Visual Programming: The Death of Text

Eventually, we won’t be using text to program. That’s my bet, at least. What will we do, then?

We’ll be using VR and AR. We’ll be using gestures and movements to connect sections of logic, blocks of predefined behavior. We’ll be programming with the visual part of our brain as well as the logical, which I tend to think is a good thing.

I’m starting to get into this, with my toolkit for making interactive fiction. See, every other option is pretty garbage. It’s either a text-based format to define stories, or it’s a half-baked GUI with a graph or flowchart-like interface, or both combined. I think I can do better, and I intend to.

The engine, which as you might’ve read, is codenamed “Vonnegut”, will be programmed entirely visually (in all likelihood, you’ll be able to modify the language file being fed in, in the end, but that’s neither here nor there). You’ll click, gesture, tap and touch to make connections between sections, set counters, variables, blocks of common logic in your stories.

That’s about all I’ve got for the marketing aspect of the Vonnegut engine, but what about the speculative aspect, that we won’t be using text to program, in the future?

Text as a programming interface is fucking garbage. There, I said it.

It’s a poor substitute for spatial relationships, first of all. Like you have folders, and files, but does that relay how you think about how these pieces connect? Of course not!

It’s really ridiculous, that a text editor and text files and compilers have existed in their current form for basically the last 50+ years. At least, the last 30+ years – we did see some advancements since the 70s, but jfc, when are we going to see the next leap?!

I’ll bet it’s in the next 20-30 years. I’d bet a good amount that this will happen suddenly, within a matter of weeks, and it’ll happen such that in 20-30 years' time, programming in text will be relegated to the role of assembly programming today.

Any takers?

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