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Alarming Development

Dispatches from the Programmer Liberation Front

Last Build Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2016 17:30:07 +0000



Sun, 09 Oct 2016 17:30:07 +0000

Interesting code-essay from Joe Edelman: Chatterbase. I see this as a reply to my Transcript proposal (now Chorus). It is gratifying to get this kind of feedback. This is how we make progress – it is what academics mean when they talk about how research is a “conversation” – people’s work triggers others to contradict/extend […]

I scare myself

Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:04:42 +0000

I’m afraid the only way to realize the Transcript vision of end-user programming is to start a company. I did that once. After many years of toil and tears I was incredibly lucky to exit successfully and I swore then I would never put myself through that again. I would much prefer to have an open-source […]


Mon, 01 Feb 2016 03:49:43 +0000

A lot has happened in the last year. I left MIT and joined CDG (Alan Kay’s lab), working with Alex Warth. I’ve been going to LA a lot. We are working on an end-user programming tool called Transcript. My Holy Grail has been to radically simplify professional programming. I now realize that simplification is not fundamentally a […]

Why programming languages matter

Sat, 17 Oct 2015 17:57:05 +0000

A colleague asked this question and here is my answer: Programming gives us the power of the Gods to create things out of pure thought. Programming languages are the incantations and gestures we use to perform this magic. Unfortunately we got only the power of the Gods, not their wisdom, and so we have created […]

Subtext by other means

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 23:38:03 +0000

For programming to start over we need to target the fresh minds of non-programmers, and find a new application domain that isn’t already completely built up. I’ll be talking about my next initiative at YOW!: Transcript: End-User Programming Of Social Apps. I’m teaming up with Alex Warth.  

Flux is good enough

Fri, 08 May 2015 16:48:39 +0000

The reaction to my latest work [Two-way Dataflow] has been distinctly underwhelming. My diagnosis: I’ve solved a problem most people aren’t aware they have, and it comes at the steep price of replacing the conventional tech stack. Facebook has a cheaper solution: Flux. I have to give them credit for taking the problem seriously (unlike many of the reactive programming […]

Future Programming Workshop 2015

Fri, 01 May 2015 19:18:05 +0000

The Future Programming Workshop will return this year to SPLASH and Strange Loop. See This year we are taking any kind of media, not just videos. Web pages and papers are welcome too. By request of the academic members of our community we will publish proceedings containing the paper-format submissions. We are applying for permission to […]

New Subtext screencast

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:51:48 +0000

We’ve published the final videos from the Future Programming Workshop. We will also be publishing a final report about our experiences and lessons from the workshop. Included in the videos is my latest screencast about Subtext: Two-way Dataflow. The abstract: Subtext is an experiment to radically simplify application programming. The goal is to combine the […]

The Future Programming Manifesto

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:19:03 +0000

It’s time to reformulate the principles guiding my work. [Revised definition of complexity in response to misunderstandings] Inessential complexity is the root of all evil Most of the problems of software arise because it is too complicated for humans to handle. We believe that much of this complexity is unnecessary and indeed self-inflicted. We seek […]

Programming with Managed Time

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:30:42 +0000

Final version of the paper is up, and an essay with embedded videos is here. Sean graciously invited me to coauthor but the ideas are really his – I just helped spin them. We think there is great promise in abstracting away from the computer model of time. There is a large design space that is […]