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Apps as Code...

Make it possible for user to directly edit an app, and teach kids to program much better.
  [vote for,

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 permitted 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 code -- 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 to terms. After all, the code (what the program exactly does) gotta be part of the terms of user agreement with respect to them and their device.

...Legal code.

Inyuki, Nov 23 2020


       Wait - do people still write apps in interpreted languages? Aren't they all compiled nowadays?
pertinax, Nov 23 2020

       Ah, Hypercard - I miss Hypercard
hippo, Nov 24 2020

       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.
RayfordSteele, Nov 24 2020

       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...
theircompetitor, Nov 24 2020

       What's wrong with saying that?
Voice, Nov 24 2020

       // 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".   

       The ideas of:   

       - 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, Nov 24 2020

       [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.
zen_tom, Nov 24 2020


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