Bret Victor's Substroke

I don't recall this being mentioned before. Bret Victor has some notes on the web about a visual transformation language he has been thinking about.


Like pretty much everything he writes, it's worth reading and thought-provoking.

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Looks interesting. Possibly

Looks interesting. Possibly worth adding that
Mathematica 6
seems to offer some similar interactive visualisation capabilities.

not sure I see it

I don't see how he is abstracting over time in the panes, unless it is in some sort of streaming computation sense. Close to what is being posted, I feel obligated to cite tangible functional programming (, which I see as having similar goals and having a fun formal foundation to build off of. When scratching my head about composable abstractions that can be visualized with things like timelines, the best I had came up with is something like executable fragments of temporal logics parameterized by some base language for instantaneous computation (in the spirit of RT-FRP). Fun problem :)

The general area for user oriented programming seems to be getting more tractable (projects for mashups, rich media, and whatever it is that frameworks like max are for). There's a lot of annoying wasted time in making rich experiences, so I consider it is an important area for research in productivity improvements.