Tactile programming language

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Tactile programming is the specification, development, interaction with and interpretation of computer programs through a touch-centric interface. It is based on the ideas behind visual programming languages, particularly in the interaction and development of software with visual-graphic, rather than text-based, interpretations which can be "dragged-and-dropped" with a mouse in order to develop the software's functionality.

However, tactile programming applies the visual programming paradigm within a touch-centric framework:

  • the widgets which are dragged-and-dropped to create software programs are expanded to better reflect touch interaction rather than mouse interaction
  • other secondary input devices for software programming may be practically replaced by computer-rendered, virtual visual-graphic equivalents, such as a virtual keyboard.
  • concurrently-running emulator runtimes for same or similar operating systems as the one on which the software-based tactile programming interface resides may be used to test the stability and functionality of code without risk of data or interface loss.

Theoretically, tactile programming could become the ideal programming interface for software developers who use multi-touch and multi-touch touchscreen computer devices within the next decade, be it in a standalone (i.e., iPhone and MacBook Air) or multi-user (i.e., Microsoft Surface and Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall) scenarios.

However, at the moment, the only examples which exist of tactile programming IDEs are Visual AgenTalk and AgentSheets.


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