In computing, a visual programming language (VPL) is any programming language that lets users create programs by manipulating program elements graphically rather than by specifying them textually.A VPL allows programming with visual expressions, spatial arrangements of text and graphic symbols, used either as elements of syntax or secondary notation. For example, many VPLs (known as dataflow or diagrammatic programming) are based on the idea of "boxes and arrows", where boxes or other screen objects are treated as entities, connected by arrows, lines or arcs which represent relations.
VPLs may be further classified, according to the type and extent of visual expression used, into icon-based languages, form-based languages, and diagram languages. Visual programming environments provide graphical or iconic elements which can be manipulated by users in an interactive way according to some specific spatial grammar for program construction.
The general goal of VPLs is to make programming more accessible to novices and to support programmers at three different levels
A visually transformed language is a non-visual language with a superimposed visual representation. Naturally visual languages have an inherent visual expression for which there is no obvious textual equivalent.[ citation needed ]
Current developments try to integrate the visual programming approach with dataflow programming languages to either have immediate access to the program state, resulting in online debugging, or automatic program generation and documentation. Dataflow languages also allow automatic parallelization, which is likely to become one of the greatest programming challenges of the future.
The Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J# etc. languages of the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE are not visual programming languages: the representation of algorithms etc. is textual even though the IDE embellishes the editing and debugging activities with a rich user interface. A similar consideration applies to most other rapid application development environments which typically support a form designer and sometimes also have graphical tools to illustrate (but not define) control flow and data dependencies.
Parsers for visual programming languages can be implemented using graph grammars.
The following contains a list of notable visual programming languages.
Many modern video games make use of behavior trees, which are in principle a family of simple programming languages designed to model behaviors for non-player characters. The behaviors are modeled as trees, and are often edited in graphical editors.
An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of at least a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Some IDEs, such as NetBeans and Eclipse, contain the necessary compiler, interpreter, or both; others, such as SharpDevelop and Lazarus, do not.
In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe the structure and behavior of electronic circuits, and most commonly, digital logic circuits.
Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components. Software development is a process of writing and maintaining the source code, but in a broader sense, it includes all that is involved between the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, sometimes in a planned and structured process. Therefore, software development may include research, new development, prototyping, modification, reuse, re-engineering, maintenance, or any other activities that result in software products.
Helix is a database management system for the Apple Macintosh platform, created in 1983. Helix uses a graphical "programming language" to add logic to its applications, allowing non-programmers to construct sophisticated applications.
A flowchart is a type of diagram that represents a workflow or process. A flowchart can also be defined as a diagrammatic representation of an algorithm, a step-by-step approach to solving a task.
Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW) is a system-design platform and development environment for a visual programming language from National Instruments.
In computer programming, dataflow programming is a programming paradigm that models a program as a directed graph of the data flowing between operations, thus implementing dataflow principles and architecture. Dataflow programming languages share some features of functional languages, and were generally developed in order to bring some functional concepts to a language more suitable for numeric processing. Some authors use the term datastream instead of dataflow to avoid confusion with dataflow computing or dataflow architecture, based on an indeterministic machine paradigm. Dataflow programming was pioneered by Jack Dennis and his graduate students at MIT in the 1960s.
Ben Shneiderman is an American computer scientist, a Distinguished University Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science, which is part of the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the founding director (1983-2000) of the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab. He conducted fundamental research in the field of human–computer interaction, developing new ideas, methods, and tools such as the direct manipulation interface, and his eight rules of design.
Autodesk Softimage, or simply Softimage is a discontinued 3D computer graphics application, for producing 3D computer graphics, 3D modeling, and computer animation. Now owned by Autodesk and formerly titled Softimage|XSI, the software has been predominantly used in the film, video game, and advertising industries for creating computer generated characters, objects, and environments.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to computer programming:
Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio is a Windows-based environment for robot control and simulation. It is aimed at academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers and handles a wide variety of robot hardware. It requires the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
DRAKON is an algorithmic visual programming and modeling language developed within the Buran space project following ergonomic design principles. The language provides a uniform way to represent flowcharts of any complexity that are easy to read and understand.
A workflow application is a software application which automates, to at least some degree, a process or processes. The processes are usually business-related but can be any process that requires a series of steps to be automated via software. Some steps of the process may require human intervention, such as an approval or the development of custom text, but functions that can be automated should be handled by the application. Advanced applications allow users to introduce new components into the operation.
RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics. It is available in two formats: RStudio Desktop is a regular desktop application while RStudio Server runs on a remote server and allows accessing RStudio using a web browser.
Parametric design is a process based on algorithmic thinking that enables the expression of parameters and rules that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response.
ASU VIPLE is a Visual IoT/Robotics Programming Language Environment developed at Arizona State University.
This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, used with permission. Update as needed.