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Am I the only one that sees commoditization of programming as a good thing? I long for a world where everybody could define simple-to-moderately-complex automated behaviors, without needing to pursue a career in programming.

Tools like Apple's Automator or Android's Locale provide low barriers to scripting for the masses, but they fall short of providing a good, easy to use abstraction mechanism; in the end they amount to classic imperative languages, which are difficult to master.

On the other hand we have the Spreadsheet, the only widely successful End-User-Development tool, ever. This one provides a really good for building abstract data models and workflows - I've seen it used by people without any programming understanding to develop complete form-like applications, collaboration tools and storage repositories. Unfortunately, using those required a lot of repetitive actions. The spreadsheet model does provide a good abstraction mechanism but does not support automation capabilities; you still need a classic scripting language to automate behaviors.

I hope the recent live programming fad initiated by Bret Victor's "Inventing on Principle" will finally produce widely used reactive environments; those are a good basis for non-programmers to begin programming without a steep learning curve and only up to the point that they really need.

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