Hello Dan,

I make my living writing LabVIEW which is drawn rather then written. I presume 
this is what you mean by VPL.

This language would be impossible to use without a mouse. 

Another language that used to compete in the same space as LabVIEW was HP VEE. 
It would have also been impossible to use without a mouse. 

From: Dan Stowell <dan.stow...@eecs.qmul.ac.uk>
To: PPIG Listserve <Ppig-discuss-list@open.ac.uk>
Cc: Thomas Green <green...@ntlworld.com>
Sent: Tue, March 8, 2011 3:40:35 AM
Subject: Visual and text languages


I'm fairly new to the PP literature. Thomas's self-promotion led me to his 
interesting 1996 paper on visual programming languages. "Overall, we believe 
that in many respects VPLs offer substantial gains over conventional textual 
languages, but at present their HCI aspects are still under-developed. 
Improvements in secondary notation, in editing, and in searching will greatly 
raise their overall usability."

As someone who does a lot of work in textual languages - in particular, 
livecoding - I'd be interested to know what the state of the literature is on 
VPLs, especially in comparison against text languages. I haven't been able to 
find a recent survey, any recommendations?

(Also, as someone who has had RSI, I wonder about the accessibility of VPLs via 
purely keyboard control...)


On 01/03/2011 17:32, Thomas Green wrote:
> Er, a spot of self-promotion here ..... the various types of comparison
> I did in the past led to a framework which attempts to make some sense
> of the underlying trade-offs, the cognitive dimensions framework,
> developed by me and lots of other people. Stefano, if you simply want to
> know whether your new tool works, then you probably just need to do an
> experiment and stop; but if you want to know why it works (or doesn't),
> you might take a look at that framework. There's a resources page here:
> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/CognitiveDimensions/
> CDs analysis is quite quick, though very vague. It's actually quite
> possible that it would reveal problems you've overlooked .....
> Thomas
> --
> The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
> exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland
> (SC 038302).

-- Dan Stowell
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Centre for Digital Music
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

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