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Thread: Is there a very user fiendly high-level computer language system?

  1. #1
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    Is there a very user fiendly high-level computer language system?

    I have often wondered how celebrities manage social media 'like' notifications for example. If a celebrity gets one like from a stranger they won't really want as notification; maybe 100 likes, or a like from someone they follow etc.

    I expect there are ways, but is there some kind of language system that lets people write a sort of code in plain English?

    eg.
    every 100 followers that like, give me a notification.
    If @BillWotsit gives me as like send him a picture of a moose..

    A simple app maybe that people could tell their phone, social media system etc what to do.
    Formerly Frog march.

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    ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    I have often wondered how celebrities manage social media 'like' notifications for example. If a celebrity gets one like from a stranger they won't really want as notification; maybe 100 likes, or a like from someone they follow etc.

    I expect there are ways, but is there some kind of language system that lets people write a sort of code in plain English?

    eg.
    every 100 followers that like, give me a notification.
    If @BillWotsit gives me as like send him a picture of a moose..

    A simple app maybe that people could tell their phone, social media system etc what to do.
    Your title seems unrelated to your text.

  3. #3
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    Decent social media software has notification settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    I have often wondered how celebrities manage social media 'like' notifications for example. If a celebrity gets one like from a stranger they won't really want as notification; maybe 100 likes, or a like from someone they follow etc.
    Staff. That's why celebrities have administrative assistants and publicists. They're not writing code to deal with such things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    I expect there are ways, but is there some kind of language system that lets people write a sort of code in plain English?
    I have seen a few attempts to do this over the years. One problem is that they end up requiring such a rigid (and unnatural) style of "plain English" that they are not much easier to use than any other programming language.

    The other problem is that programming is hard. Mainly because of the level of detail that needs to be defined. This is exemplified in a system from the 1970s (I think) that was called "The Last One": the idea was that you would just tell it what you wanted your program to do and it would write the code for you. There was a lot of hype, but people quickly found that telling it what you wanted in sufficient detail was exactly the same task as writing the code. It was never heard of again...

    The nearest to what you suggest can be achieved through visual programming tools. For example, a Twitter filter that allows you to select an "event", the number of them to wait for, the action to take when that is reached, and so on. The options can be described in English and the restrictions are built into the user interface. The tool could then generate an English sentence describing what you have "programmed" to check that you have got it right. (Whether anyone has written such a thing for Twitter or any other social media, I couldn't say).

    But my immediate reaction was the same as Swift: staff. You tell them what you want in plain English and they arrange for it to happen.

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    User-fiendly?

    INTERCAL
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Someone once said ""When they make it possible for programmers to write in English, they will discover that programmers cannot write in English."

    I've seen enough examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Someone once said ""When they make it possible for programmers to write in English, they will discover that programmers cannot write in English."

    I've seen enough examples.
    I suspect the programming language " English" would make legalese seem clear and concise.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    It will probably be awhile before I can verbally describe a video game I'd like to play and a program will write the code for it. We might need real artificial intelligence. Even then the programmer software would probably have to ask for a lot of details and clarifications, so it might not be so fast. Or maybe my personal AI will learn what I like and what I mean when I use certain phrases and eventually not need to question me so much.

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    By “user fiendly” do you mean a computer that eats users?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    By “user fiendly” do you mean a computer that eats users?
    A programming language that eats programmer's brains, maybe.

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    COBOL was supposed to be self-documenting. It's just like English, they said. DO-THIS. DO-THAT. DO-SOME-OTHER-DARN-THING. MOVE IN-REC TO OUT-REC. WRITE OUT-REC. STOP RUN. Miller time! I liked the idea.

    But when I was studying it, the preferred method was "structured" and involved things like PERFORM 0030-INIT-MODULE THRU 0030-INIT-MODULE-EXI, and woe if you didn't indent it just right. You had to use a hierarchical numbering system for the subprograms ("paragraphs") and observe strict rules on entering and exiting.

    Somehow, the initialization at start and shutting down at end were a big deal, even though the rest of the program might look, on the surface, like one instruction. "DO-EVERYTHING-ELSE". It seems that you weren't allowed to use variable names like X and Y no matter how generic the task. No, your names had to have at least 40 characters and six hyphens and reflect some real construct.

    Well, perhaps I've overstated my case, but a typical Strictured Cobol listing didn't read as English!

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    If This Then That is simple but powerful.
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    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jens View Post
    by “user fiendly” do you mean a computer that eats users?


    sent from my iphone using tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by strange View Post
    a programming language that eats programmer's brains, maybe.
    intercal!
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    intercal!
    I was thinking of another one, whose name cannot be mentioned on this forum!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I was thinking of another one, whose name cannot be mentioned on this forum!
    The one that does unspeakable things to minds?

    Or perl. There. I said it. On the forum. Perl.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I was thinking of another one, whose name cannot be mentioned on this forum!
    One that starts with a B and ends with a k? Or maybe just Ook or, worse, Pascal?
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    My first experience with coding was on a punched paper tape. Our mainframe computer at work used it and the guy in charge offered to teach anyone willing to learn. So I signed up. After a few lessons he told us to write our own simple program. I did and ran the tape through the reader.

    Nothing. So I ran it through again.

    Still nothing. So I called our instructor.

    "Hi. I can't talk now. Somebody did something and the payroll program just bombed out. Gotta go. Bye."

    It was a few years before I tried coding again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    My first experience with coding was on a punched paper tape. Our mainframe computer at work used it and the guy in charge offered to teach anyone willing to learn. So I signed up. After a few lessons he told us to write our own simple program. I did and ran the tape through the reader.

    Nothing. So I ran it through again.

    Still nothing. So I called our instructor.

    "Hi. I can't talk now. Somebody did something and the payroll program just bombed out. Gotta go. Bye."

    It was a few years before I tried coding again.


    My first programming (a freshman computer science course in PL1) was on punchcards. They smartly kept the payroll system away from the student computer system. I wish I still had some punchcards, they make great bookmarks.
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    The 50-instruction limit RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) "language" on my HP 55 was my best fiend at one time, but that may be saying more about me than about the language it used. I still have that fiend, and at last check, it still worked.
    Depending on whom you ask, everything is relative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    My first experience with coding was on a punched paper tape. Our mainframe computer at work used it and the guy in charge offered to teach anyone willing to learn. So I signed up. After a few lessons he told us to write our own simple program. I did and ran the tape through the reader.

    Nothing. So I ran it through again.

    Still nothing. So I called our instructor.

    "Hi. I can't talk now. Somebody did something and the payroll program just bombed out. Gotta go. Bye."

    It was a few years before I tried coding again.
    I once hit the "run" button after some coding in the PLC of an active dredge vessel, after which the entire vessel went dead exactly 200ms later. Including the pumps that were pumping heavy, settling, slurry through a long pipeline. Then the surprised operator spotted me. That is when I understood why that button is called "run".

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    In the 1980's our mainframe computer, for Customs, could only do "big" searches of data on the weekend. I once put in a some search parameters with a missing parenthesis or similar and caused the machine to run only my search, unsuccessfully, for the entire weekend. The hundreds of other search requests from all around Australia failed. I was not very popular on Monday. (For those of a technical bent I can see that we were running an ICL Model 4/72 which was an equivalent of a RCA (Sperry) Spectra 70 in 1972. But I don't know what we had progressed to by the 1980's.)

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    I once sent the compiled binary file of my program to the printer instead of the source code listing. The random binary stuff got the printer to shut down, and it had to be reinstalled. (This was at a nuclear facility, but, relax, the printer was safe.)

    In college, I managed to put an infinite loop in a program of mine so that the same line got printed over and over. Coming back from dinner (we did that in those days) I was presented with a whole box full of paper with the one line repeated. The operator didn't scold me ... he should have stopped the thing, (you can easily "hear" the pattern when this happens) but he was probably out in back smoking when it happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    It was a few years before I tried coding again.
    The last time I tried that--it was 1984.

    Apple IIe

    i froze it up but good. The class computer whiz couldn't even figure out what I had done.

    Stupid me thought all these things would be good for were grocery lists and knock-offs of pitfall harry or whatever.

    Now if only we could get figure out what language the chotbots used with each other
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    My first programming (a freshman computer science course in PL1) was on punchcards. They smartly kept the payroll system away from the student computer system. I wish I still had some punchcards, they make great bookmarks.
    My first programming (Fortran) was also on punch cards, and I still have one tucked into a now-ancient geology textbook. On the back side of the card I drew out a chart of the geologic time scale for quick reference.

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    Check out the language called LabVIEW. I've worked with it just a bit.

    What you do is to drag object symbols that represent hardware (and software) constructs into your work space, then "wire up" the inputs and the outputs appropriately. All of the programming concepts (branches, decisions, tests) are there, it's just that you do it visually rather than with words and statements. You wire (by connecting points with a line) the input file thingy to the reader thingy, then pass it to a loop that really looks like a loop, providing a counter to branch afterward -- and the branches really are branches.

    Actual hardware items (lamps, amplifiers, speakers, card readers ...) can be included in the program. You really can start a motor or turn on a light, or so I'm told.

    You do type in labels and a number now and again, but much of the time the keyboard is superfluous. The program is pretty much its own flow chart.

    You'd think it would be language independent and even accessible to non-readers, but properly-used comments and labels would be a barrier to that.

    I suppose the idea is that every hardware component should be delivered with an accurate software representation to be directly connected to it, or else the representation should be created. Then, wire it up correctly, and that's it! (Your mileage may vary.)

    It should appeal to people whose focus has been primarily hardware. I guess that I have a software mind, which si why it didn't work for me. Some of us are just not so visually oriented. I hate having control panels -- computer, TV, automobile, air conditioner, etc. -- with pictures instead of labels. ("Which is "START"? Ah, it must be this thing that looks sort of like a hand holding a --, what is that thing? Guess I have to try it. Click. Oh no!") Also bad if you're color blind or nearsighted, I'd guess.

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    Ideally, the compiler would scan my brain while I sleep and my program would be waiting for me in the morning.

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