Apr 21, 2012

This is probably the most inspiring video I've seen in the last 5 years.

Bret Victor - Inventing on Principle from CUSEC on Vimeo.

After spending many years working on C code that pretty much directly manipulates hardware, I stepped into the world of Python and Javascript, which has definitely shown me a lot on the unexplored potential of programming languages.  I admit I had failed to see the potential of interpreted languages early on.  My experiences with Basic in the 80s left me with only the idea that they were slow and clunky, compared to compile code which ran orders of magnitudes faster.  Working with the Turing and Prolog interpreters didn't give me much insight either - I just felt like I would be more efficient working with a real editor than the stupid command line.

It wasn't until I started working with Python and Javascript, where it really struck me that I could put a breakpoint in my code, have it break on execution, and just run any new code from the interpreter console.  That's changed the way I write code entirely.  At that moment, it felt like the possibilities were endless... but after a little while, the new way of doing things also became business as usual.  Bret Victor obviously didn't stop there, but kept driving with "how can this be even more useful?".

I'm glad to see that this video has already spawned off a project to make it reality.

This is so cool!

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