Service: Design Research
Tech: HTML, CoffeeScript, Raphaël
Frustrated with some of VVVVs design decisions, I set out to fix things myself – and created WWWW, a browser-based 'graphical' programming environment. 2400 lines later, I came to appreciate those decisions.
WWWW features emacs-style keyboard-only controls, where everything – creating, moving, linking nodes, entering values, etc. – is done via keyboard. It also uses a neat way of argument matching, so that any node can process inputs of varying length and depth (e.g. adding [1,2,3] to [[4,5],6]). There are also a few nodes wrapping Raphaël functions to draw graphics and visualizations.
In the end, WWWW is fun for quick sketches but grows tedius very fast. As an experiment, it taught me a few things about interface and PL design; most obviously: that even the best ideas must bear the scrutinity of actual implementation, and that finding the one true unified way of doing things is hard.