On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 8:51 AM, John Daughtry <j...@daughtryhome.com> wrote:

> There is a lot of scattered research on visual languages... some more
> directly studying visual languages than others. Some extant work is about
> visual languages when the researcher doesn't even realize it (a colleagues
> work on visual ACL router configuration comes to mind). What are, say, the
> three biggest open questions/challenges in visual languages? Is there a
> meta-paper that perhaps discusses VL from such a high level?
> John Daughtry

Yes, there is.  Jon Barwise and John Etchemandy's seminal paper Visual
information and valid
reasoning<http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=115667>is the best
place for you to start.  I own this paper via hardcopy text of Logical
Reasoning with Diagrams <http://www.amazon.com/reader/0195104277>.
Barwise's other book, Language, Proof, and
deals with even more issues and explains things like the subtleties of
interpreting natural linguistic sentences.

Another book that has nothing to do with visual languages, but I'd
recommend, is William Kent's Data and Reality.  That book simply explained,
way ahead of its time, the struggles of dynamically distributed, dynamically
federated systems like most Enterprise Resource Planning / Customer
Relationship Management / Accounting / Billing stovepiped and integrated
solutions deal with.  The reason I think its pertinent to this discussion is
that many languages use in enterprises, like dialects of UML, tend to miss
what is hard about the underlying problem they are trying to use the visual
language to solve.  I think this explains why many programmers find UML
ineffective for their tasks.

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