[OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

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[OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
"Programming could be much much easier most of the time.
This unnecessary difficulty wastes the effort of professional
programmers, but worse, prevents many people from programming
at all. The problem is a nasty hairball of culture and technology
and money that is not easily untangled"

https://alarmingdevelopment.org/?p=1173

Jonathan Edwards, the author of this article, remembers
HyperCard for "enabling millions of novices to build
simple applications"

Al
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Who said LiveCode lost sight of that?

Oh, it was me.

Richmond.

On 5/8/2018 10:16 pm, Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode wrote:

> "Programming could be much much easier most of the time.
> This unnecessary difficulty wastes the effort of professional
> programmers, but worse, prevents many people from programming
> at all. The problem is a nasty hairball of culture and technology
> and money that is not easily untangled"
>
> https://alarmingdevelopment.org/?p=1173
>
> Jonathan Edwards, the author of this article, remembers
> HyperCard for "enabling millions of novices to build
> simple applications"
>
> Al
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> use-livecode mailing list
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> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Richmond wrote:
> Who said LiveCode lost sight of that?
> Oh, it was me.

Actually, I understand why RunRev do not want to
sell LiveCode as a HyperCard replacement.

LiveCode is multiplatform and this single fact
set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.

In my humble opinion, the future of programming
would be driven by artificial intelligence assistants
and multiple ways of working and interfacing with
the computer using voice, gaze interaction, gesture,
motion, pointer, keyboard, etc...

Al


On Sun, Aug 5, 2018 at 3:16 PM, Alejandro Tejada <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
> "Programming could be much much easier most of the time.
> This unnecessary difficulty wastes the effort of professional
> programmers, but worse, prevents many people from programming
> at all. The problem is a nasty hairball of culture and technology
> and money that is not easily untangled"
>
> https://alarmingdevelopment.org/?p=1173
>
> Jonathan Edwards, the author of this article, remembers
> HyperCard for "enabling millions of novices to build
> simple applications"
>
> Al
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
On 2018-08-05 21:49, Richmond Mathewson via use-livecode wrote:
> Who said LiveCode lost sight of that?
>
> Oh, it was me.

Lost sight of what?

Mark.

--
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LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
On 2018-08-05 22:40, Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode wrote:
> In my humble opinion, the future of programming
> would be driven by artificial intelligence assistants
> and multiple ways of working and interfacing with
> the computer using voice, gaze interaction, gesture,
> motion, pointer, keyboard, etc...

How are all these artifical intelligence assistants, and various drivers
needed for the various forms of input you suggest built?

I don't think there are any magic beans around you can plant to have
them appear...

Warmest Regards,

Mark.

--
Mark Waddingham ~ [hidden email] ~ http://www.livecode.com/
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Hi Mark,

> Lost sight of what?

If I understand Richmond correctly, he is talking that for
many developers the name HyperCard is synonymy
with "vastly easier and more accessible programming"
and that RunRev could have taken advantage of this
for positioning LiveCode among other development
platforms... BUT I disagree, because Livecode is
multiplatform and for everyone else, except Mac users,
HyperCard do not run in their computers.

> How are all these artifical intelligence assistants,
> and various drivers needed for the various forms of
> input you suggest built?

> I don't think there are any magic beans around you
> can plant to have them appear...

After Google, Microsoft, Apple and Linux implement these
features in their operating systems, then every program could
use them. Google could be first, then Apple, later Microsoft
and finally Linux... but I could be wrong in this sequence.

Al
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Hmmmm - I think that is missing the point about what the current 'AI' technologies that exist actually do (as far as I can see anyway - I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong!)...

They are merely mappings from one form input to another form of input - they themselves don't do any action - the actions still have to be implemented somehow.

Alexa for example by itself does diddly-squat beyond map voice to a lower level actionable command (with an element of context, certainly which makes it slightly interesting) - it's the skills that people 'like us' implement which actually do the thing Alexa interprets that we want to be done.

Same with google assistant, siri, wolfram alpha, even google search - I can type 'what is 100 usd in gbp' and it gives me the answer.

However the reason google search can do that is because some programmer at google has added a hook which knows that when that pattern is searched for it should call a program that has been explicitly written which looks up the current exchange rate and then renders the result in a nicely formatted string which appears at the top of the search results.

Warmest Regards,

Mark.

Sent from my iPhone

> On 5 Aug 2018, at 16:08, Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Mark,
>
>> Lost sight of what?
>
> If I understand Richmond correctly, he is talking that for
> many developers the name HyperCard is synonymy
> with "vastly easier and more accessible programming"
> and that RunRev could have taken advantage of this
> for positioning LiveCode among other development
> platforms... BUT I disagree, because Livecode is
> multiplatform and for everyone else, except Mac users,
> HyperCard do not run in their computers.
>
>> How are all these artifical intelligence assistants,
>> and various drivers needed for the various forms of
>> input you suggest built?
>
>> I don't think there are any magic beans around you
>> can plant to have them appear...
>
> After Google, Microsoft, Apple and Linux implement these
> features in their operating systems, then every program could
> use them. Google could be first, then Apple, later Microsoft
> and finally Linux... but I could be wrong in this sequence.
>
> Al
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode


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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Oh, Dear, Mark, I think you've just fallen into my trap . . .

If you've lost sight of something, you . . .

Sorry about that; just too hard to resist.

---

" "enabling millions of novices to build simple applications" "

--

Although, to be fair that's not the problem.

What might be the problem is what we might call "reach".

Every single Macintosh came with HyperCard installed.

Nothing comes with LiveCode installed.

AND LiveCode's uptake is very slim indeed.

I have just started learning Python: NOT because I don't think LiveCode
rocks the socks off almost every other programming language/IDE,

but because of pure economics.

I would like someone to explain why people all seem to want their kids
to learn C++, C# or Python when
they all look like riffs on the PASCAL I studied 33 years ago at University.

And PYTHON comes installed on Macintosh and most Linux distros.

Richmond.

On 5/8/2018 11:46 pm, Mark Waddingham via use-livecode wrote:
> On 2018-08-05 21:49, Richmond Mathewson via use-livecode wrote:
>> Who said LiveCode lost sight of that?
>>
>> Oh, it was me.
>
> Lost sight of what?
>
> Mark.
>

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Hi Mark,

> Hmmmm - I think that is missing the point about what the
> current 'AI' technologies that exist actually do (as far as
> I can see anyway - I'd be more than happy to be
> proved wrong!)...

Well, the point is that all current AI technologies requires
an internet connection to work and AI software that run
in servers is learning thousands of new interactions
everyday from millions active users.

If a thousand small tasks and user interactions prove to be
useful (based in user feedback) and successful (based in
repeated use) for many, many users, then the operating
system will offer these tasks, make them available to you
and all users. Millions of new users.
Step by step, task by task a picture of a more and more
useful AI assistant will emerge thanks to the feedback
and guidance from millions active users.

> They are merely mappings from one form input to another form of input -
> they themselves don't do any action - the actions still have to be
> implemented somehow.

Yes, in a central server. In this moment there are millions creating
these tasks (probably unaware that they are programming too)

> Alexa for example by itself does diddly-squat beyond map voice to a
> lower level actionable command (with an element of context, certainly
> which makes it slightly interesting) - it's the skills that people 'like
us'
> implement which actually do the thing Alexa interprets that we want
> to be done.

Yes, this is programming. Millions active users are doing this
for free in this moment.

> Same with google assistant, siri, wolfram alpha, even google search -
> I can type 'what is 100 usd in gbp' and it gives me the answer.
> However the reason google search can do that is because
> some programmer at google has added a hook which knows
> that when that pattern is searched for it should call a program
> that has been explicitly written which looks up the current
> exchange rate and then renders the result in a nicely formatted
> string which appears at the top of the search results.

The keys to create more useful AI assistants are positive
user feedback and repeated use. Time will tell
which company wins this time.

Al
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
On 08/05/2018 01:48 PM, Mark Waddingham via use-livecode wrote:

> How are all these artifical intelligence assistants, and various drivers
> needed for the various forms of input you suggest built?
>
> I don't think there are any magic beans around you can plant to have
> them appear...

Dang. And I was *so* waiting around for LC11.

--
  Mark Wieder
  [hidden email]

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Mark Wieder wrote:
> Dang. And I was *so* waiting around for LC11.

We already have revSpeak, so I could wait a few years
for the command revListen  :-D

http://docs.runrev.com/Command/revSpeak

Al
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Except for Supercard.

Bob S


> On Aug 5, 2018, at 13:40 , Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> LiveCode is multiplatform and this single fact
> set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.


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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
These are great points. This is why I say that computers don't *actually* do anything. All they do is arrange information in a way that humans can understand and act upon. That human may be a software developer who then feeds that information to a manufacturing device to build a widget. Or it may be information provided to the accountant so that a printer can actually pring the paychecks.

All these are incredibly useful things, but the computer is not "doing" any work in terms of moving mass. And what it looks like they are doing, say flying an airplane or drawing a spreadsheet, is really an illusion created by a long string of software developers to transform information we understand into a binary form, make some calculations, then convery the binary information back to another form of information.

Bob S


> On Aug 5, 2018, at 14:35 , Mark Waddingham via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hmmmm - I think that is missing the point about what the current 'AI' technologies that exist actually do (as far as I can see anyway - I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong!)...
>
> They are merely mappings from one form input to another form of input - they themselves don't do any action - the actions still have to be implemented somehow.
>
> Alexa for example by itself does diddly-squat beyond map voice to a lower level actionable command (with an element of context, certainly which makes it slightly interesting) - it's the skills that people 'like us' implement which actually do the thing Alexa interprets that we want to be done.
>
> Same with google assistant, siri, wolfram alpha, even google search - I can type 'what is 100 usd in gbp' and it gives me the answer.
>
> However the reason google search can do that is because some programmer at google has added a hook which knows that when that pattern is searched for it should call a program that has been explicitly written which looks up the current exchange rate and then renders the result in a nicely formatted string which appears at the top of the search results.
>
> Warmest Regards,
>
> Mark.
>
> Sent from my iPhone


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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
But that too is an illusion. The mysterious servers are not really "learning". They are taking input and then processing it according to rules that a group of software developer somewhere defined. That's why the "A" in "AI" means "Artificial". I think (and therefore I am) we need to keep this focus, otherwise a lot of time and energy will be spent trying to make an inanimate object into a living creature that actually *can* learn. What is REALLY needed these days is finding a way to teach children how to learn, something modern school systems seem to have neglected.

Bob S


> On Aug 5, 2018, at 15:35 , Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Mark,
>
>> Hmmmm - I think that is missing the point about what the
>> current 'AI' technologies that exist actually do (as far as
>> I can see anyway - I'd be more than happy to be
>> proved wrong!)...
>
> Well, the point is that all current AI technologies requires
> an internet connection to work and AI software that run
> in servers is learning thousands of new interactions
> everyday from millions active users.


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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Mark Waddingham wrote:

 > However the reason google search can do that is because some
 > programmer at google has added a hook which knows that when that
 > pattern is searched for it should call a program that has been
 > explicitly written which looks up the current exchange rate and
 > then renders the result in a nicely formatted string which appears
 > at the top of the search results.

Amen.

Before anyone gets too worshipful about AI, it may be useful to consider:

1. "AI" is being bandied about for any software that has more than three
nested "if"s. ;)  I'm exaggerating of course, but really, software is
just software; some is more complex than others, some useful, some mere
flourish, and none of it models human cognitive processes particularly well.


2. One motivation for normalizing the term "AI" is to minimize liability
exposure for wealthy corporations who deploy complex software without
adequate testing. "It has a mind of its own" is not an allowable defense
with any other product, and continued deification of software under the
"AI" label risks losing sight of that.


3. The state of the art suggests we're a long way from anything close to
the Singularity:

Google Translate’s AI starts talking about the end of the world
<https://www.fudzilla.com/news/ai/46790-google-translate-s-ai-starts-talking-about-the-end-of-the-world>

:)

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
  [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
How "multi" is SuperCard?

Richmond.

On 6/8/2018 6:47 pm, Bob Sneidar via use-livecode wrote:

> Except for Supercard.
>
> Bob S
>
>
>> On Aug 5, 2018, at 13:40 , Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> LiveCode is multiplatform and this single fact
>> set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
On 08/06/2018 10:26 AM, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:

> 3. The state of the art suggests we're a long way from anything close to
> the Singularity:
>
> Google Translate’s AI starts talking about the end of the world
> <https://www.fudzilla.com/news/ai/46790-google-translate-s-ai-starts-talking-about-the-end-of-the-world>
>
>
> :)
>

LOL. I was wondering how long before someone posted that.
And in spite of Google's "fixing" the AI translator (fun while it
lasted) if you translate "be do be do be do be do be do be do be do"
from Maori to English you still get "why not why do not you do it?".

Or translate "Ich bi befo" from Maori to English and get "I'm like a
butterfly"

--
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  [hidden email]

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
It isn't.  SuperCard is available exclusively for macOS.  There was an
effort in the mid-90s to port to Windows, but funding dried up before it
was completed so no useful version ever saw the light of day.

Toolbook is also single-platform, Windows-only.

But most of the others were cross-platform to varying degrees:  OMO and
Plus were Mac and Windows, Gain Momentum was Unix and Windows, SenseTalk
ran on Mac, Windows, and Unix.

LC is unique in its expansion to mobile, though.  And today, even
looking beyond xTalks, I don't see any other scripting tool with
integrated GUI elements available for as many platforms.

--
  Richard Gaskin

Richmond Mathewson wrote:

> How "multi" is SuperCard?
>
> On 6/8/2018 6:47 pm, Bob Sneidar via use-livecode wrote:
>> Except for Supercard.
>>
>>
>>> On Aug 5, 2018, at 13:40 , Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> LiveCode is multiplatform and this single fact
>>> set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.


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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
Oh, Yes, ToolBook . .

I had to work with ToolBook in 1998 when I was at the UAE University in
Al Ain, UAE, making EFL "stuff".

Far, far less easy-going than HyperCard.

Sheikh Yer-Bomboms, the chancellor of the University (a man who was
pointed on merit:
the merit of being one of the sons of Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan), suddenly
decided in 1998 that we'd chuck out all
the Macs running system 8 we'd just spent 4 months setting up and
authoring EFL-ware for with HyperCard
and replace them with IBM-compats running Windows NT.

So, when I wasn't teaching women/girls whose faces I couldn't see, I was
sitting between a Macintosh and a PC trying to
reimplement all the HyperCard offerings in ToolBook.

This was a major "fag" as a lot of what I had got going in HyperCard (3D
models of filing cabinets popping open their
draws to reveal Quicktime movies) just did not seem possible with ToolBook.

Arriving in St. Andrews, in Scotland, in 2000, hired to author EFL-ware
for several Mac labs (which I never did as they
redirected my efforts & we had a fight involving the teachers' Union and
so on), I discovered Metacard, and less than 2 weeks later found
Runtime Revolution 1.1.1.

At the risk of sounding extremely corny, after 2 sweaty years with
Toolbook, RunRev was almost like returning home.

 From what I have seen recently, ToolBook seems to have "degenerated"
from a "proper" programming IDE into some sort
of "PowerPoint on Steroids" for business types.

Richmond.

On 6/8/2018 9:26 pm, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:

> It isn't.  SuperCard is available exclusively for macOS.  There was an
> effort in the mid-90s to port to Windows, but funding dried up before
> it was completed so no useful version ever saw the light of day.
>
> Toolbook is also single-platform, Windows-only.
>
> But most of the others were cross-platform to varying degrees: OMO and
> Plus were Mac and Windows, Gain Momentum was Unix and Windows,
> SenseTalk ran on Mac, Windows, and Unix.
>
> LC is unique in its expansion to mobile, though.  And today, even
> looking beyond xTalks, I don't see any other scripting tool with
> integrated GUI elements available for as many platforms.
>

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Re: [OT] The problem with programming and how to fix it

Knapp Martin via use-livecode
In reply to this post by Knapp Martin via use-livecode
I think it might be quite unique amongst x-talks in another way too...

How much of any of the others were written in themselves?

Mark.

Sent from my iPhone

> On 6 Aug 2018, at 13:26, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It isn't.  SuperCard is available exclusively for macOS.  There was an effort in the mid-90s to port to Windows, but funding dried up before it was completed so no useful version ever saw the light of day.
>
> Toolbook is also single-platform, Windows-only.
>
> But most of the others were cross-platform to varying degrees:  OMO and Plus were Mac and Windows, Gain Momentum was Unix and Windows, SenseTalk ran on Mac, Windows, and Unix.
>
> LC is unique in its expansion to mobile, though.  And today, even looking beyond xTalks, I don't see any other scripting tool with integrated GUI elements available for as many platforms.
>
> --
> Richard Gaskin
>
> Richmond Mathewson wrote:
>> How "multi" is SuperCard?
>>> On 6/8/2018 6:47 pm, Bob Sneidar via use-livecode wrote:
>>> Except for Supercard.
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Aug 5, 2018, at 13:40 , Alejandro Tejada via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> LiveCode is multiplatform and this single fact
>>>> set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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