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Journey back in time with me to 1963, when that Sketchpad software to which I linked was unveiled. The same criticisms apply:

"The things this demo shows could have been typed up in text in seconds. Designers will use real design tools to create (rough) visual designs. Engineers will bring those visual designs to blueprints."

And yet half a century later, CAD is firmly in the domain of visual designers, where it seems so obvious that you would have to be crazy to think people would be designing in code. But hindsight is 20/20!

The way forward to visual programming might not be super clear, but we'll get there. If you don't think text-based REPL-style programming is limiting, I encourage you to check out Bret Victor's explorations of abstraction and direct manipulation. http://worrydream.com/




What a poor comparison. Have you actually used any CAD software? None of it works like Sketchpad. Design software in general doesn't use shape recognition, that's a pointless gimmick.

> The way forward to visual programming might not be super clear, but we'll get there.

This isn't even visual programming, nor is it a step in the right direction. My text editor has all kinds of visual tools. The data I edit however is textual, which has a lot of benefits.

> If you don't think text-based REPL-style programming is limiting...

I don't think REPLs are very useful for programming either.

> ...I encourage you to check out Bret Victor's explorations of abstraction and direct manipulation.

I'm aware of this stuff, it looks nice, but I don't think you need an entire visual programming language to get that benefit. If I need visualization, there are lots of tools to use.




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