"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Thoughts on creating a .NET language targeted at "occupational" programmers

Any thoughts on creating a .NET language targeted at "occupational" programmers i.e. folks that aren't programmers but need to essentially encode/automate an algorithm, run it repeatedly and store the results? I would think this could be a great addition to VSA where an admin assistants with no formal programming training might be able to write a small program to automate a task in an Office app.

Here's a suggestion from the 1970s...

Multics Emacs proved to be a great success -- programming new editing commands was so convenient that even the secretaries in his office started learning how to use it. They used a manual someone had written which showed how to extend Emacs, but didn't say it was a programming. So the secretaries, who believed they couldn't do programming, weren't scared off. They read the manual, discovered they could do useful things and they learned to program.

Here's another idea that was demonstrated in the 1970s...

In 1972 Kay took a job at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC) and began using Smalltalk in an educational context. Young children were exposed to computers and their reactions were analyzed. Kay concluded that children learned more through images and sounds than through plain text and, along with other researchers at PARC, Kay developed a simple computer system which made heavy use of graphics and animation. Some of the children became very adept at using this system; in fact, some developed complicated programs of their own with it!

Yes, I think (no surprise) it would be great if the newest "managed runtime" could manage decent support for the longest-used and most proven "managed runtimes"!

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.