visual programming language

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

visual programming language

(VPL) Any programming language that allows the user to specify a program in a two-(or more)-dimensionsional way. Conventional textual languages are not considered two-dimensional since the compiler or interpreter processes them as one-dimensional streams of characters. A VPL allows programming with visual expressions - spatial arrangements of textual and graphical symbols.

VPLs may be further classified, according to the type and extent of visual expression used, into icon-based languages, form-based languages and diagram languages. Visual programming environments provide graphical or iconic elements which can be manipulated by the user in an interactive way according to some specific spatial grammar for program construction.

A visually transformed language is a non-visual language with a superimposed visual representation. Naturally visual languages have an inherent visual expression for which there is no obvious textual equivalent.

Visual Basic, Visual C++ and the entire Microsoft Visual family are not, despite their names, visual programming languages. They are textual languages which use a graphical GUI builder to make programming interfaces easier. The user interface portion of the programming environment is visual, the languages are not. Because of the confusion caused by the multiple meanings of the term "visual programming", Fred Lakin has proposed the term "executable graphics" as an alternative to VPL.

Some examples of visual programming languages are Prograph, Pict, Tinkertoy, Fabrik, CODE 2.0 and Hyperpascal.

Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.lang.visual (NOT for Visual Basic or Visual C++).
References in periodicals archive ?
Microsoft Visual Programming Language (MVPL) is a part of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS).
Patchwork: A visual programming language and some musical applications.
Both students used Kudo, a visual programming language utility for designing games that can run on Xbox 360 and PC.
Hardnett's VIRTUAL WORLD DESIGN AND CREATION FOR TEENS (1598638505, $34.99) shows teens how to develop virtual 3D worlds using the easy visual programming language Alice.
Written specifically for readers ages 12-18 with no programming experience, this book/CD-ROM tutorial shows how to create virtual 3D worlds like the ones found in video games, web sites, and animated movies, using the visual programming language Alice (included on the CD-ROM).
"Now, scientists--who don't want second careers as VHDL or Verilog programmers--can use Lab VIEW FPGA, a visual programming language, to create FPGA 'programs' that customize a PXI test system for custom protocols and measurements."
Some argue that if only a large engineering effort were placed behind a good visual programming language it would succeed.
In essence, with a visual programming language, what you want is what you see is what you get.
Independent developer and specialist author Morgan starts building a mobile, motion-detecting robot by giving the basics behind robotics and the product, then describes the concept of "service" (in terms of templates and command-line tools), Visual Programming Language, simulation, remote control and navigation, autonomous roaming, and hardware interfaces.
The University of Washington, for instance, has created a number of Agentsheets applications including AgentBuilder, a visual programming language.
LabVIEW (Laboratory Virtual Instruments Engineering Workbench) is a platform and development environment or the visual programming language "G" from National Instruments used for data acquisition, instrument control, and industrial automation.
* Getting students started with visual programming languages is a great place to start developing their coding skills (Postscapes, 2017).