- the goal is for the learning curve to be far easier.

Good autocompletion with intuitively named standard library comes close to this. When coding c# in visual studio I very rarely have to look at documentation, you just guess what the class or function might be called and get the options presented for you.

Could be an interesting feature for IDEs to start studying certain control structures, not just function calls and parameters.

I know a guy who does all his projects using Max MSP and loves it.

It's obvious that visual programming is much less expressive than writing code, but it's attractive to people that are afraid of code or are too lazy to learn a new language.

I know a few people who do this, too. They're almost invariably awful about it and completely convinced they're on the "right track" over people actually writing code, too..

It's one avenue of exploration to (further) commoditize programming.

Zero syntax errors.

This is also one of the beauties of text programming. It allows temporary syntax errors while restructuring things.

I've used many visual tools where every block you laid out had to be properly connected, so in order to refactor it you had to make dummy blocks as input and output and all other kinds of crap. Adding or removing arguments and return values of functions/blocks is guaranteed to give you rsi from excessive mousing.

Have you tried using Drakon[0], I really like to use it to visualiase algorithms. It also supports "syntax erros".


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