[Haskell-cafe] Graphical representation of Haskell code

Ronald Guida oddron at gmail.com
Wed Mar 24 22:20:37 EDT 2010

On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 9:47 PM, Richard O'Keefe <ok at cs.otago.ac.nz> wrote:

> On Mar 25, 2010, at 2:33 PM, Ronald Guida wrote:
> ... a version of map as text ...
> ... a diagram ...
> The thing that strikes me forcibly is that the diagram
> is much bigger than the text.  Not only that, but if
> I am reading it correctly, the text has three lines,
> a type specification and two cases, and the diagram
> covers only one of the two cases.

I agree, absolutely!  One of the things I don't like about schematics (for
digital circuits anyway) is the fact that a schematic is often bigger than
the corresponding VHDL code, and VHDL is a *very* verbose hardware design
language.  On the other hand, sometimes one can visually "read" a schematic
faster than reading the corresponding code.  My preference is to describe
digital circuits using hardware design language.

> This isn't Ronald Guida's fault.  In fact his is a very
> nice looking diagram, and I could figure it out without
> his explanation of the notation, *given* the textual
> version to start from.
> I've seen several visual programming tools, including
> e-Toys in Squeak, and they tend to be really cool ways
> to quickly build programs with trivial structures.
> (I did not say trivial programs: you can build useful
> programs that do highly non-trivial things, when the
> things that are primitives _for the notation_ are
> capable enough.  Some data mining products have visual
> wire-up-these-tools-into-a-workflow, for example.)

I find it easier to "type" what I want to do, using a textual programming
language, rather than having to "drag and drop" and then draw lots of
wires.  I feel the bigger (rhetorical) question is: At the level of code,
what good are visual programming languages?  (To clarify, I know that
diagrams are indispensable for describing designs.  The question pertains to
actual source code.)

-- Ron
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