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   Re: [xml-dev] Does WTSIWYG make simplicity moot? (was Re: [xml-dev] dtds

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Paul Prescod wrote:

> Note that languages/systems that depend on IDEs have no evolutionary
> staying power. [...] And every attempt to
> make programming languages deeply visual has failed.

Not so.  The most illuminating thing for me was to have spent a couple of years
as a multimedia developer, using Macromedia's Director.  Its programming
language, Lingo, is Turing-complete, blah blah blah, and you can use it to do
everything in Director, but you don't have to.  We had one guy with a Pascal
background who did *everything* via Lingo, to the point where I think he reduced
his productivity by doing so.  We had other developers who were not programmers
at all, not in their own minds, but they could use the visual metaphor to build
completely fit-for-purpose multimedia applications.  Sometimes one of the more
hard core programming types might have to add some extra Lingo code as required,
but that is OK.  Director opens up development to a far larger group of people
than most programming languages do, by lowering the level of entry.

What makes Director different to more typical programming IDEs?  Director has
to appeal to both programmers & artists.  It would be a failure in its target
market if it didn't.  By contrast, many technical specs never rise beyond an
ASCII view of life and the universe.  So it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that
they sometimes seem best handled using the plainest text editor available.

Anthony B. Coates, Information & Software Architect
MDDL Editor (Market Data Definition Language)


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