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On holistic programming languages.

July 20, 2013

An interesting followup to the “Programming without Text Files” post from my friend Tom Brasington.

Das Glasperlenspiel

m0003 540My friend Maxime recently blogged about “Programming Without Text Files”. I’ve always wanted to be one of those bloggy people, and being fairly lazy and uncreative I’ve decided to shamelessly purloin the topic for my inaugural post. I figured I’d share some of my own thoughts in this area of “programming without text files” and beyond.

So, what is “programming without text files” anyway? What does it mean for a programmer to “[edit] the underlying data structures directly?” I think that this is probably a subtle distinction, but a potentially important one.

All programming is ultimately done by manipulating an AST – what difference is it if we do it “directly”? After all, IDEs can give us a lot of nice features (autocompletion, autorefactoring, etc) so that we are not always laboriously typing out a textual representation of our program. Isn’t writing code which essentially “generates” an AST and…

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