A short peek at what I’ve been working on, as a postscript to my Direct Programming video.
Programming could be much much easier most of the time. This unnecessary difficulty wastes the effort of professional programmers, but worse, prevents many people from programming at all. The problem is a nasty hairball of culture and technology and money that is not easily untangled. I’ll try to address this essay to a general audience.
Here is a brief description of my latest work in progress, which I am submitting to PPIG.
To make programming more accessible to regular people it may help to make it less abstract and more concrete. Towards that end I am taking another run at the old ideas of macro recording and Programming by Example. Many such efforts abstracted user actions into conventional code. Instead I co-design the PL and UI to be analogous, so that programs and users have much the same capabilities,
Here is the abstract for my next talk:
The need to think abstractly makes programming difficult, especially for normal people. To make programming more concrete I propose to represent programs as data structures reifying their execution. Programming shifts from editing textual abstractions to direct inspection and manipulation of concrete executions. Reified execution also helps ground abstraction through a new testing mechanism: interventions. An intervention tests and overrides behavior
Sean McDirmid and I are organizing the LIVE Programming Workshop at SPLASH. Please consider submitting your work – deadline is Aug 1.