Talk:Visual programming language

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Visual programming language (VPL) is any programming language that lets users specify programs in a two-(or more)-dimensional way. Conventional textual languages are not considered two-dimensional since the compiler or interpreter processes them as one-dimensional streams of characters.

Would this imply that Befunge is a VPL? I wouldn't say it is, but I don't know enough about VPLs to either revise the introduction or add it to the list of languages. Eighty 11:06, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


I can't see how Self is visual in any way. It just seems to be another textual language. Can anybody explain why it is here? grlea 02:11, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


Does Automator count as a VPL? It is clearly a visual scripting paradigm, but it is technically one dimensional as each node has 0..1 inputs and 0..1 outputs. Common sense says that Automator is a VPL, but the 2 dimensional requirement seems to exclude it. Therefore I would suggest a more direct definition of VPL, being "any programming language that lets users specify programs by manipulating program elements graphically rather than by specifying them textually."Harperska 23:09, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that that particular definition of dimensionality has any bearing on Automator's admissibility; it's clearly a visual (as opposed to textual) medium. --Piet Delport 00:25, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
As Automator is clearly a visual language, and it is questionable whether befunge is (I would argue no), I am changing the definition to the one I proposed, and adding Automator to the list. Harperska 05:19, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Portability/Source code?[edit]

Hi readers.

Does anyone of these offer finished diagrams [C/C++, Pascal, etc] source code export for application portability?

Thanks for any help.

Bye, Ivano.

Portability of text is not a given. See ASCII, ANSII, Unicode, word. So it is not the fault of the visibility, if it is not portable. In Unix most files (even nontext) are stored as a text file with ASCII codes 0..127 and therefore are portable.Arnero 18:40, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

List of software[edit]

This article, like many of its type, has accumulated a ridiculously long list of software. It should be an article about Visual programming languages, definitely not a list of them, and certainly not a list of non-notable packages. For starters, I am removing those items from the list which do not have an article on Wikipedia - if they're not notable enough for that, they aren't notable enough to be mentioned here. I still don't think that's going far enough, but it's a start. Comments/disagreements welcome. CiaranG 16:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

List of software[edit]

CiaranG I agree with you but I belive we should have an article which contains a list of software related to Visual Programming regardless of their noticeability. If you agree I'd be welcome in creating and maintaining such a list because visual programming is one of my main interests and I'm planning to support this "movement". Metalpasman 16:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the place to maintain a list of non-notable software - please see WP:NOTE and WP:VERIFY. You could create such a list, but anything non-notable would end up being removed, which would defeat the object. Fortunately, there are many places where you could work on maintaining such a list - see here for example: Visual Programming Languages at DMOZ Cheers, CiaranG 17:01, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
My understanding of the WP:NOTEWORTHY guideline and the WP:LSC guideline is that when an article contains a list of items, each item on the list should be verifiable, but "Elements of a list don't have to be notable". --DavidCary (talk) 03:44, 18 December 2014 (UTC)


Although this is a commercial product and it's specialized in VST plug-in development this is a very good example of visual programming language and environment in a modern approach. Is this a candidate to the list? Metalpasman 14:18, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with it being commercial. It certainly looks relevant to me - they link to two sources from their home page which would appear to satisfy WP:SOFTWARE, so worthy of its own article. Personally I think the article should be created before adding it to this page. CiaranG 12:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
You added synthmaker, but why did you remove synthedit? It is a related product, very similar.
Yes, SynthEdit definitely belongs here too. Added. (talk) 23:15, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm not an expert but I thought Blue is a visual programming language? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC).

It doesn't look like one to me, nor does it look notable. CiaranG 17:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Free alternatives[edit]

Is there any free alternative to Microsoft Visual Programming Language ?. -- 10:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Note that Microsoft Robotics Studio (of which Microsoft Visual Programming Language is a component) is free for Non-Commercial use. pcrtalk 05:46, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Although a textual language; ms visual studio express was free from the microsoft website the last time i looked. I find the textual versions easier anyway! Matty2002 12:26, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


Some important literature to add:

- Green, T. R. G.a and Petre, M.b: Usability Analysis of Visual Programming Environments: A ‘Cognitive Dimensions’ Framework. (

- Burnett, Margaret M. and McIntyre, David W.: Visual Programming. in IEEE Computer. (

bjoern (talk) 08:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


Why is this called "visual programming"?

As if C++ code is invisible?

A better term is "graphcial programming" which connotes the idea of building graphs of code. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

"Visual Programming Language" is an established term in the field of computing that has been in use for over twenty years. -- (talk) 00:30, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


I see the entry for Limnor in the list was removed. I have replaced it, but if there's something I'm not getting, please explain. --Slashme (talk) 05:24, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Has there been any discussion of the Vex language on this page? It is a purely visual implementation of the lambda calculus. If nothing else, it is an excellent beginners introduction to some tricky features of the lambda calculus, such as the implemention of recursion, that can be hard to conceptualize otherwise. Here is a link: --Codeviper (talk) 21:29, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Source Control Software[edit]

Contrary to textual source code, it is not possible to use programs like CVS or subversion to track the differences between two versions. Are there any program that would do something like it for VPL ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:09, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of Google App Inventor and/or Yahoo! Pipes[edit]

On July 31, 2009, announced that it was working with several universities to create a visual programming system [1] to MIT's Scratch. This seems very notable and deserving of reference in this article.

Yahoo! Pipes has been around for a few years, now and is a great example of using a visual programming system to create new things. Is there a reason why it is not included on this list? It would seem to be one of the more successful uses of such an environment. Even if it doesn't meet a given specification of VPL, it would be worth contrasting against much like Visual Studio is mentioned in the article currently. --MuffinHunter (talk) 19:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Contamination by Microsoft[edit]

There is clear contamination of the phrase by Microsoft's product line of "Visual" programming languages. This is mentioned in the article however, it's not the point I'm making. The point I'm making is that this contamination makes it inherently hard to to make a web search with phrases such as "visual c++" (and meaning visual programming paradigm). Is anyone aware of any strong phrasal alternatives? It is of vital importance for researching the subject, especially since wikipedia is prominent in scientific web searches currently. It may require a renaming of the article. -- (talk) 16:38, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I see mentioned above "graphical" programming; it's a start however it's not accurate, graphical means "of graphics", not of diagrams. Diagrammatic may be more accurate. -- (talk) 16:39, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Apparently, Diagrammatic Programming is mentioned in several web searches. -- (talk) 16:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


It isn't on the list. It is a kids VPL made by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Visual Basic not a Visual programming language[edit]

If you start by defining visual programming as data flow programming, (which you have not explicitly done), then Visual Basic Classic (VB3-6) was not a Visual programming language.

On the other hand, if you aren't limiting yourself to data flow languages, then you are forgetting (1) that programming the GUI was a major programming effort, replaced by visual programming in VB, and (2) Simple VB programming consisted of dropping blocks (activex or vbx) onto a 'form', and then filling in some attributes.

What this article needs (to go along with the incredibly useful list of programming languages that I came here for) is a clear definition and discussion of what different people have been and are trying to achieve with visual programming, not the bald historically and technically inaccurate claim that VB is not a visual programming language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

"Visual language and interfaces"[edit]

Is "Visual language and interfaces" right? Shouldnt it be "Visual languages and interfaces" or "Visual language interfaces"? Forgive me if that is a stupid question (non-native speaker) Heronils (talk) 07:54, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

You are right that Visual language should be plural (Visual languages). That should be fixed. I'm not sure why the word interfaces is even there. Perhaps "Visual languages and frameworks" would be better. Or perhaps "Visual languages listed" would be best. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ehosick (talkcontribs) 21:47, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

"Visually Transformed Language"[edit]

The text "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." under the heading of Definition was asking for a source. It looks like this is copypasta from maybe

I think the statement should be removed from the page for these reasons:

1) I don't think the statement "Naturally visual languages have an inherent visual expression for which there is no obvious textual equivalent." is true either way (textual languages have an inherent textual expression for which there is no obvious visual equivalent".

2) The statement also doesn't seem to add anything to the overall Definition.

3) The statement still needs to be cited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ehosick (talkcontribs) 21:42, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Data Flow versus Control Flow[edit]

The article is of low quality and introduces a number of confusions. For instance, visualization is typically used to deal either with data flow or control flow. The article appears to be strongly biased towards data flow, completely leaving out control flow. This would be acceptable if it were not for the some of the examples. For instance, the top picture is about Scratch which is NOT a data flow visual language. I suggest to add some consistency using one of the following strategies:

1) remove picture to avoid inconsistency

2) replace picture with a control flow language picture, e.g., LabView

3) extend description to include data and control flow and provide two examples.

Also, one would expect a more detailed conceptual description of visual languages including some of the history which reaches far back, e.g., 1988. Visual Programming. N. C. Shu (Ed.). Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, NY, USA.

KaptainFire (talk) 14:19, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Visual programming languages[edit]

Along the lines of Kaptain fire and some others I suggest to change this page from general to specific introduction of different forms iconic... and split the languages up in more categories based on what you can program with them and in which field the language is used.

Scratch would be a event driven imperative visual language that is iconic and used in education.

Though there are many other languages we should put a picture up to give a better overview.

Please let me know if you agree Javaflug (talk) 17:10, 31 March 2015 (UTC)