Gallery of programming UIs

I’ve assembled a gallery of notable/interesting user interfaces for programming, as inspiration for the next Subtext. [Google Slides]

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  2. mitch
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Great work, thanks for this!

  3. Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Impressive collection! However, I didn’t see DrawFBP , which captures much of the Flow-Based Programming (FBP) philosophy and experience. FBP has been in use, in various implementations in many different programming languages and systems, for over 40 years. See also the 5 videos on DrawFBP, listed near the end of this web page.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      How good is FBP at creating single-page apps, with all the bells and whistles, such as authentication, automatic REST APIs, etc?

      • Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Hi Terrence, this collection contains a large number of diagramming tools, which is why I posted a comment about DrawFBP, which is the diagramming tool supporting “classical” FBP. DrawFBP allows the designer to design an app using top-down design, associate components with nodes on the diagram, and build a running program. DrawFBP does not make any assumptions about which components you are using, as long as they conform to FBP conventions. There are a number of links to web pages and videos which you can follow if interested. HTH

  4. Posted May 7, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    As the author of that tool, I still think the Rebol language itself does a better job:

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Hi Nick, your guide for RED programming was what I used when I recently took a tour into Red. I think the author gave you some feedback on some typos in the programs from me.

      Anyway, I was interested in Rebol until I did further research and realized that Rebol is basically Lisp functional expressions and that Lisp saw their futility as far back as the 60s and thus performed a Rebol-ectomy on Lisp:

      How good is Red/Rebol at concurrent programming? It will be an add-on and afterthought and hopefully it works out well.

      Red certainly is approachable and readable. And a welcome addition to the open source language space that Rebol was not.

  5. mark
    Posted May 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Props for your time investment.

    For convenience, could you also provide a .pdf variant?

    On my (old) computer, the google docs are a bit slow.

    • James Scott-Brown
      Posted May 8, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Click on the gear symbol on the bottom left, then ‘Download as PDF’.

  6. Posted May 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Good job, very thanks for this.

    You can add ACPU also I working for future UI also.

  7. Sean T. McBeth
    Posted May 8, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Also check out the DrRacket GUI for the Racket programming language

    It has things like arrows to connect function calls to definitions, and inline-image rendering in source code.

  8. Ward Cunningham
    Posted May 8, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I spend a lot of time learning how a system (or its designer) wants me to think. My best thinking ever has been with Kent Beck, pair-programming in Smalltalk. I’ve reflected on this recently.

    Although its computational model was simple, we never felt limited by it since we spent our hours working with our own abstractions. Allen Wirfs-Brock described Smalltalk-80 as the pinnacle of the near exhausted line of imperative programming languages. I don’t disagree. But I do think that the language, its implementation, and our methods made a combination I’ve not seen eclipsed since.

    • Posted May 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ward,

      It is amazing what can be achieved by the best people with the right attitudes and the sharpest tools. But these days I’m interested in enabling regular people without expertise to get simple shit done with computers. That’s quite a different problem.

      • Ward Cunningham
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        I failed to mention how much I enjoyed going through your slides and then reading further about Subtext. I know Alan Kay was disappointed that Smalltalk-80 turned Smalltalk into a programmer’s tool. Worse, there is so much accidental and even intentional complexity in modern devices which makes your challenge that much more difficult. But then, regular people are more clever than ever. I laud your intentions.

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Ward. Have you ever thought about what would be the “wiki” of programming languages?

      • Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        I’m interested in enabling regular people without expertise to get simple shit done with computers.

        I’m interested in complex shit for programming becoming simpler for us.

        Hopefully brain surgeons dont decide to outsource their simple operations to someone else. They are trained specialists who took time to hone their craft and deserve the income and responsibilities they have earned.

        Wolfram language is a good example of making things approachable.

        And yes, automation is the future, both in hardware and software. But how is 4 years of computer science going to be simplified for someone with a high school diploma? Is that even reasonable?

  9. Fabian
    Posted May 8, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  10. David C
    Posted May 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I feel like there should be at least one of Borland’s text-only Turbo C/C++/Pascal IDEs in there 🙂

  11. Nick
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Impressive collection of slides. Thank you.

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.