I spend my days typing out code in a text editor. But why do words and text get to have all the fun, if under the hood it’s just zeros and ones? This is a talk about some of the other fun, quirky, beautiful ways we could tell the computer how to do our bidding, from visual expressions of logic and spatial arrangements of symbols to manipulating physical objects in the real world.
I’ll start with a visual history of some of the major visual programming languages, with lots of pictures. Then we’ll talk through the ins and outs of some of the hairiest problems for visual languages, like how to do control flow and how to have abstraction and code reuse. Finally, we’ll talk about what it all means. What problems can visual programming solve better than any other paradigm? And are any of these super-creative visual idioms and ideas things we can pull back into our text-based programming worlds?