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Debate: Are drag'n'drop / automatic programming tools good or bad for the industry?


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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:08 AM

I suppose part of the point I was trying to make; was that although you might set a property manually or you might set it via a GUI. Essentially your doing the same thing; and really the reason the GUI builder can exist is the design of the software (highly regular and modular etc.)<br /><br />I agree with WingedPanther about understanding what the tools are doing; I think maybe that is more of a definition of a programmer or developer; they might use a RAD tool but they know exactly WHY they are using it.

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#26 BenW


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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:55 AM

Also, lets keep Scratch out of this discussion. Scratch isn't meant for professional development, but for educational purposes. It's meant as an intro to programming. And it's much more complex than most other generator tools actually, it simply abstracts the hard parts with its intuitive interface, predefined concepts and easier (graphical) syntax.

Perhaps, but Scratch-based tools such as Stencyl are being used professionally, with some pretty good results from people who wouldn't otherwise be able to program.



#27 LinkChef


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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:52 PM

If I've learned anything from life, the only way to get a problem done in the future is if you understood how you fixed it in the first place.  Although drag-and-drop is an easy, and sometimes good way to get it done quick and dirty, you don't understand the concepts behind it.  Plus, 90% of a programmer's time is maintenance.  If something goes wrong, and you don't understand why because you don't know the mechanics behind it, well, you're fired bud.  Simple as that.  I feel drag-and-drop should ONLY be used as a way to introduce someone to programming, or as a unique concept for something else, (anyone remember WarioWare DIY for DS)?


And to defend traditional coding even more, I have to agree with a few previous threads, the names I cannot remember, but you know you who are.  People are still going to have to be able to do the nitty gritty coding, even assembly.  If our society moves further and further away from traditional coding and more to drag-and-drop, very few people will know traditional, as drag-and-drop would become a standard, and even less could do assembly, which is essential for drivers and operating systems.  And in my opinion, I would like to see more OS's in general to compete with the big 3, as it's a very cool challenge, and people can see what they can do together, and gives people options.


Anyway, I'm not a fan of drag-and-drop.  It's more a toy than anything and shouldn't be used except for as a toy, or as a learning mechanism.  It's not a serious programming tool.  And let's all remember that computers are stupid.   They can't do a thing without us.

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#28 Yannbane


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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:17 AM

I agree wih you @Link, except that drag and drop tools are useful learning tools. Children should be thought in simpler environments, text-based nonetheless.

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#29 LinkChef


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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

I agree wih you @Link, except that drag and drop tools are useful learning tools. Children should be thought in simpler environments, text-based nonetheless.


However, not all children learn the best with text.  And with the advent of iPads and other things getting into their hands nowadays, some of them, but not all, are better at learning with the visual stuff.


Just a little reminder, although I feel like everybody's heard this at least once, there are 3 approaches one can take to teaching and having someone understand it:


1)  Teaching with Text/Audio.  This is the way schools have been doing it ever since the beginning.  It's fairly common, and everyone seems to do it for someone else at least once in a while.

2)  Teaching by showing.  This is by actually doing the thing you're teaching to someone else, but not letting them have their hands on it.  Some people seem to get this one better then just by text/audio, and why it's been an approach for kids who may not be good at traditional school work.

3)  Teaching by doing.  Sometimes, nothing makes sense until you dip your toes into it, and then people start to understand it because they face a problem, and they take prior knowledge to fix it.  The funny thing about this style is that it depends at least a little on the first two.  It's kinda interesting.


I personally am attuned to 1 & 3 more, but mostly one, because I'm old skool.  However, what I'm trying to get at here is everyone learns their own ways, so drag-and-drop may be good for one kid/person learning, and it may be the absolutely worst experience for another.  However, I did have to amend my statement and say this, so thank you @Yannbane. 

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