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Visual Programming Languages: a Survey

Authors:
Boshernitsan, Marat
Downes, Michael S.
Technical Report Identifier: CSD-04-1368
December 2004
CSD-04-1368.pdf
CSD-04-1368.ps

Abstract: Over the past ten years, frequent increases in computer processing speed and graphics display capabilities have made possible a great deal of research and experimentation in the field of visual programming languages. A variety of different design methodologies have arisen from these research efforts, and numerous visual programming systems have been developed to address both specific application areas, such as user interface design and physical simulation, and more general programming tasks. We present a survey of the field of visual programming languages beginning with an historical overview of some of the pioneering efforts in the field. In addition, we present different classifications of visual programming languages, touch on implementation and design issues, and discuss efforts to formalize the theoretical basis for visual languages. We also discuss and examine a variety of the more important projects in the field over the last few years.