Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Just adding a bit to how pervasive this is: Blender, Cinema 4D, Max/Pd, Reaktor, Foundry's Nuke, Quartz Composer/Origami and Logic's environment are all examples of creative software that use some form of visual programming language. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that, outside of software engineering, it's the default approach (scripting interfaces are more common but less used, e.g., I'd guesstimate that over 90% Blender users use the node editor, while less than 1% of Photoshop users use its scripting interface).

From my analysis, most of the evidence points to visual programming languages actually being better. But.... there's just one problem, it's not plain text. The advantages of plain text are so powerful, and so pervasive, that they're like oxygen: We're so accustomed to them that it's hard to imagine a world without it, where we'd all be walking around without helmets on. Why is plain text so important? Well for starters it powers version control and cut and pasting to share code, which are the basis of collaboration, and collaboration is how we're able to construct such complex systems. So why then don't any of the other apps use plain text if it's so useful? Well 100% of those apps have already given up the advantages of plain text for tangential reasons, e.g., turning knobs on a synth, building a model, or editing a photo are all terrible tasks for plain text.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact