Making Software Design As Simple As Creating A PowerPoint Presentation
from the good-or-bad? dept
A few months ago we wrote about Charles Simonyi's efforts to build tools that would make creating applications as easy as making a PowerPoint presentation. While we wondered whether or not that was really possible, others were more afraid of the inevitable "idiot-ification" of programs if that happened. People like Edward Tufte insist that the dumbing down of our thinking by PowerPoint has dangerous consequences - so just imagine how he (and others) will react to the dumbing down of programming. Already, people revolt against ideas like Visual Basic. News.com, though, is running an interview with Simonyi where he describes in more detail the ideas behind Intentional Software. It doesn't sound quite as drastic as the original descriptions (though, still quite revolutionary, if it can be pulled off). They're not trying to build the tools to make it easier for non-programmers to program themselves. Instead, they're building a system so that programmers can build an environment for non-programmers to build subject-specific programs, which is actually quite different. As he explains, before, programmers would talk to subject matter experts about what they were trying to do, and then try to build a program that represents that. The goal of Intentional Software is still for the programmers to talk with the subject matter experts - but then to build a system for the subject matter experts to build their program. It still sounds like a very difficult task, and one that I'm sure will still draw plenty of complaints.