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Apps as Code...
Make it possible for user to directly edit an app, and teach kids to program much better.
I remember learning to program, with gorilla.bas game. When I wanted to
change my abilities to throw a banana at velocities and directions not
by the game, I started editing it with F4 in DOS. This lead to attempts to edit
other games, and that -- the ability to gain powers in games
by editing their
-- is what was the main driver in learning to program.
To achieve this effect, interpreted apps on modern phones and laptops
would have an edit button or
function, so that user could edit and see their source code before agreeing
terms. After all, the code (what the program exactly does) gotta be part of
||Wait - do people still write apps in interpreted languages? Aren't
they all compiled nowadays?
||Ah, Hypercard - I miss Hypercard
||I took Assembly, Pascal, and FORTRAN 77 in college,
because we mechanical engineers apparently
needed time with deficient, derelict, and decrepit
languages because no self-respecting computer
scientist goes into manufacturing products, and we
struggle onwards with flotsam from programming
equivalents of bad B-rated movies.
||I mostly hate programming now.
||I was deep in the throngs of rejection after Michio Kaku told
me I'm unlikely to become an important physicist (he told
that to everyone in the class, not just me, mind you) when I
took my first Fortran class.
||I came home and said to the wife, jesus christ, I cannot
believe people get paid to do this.
||that was in 1982, I have not worked a day in my life since...
||What's wrong with saying that?
||// I might be missing some subtlety to Inyuki's idea, but I can't figure out
what's new about it. //
||The way I see this would work, is that an operating system would have
the "edit" button, allowing to edit the apps in. For example, right now, to
edit an app, one has to have to launch an IDE, use things like Android
Studio, and a computer, then, do extra settings to get hands on actually
doing something. This is a prohibitive sequence of steps for most kids
with a smart phone.
||The subtlety is a bit in the way the idea jumps from source code
editability as educational tool, to source code viewability as part of legal
tool. This reminds me of instances when [Max] used to point out my
incoherence -- that I sometimes write instead of "thrust... acceleration...
lift" something more like "thrust... accreditation... parmesan".
||- source code editability for ed
- source code viewability for legal
||are certainly not new. The application of editability for education at scale
is not seen to me. For example, I hadn't seen an operating system,
where right-clicking an app's icon would give the user an option to edit
the app's source code, and where you'd have the File->Edit/View
Source option while running arbitrary app. Actually, there's nothing wrong providing that option
even for binary and compiled apps.
||[Inyuki] this used to be the paradigm in the forefront of
the unix+open source movement, where all the source
code for everything from the OS upward had its code
available for viewing, editing and sharing around. If
something didn't do quite what you wanted, people would
literally pour over the source-code, figure it out and
tweak it their own way. All the code was by convention
written in C.
||Since those heady days (I may be romanticising here, I
never did any of this myself, this was just the (rather
envious) sense of open source rock-stars I got from this
scene) - much of the OS world has closed up, made
walled gardens with app-stores and so on, closing down
the amateur scene somewhat. But li/unix is still a thing
very much and whilst there's no direct money in it, it does
still largely stick to this open-source set of values.