Thread: Ideas for a graphical "programming" environement

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    Ideas for a graphical "programming" environement

    Weather it is ourselves or someone else it is inevitable that someone will try to either create or improve a graphical "programming" environment (haven't researched it yet) either for extracting code out of people playing around or for learning purposes (I think the former is best), I want this thread to be where we suggest and debate ideas for such an environment (if I ever get round to it I'm thinking of trying this in the format of something like dragon quest builders 1 & 2), to that end here are my 1st 2 ideas:

    1. Represent numbers with canistors holding liquids, oil for unsigned integers, liquid metal for signed integers (so that a magnet can represent the sign bit and be lit up when active, the liquid metal can rise to the top making it easier for peops to progress to actual programming when they have that concept in mind)

    2. Represent pointers with portals (like in portal 1 & 2), this concept should make it easier for people to understand that changing a pointer is like changing a portals destination, it doesn't change the operation of the pointer but rather what is being seen from the pointer

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    For loops of any kind I'm thinking of cogs, for how to activate the loop in order as it would in code I'm thinking of maybe a half pipe with water flowing upto something connected to it that blocks the water's flow until the main cog stops and unblocks it.

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    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    Is this some kind of toy for young children?
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Is this some kind of toy for young children?
    Both

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awsdert View Post
    Both
    Think about it, how many times have you seen someone not understand a basic concept in programming, wouldn't it be easier to help them understand with something visual that happens to be fun? That's the intent behind this idea, if it's done well enough it will be used as a teaching tool and reduce the number of people asking about basic concepts

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    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post

    Not anywhere close to what I had in mind,go youtube "dragon quesy builders 2" thats the kind of environment I'm thinking of

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    For if statements I'm thinking of some sort of piston device with the booleans being processed underneath the pistons blocking progress in the false state

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    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    You're going to be explaining your metaphores more often than you'll be explaining the real concepts to begin with.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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    Registered User awsdert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You're going to be explaining your metaphores more often than you'll be explaining the real concepts to begin with.
    They're not exactly metaphores, like I said I'm imagining this to be a "game" environment with all the concepts of programming represented by something tangible (digitally speaking that is) that behaves in a similar way making it easier for new programmers to grasp how to use syntax properly by likening their behaviour to how they're represented in this "game" enviroment, the intent is that these "game" objects will have a 1 to 1 representation in C89 in other words this "game" environment should be able to translate it's objects to and from C directly without any handlers like say
    Code:
    game_object_if( game_object_gt( game_object_int( "argc"  ), game_object_int( "1" ) ), game_object_code_block( game_object_return( "0" ) ) )
    Sure while it's interpreting the code the internal could look like that but when saving and loading it should dealing with normal C89 ie:
    Code:
    if ( argc > 1 ) return 0;
    If the code can be correctly represented then it is easier for newbies to visualize how each bit of code would behave (assuming they struggle to understand logic concepts), plus can you honestly say you would not occasionally programme with a "game" environment like Dragon Quest Builders has when it is probably more fun? Heck it might even make it easier to find subtle bugs sometimes by just looking at how the "game" environment represents your code (at this point I will note that I intend it to have a means of displaying the code in text in addition to the visuals being used to represent that code)
    Last edited by awsdert; 6 Days Ago at 11:09 AM. Reason: another typo

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