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Graphical Programming Language Hack Chat

Love blocks and graphics? Hate coding in words? New to coding? We'll be discussing graphical programming in this chat!

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Friday, August 18, 2017 12:00 pm PDT - 12:30 pm PDT
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Hack Chat
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Boian Mitov will be hosting the Hack Chat on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Hack Chats are (almost) always on Fridays at noon PDT.

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Some people just don't like to code. To help with this, many graphical programming platforms have been developed. Graphical platforms abstract  the functions, variables and syntax rules from the underlying code and provide blocks with a drag-and-drop interfaces. Some people find this type of programming easier to learn and use to build their apps. 

@Boian Mitov is a software developer and founder of Mitov Software and Visuino. He  specialized in the areas of video, audio, Digital Signal Processing, data acquisition, industrial automation, communications, computer vision, artificial intelligence, parallel and distributed computing. He is a regular contributor to the Blaise Pascal Magazine.

Boian is the author of the OpenWire open source technology, the IGDI+ open source library, the VideoLab, SignalLab, AudioLab, PlotLab, InstrumentLab, VisionLab, IntelligenceLab, AnimationLab, LogicLab, CommunicationLab, and ControlLab libraries, OpenWire Studio, Visuino, and author of the “VCL for Visual C++” technology.

TL;DR :: we'll be discussing:

  • Overview of graphical programming, why it works
  • How to develop a graphical programming language
  • Visuino. Visuino is a language designed for non software developers to program Arduino and similar microcontrollers. 

Here's the sheet to guide the discussion.

  • Graphical Programming Language HackChat Transcript

    Shayna2 days ago 0 comments

    Shulie Tornel Okay, let's get started!

    Shulie Tornel @Boian Mitov Can you start us off with a short bio about yourself

    Shulie Tornel and what you do and have created? :)

    Boian Mitov Sure...

    Boian Mitov I got hooked on electronics, when I was about 14 or so

    Boian Mitov It was back in Bulgaria where I was born

    Bossman I have some questions on visual programming in general

    Boian Mitov My father was mathematician, but he was also hooked on electronics, and used to do some cool projects at home

    Boian Mitov This got my attention, and I asked him to teach me

    Boian Mitov As a typical mathematician, he refused, and instead gave me a bunch of books to reed :-D

    Bossman more questions relating to your outlook and opinion as to what role you think visual programming will play in development: can it be used to augment learning of tradtional programming or will 'replace' traditional programming roles and put engineers into more complicated roles, etc.

    Shulie Tornel @Bossman Please add it to this sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L54ps__sTScIQqamefYh95n4K9Ldz0UBSbx4_miYEq0/edit#gid=0

    Boian Mitov I guess the idea was, if I survive through them I will never give up...

    Bossman What are your thoughts?

    Boian Mitov Well... it took the 3th book or so before I really found something interesting. It was a book called "Electonics- the modern hobby" ( Kind of resonates nowadays too :-D )

    Boian Mitov And this is how I got hooked

    Boian Mitov but lets go to the question

    Boian Mitov For the last 200 years, since the Charles Babbage mechanical computer, and Ada Lovelace, the computing hardware has made some considerable advances....

    Boian Mitov However we still program computers the same way as she did 200 years ago...

    Boian Mitov The modern computer architectures are quite different than the early days and traditional programming approaches do not map well in programming GPUs with thousands of micropores, and even less so when programming FPGA for computing unless we burn a virtual CPU in the FPGA, effectively negating its advantages

    Boian Mitov The problem is that traditional computer languages with few exceptions are designed for sequential execution. This is fine for a single CPU core, but completely inadequate for a parallel system, GPU, FPGA or a computing cluster

    Boian Mitov To be able to utilize this type of modern computing platform, we need to change the way we describe the problem and teh solution

    Boian Mitov instead of describing it as a sequence of operations, we should describe it as a flow of data, and processing performed on that data, and let the computer distribute the task of the execution, the way a compiler converts high level code to assembly

    Boian Mitov Added bonus to this approach is that it is quite easy to visualize

    Boian Mitov In addition it is much more intuitive. Lets think of a large organization versus a single person

    Boian Mitov A single person will write a list of things he/she needs to do to achieve something

    Boian Mitov when you have a large organization however this approach does not work any more

    Boian Mitov instead the organization creates a product/document etc. flow, and describes what each unit in the organization will perform over the product.

    Bossman Fantastic explanation. As someone that uses visual programming on other projects (web apps, mobile, etc.), the question many of us have is "what are we learning?" / "what skills are we really developing here that can be put to use at an organization outside of this project"

    Boian Mitov So now we have the 2 approaches. The sequence programming and the dataflow programming

    Boian Mitov @Bossman Thank you! :-)

    Boian Mitov @Bossman The short answer is that we learn "the future of programming" ;-)

    Shulie Tornel We have another question

    Boian Mitov...

    Read more »

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