Subscribe: Alarming Development
Preview: Alarming Development

Alarming Development

Dispatches from the Programmer Liberation Front

Last Build Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2017 15:49:21 +0000


Reifying Programming

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 18:08:01 +0000

Here is the abstract for my next talk: The need to think abstractly makes programming difficult, especially for normal people. To make programming more concrete I propose to represent programs as data structures reifying their execution. Programming shifts from editing textual abstractions to direct inspection and manipulation of concrete executions. Reified execution also helps ground […]

LIVE Programming Workshop

Wed, 24 May 2017 17:43:37 +0000

Sean McDirmid and I are organizing the LIVE Programming Workshop at SPLASH. Please consider submitting your work – deadline is Aug 1.

Gallery of programming UIs

Thu, 04 May 2017 13:25:05 +0000

I’ve assembled a gallery of notable/interesting user interfaces for programming, as inspiration for the next Subtext. [Google Slides]


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 […]