# thinking-together

Eli Mellen

01/28/2024, 2:06 PM
I wanted to bounce 2 terms I've been thinking of off of this group: I dig visual programming, but think the term is like a little bit of a brain poison because it isn't really descriptive of the goals, and, like, almost all textual programming is inherently visual, the way text is. I think @Ivan Reese was the person I first heard float the term "spatial programming," which I dig, but at least for me, it also misses the real value add of what I'm looking for in a "visual" system. So, the two terms I've been kicking around: • relational programming • cartographic programming Neither are perfect, and both feel exhaustingly pretentious (a good thing, may haps?) but my intention with both terms is to highlight that these sorts of systems, unlike text-based programming, help make the relationships between different elements (classes, data flow, inheritance, etc.) meaningful using information other than similar names. Useful? Stupid? Prior art?
I like cartographic over spatial because apple has overloaded the term, recently.

Don Abrams

01/28/2024, 2:16 PM used diagrammatic programming as a subgenre of visual programming

Lu Wilson

01/28/2024, 2:18 PM
"spatial" is becoming very overloaded recently, with apple adopting it for their VR stuff. I use it to specify that it's "not sentential programming". I took it from SPLAT, which stands for Spatial Programming Language with Ascii Text. but i misused it - I took the wrong part. the thing that makes it "non-sentential" is the ASCII TEXT, not the SPATIAL PROGRAMMING. it compiles to Ulam, which also works with spatial data, but using a sentential syntax. essentially I don't care what terminology i use for it. the key thing is that I show how to program by arranging before-and-after diagrams

Ivan Reese

01/28/2024, 3:09 PM
Spatial programming definitely goes way back. I've mostly seen it used in a similar sense to how Apple are using it, so it doesn't bother me too much. (But I haven't travelled much in the automata circles) The term I like is "graphical programming", but I've also learned that this term has some historical usage I don't agree with. So I'm kinda with Lu. It's like trying to describe musical genre. I don't mind doing it for other music, but for my own music? No. Never. I'm just going to make the things that interest me and let others figure out what to call them. (I've been told I make prog rock, which feels about as mortally offensive as claiming "node-wire" is a programming paradigm)

Alex McLean

01/28/2024, 6:25 PM
Oh I really like "cartographic programming". Maps are all about integrating continuous space with discrete markers, and textual labels and they work really well. The metaphor also works for me in terms of the relationship between code and what it represents, being like the relationship between a map and territory.


02/02/2024, 4:19 PM
I agree about text based programming also being visual programming. Ideas off the top: • Untext programming • Mixed visuals programming
I think theres a lot of diversity of what programming can be, so there's no one or few names that can capture that. I think its worth attaching names to some interfaces that seem similar though


02/05/2024, 2:53 PM
diagrammatic is quite good and quite self explanatory to the everyday person.