Visual programming tools for non-coders

2007-02-18

in Geek stuff, Internet matters

Using Yahoo Pipes, a neat visual tool for making simple web applications, I made an RSS feed that aggregates new blog posts, blog comments, changes to the wiki, and 43(places/things/people) contributions. While this particular feed is probably only of use to me, people may well find the architecture useful for doing other things.

While it will probably never be the case that you can do serious computer engineering without knowing how to write code, tools like this are a good way to deal with the fact that the vast majority of computer users will never write Java or PERL. Designing interfaces which are both flexible and comprehensible to non-experts is quite a challenge, but certainly one worth taking up. Much of the momentum behind blogs is simply the result of the fact that they can be set up and operated by people who have never needed to deal with a command prompt or the configuration of a web server.

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