Visual programming languages


Thus far, graphical programming languages have only very restricted functionality. Like in a Lego set, they have fixed, predetermined parts with limited roles. Consequently, the tools and their languages are only suitable for very specific applications.

Etoys and Alice facilitate entry into (3D) programming, whereas Blockly serves as a macro language for your own web apps. The data flow diagrams from Tersus are useful if the web application you want to create primarily processes data – such as managing addresses or processing signals and images.

The limits of graphical programming languages are clearly shown by Lava: Although the language is flexible and powerful on a level similar to Java, developers are forced tediously to point and click to compose instructions. Drakon shows that not everything advertised as a visual programming language actually needs to be one.

Aside from Drakon and the interpreted Lava, the development environments do not produce finished programs. If you want to launch a game you have programmed in Alice, you need to register to download the development environment. Right now, visual programming languages might successfully occupy a niche, but developers can expect a long wait for their big break.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More