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Jason Priestley 2023-11-27 04:52:58

Hi all, I've been inactive here for a long time. Progress on my big project, a collaborative mobile-friendly development environment, has been very slow. However, along the way I've built some libraries which may be of interest to some people here.

On the languages and parsing side, I've built recursive grammar literals which lets you write CFGs as normal javascript functions. And church-cat which lets you compute over a tree structure, e.g. annotate a parse tree.

On the UI side I've built imperative which is a frontend javascript library much like React, but based on generators and structured concurrency. And most recently I've been working on Palimpsest which covers the backend of web development with a more functional or "event-sourced" style where data sources are computed as folds over input streams. My interest there is to allow stateful applications to be more easily shared, forked, and extended by their users etc.

Paul Tarvydas 2023-11-28 14:43:05

Statecharts - my reading of Harel’s original paper in video format (26 minutes) . . (In case it’s not obvious, IMO it’s worth knowing about Statecharts, even if you believe that VPLs are a dead end).

Ivan Reese 2023-11-28 16:45:47

At 22:55 you talk about using diagrams "which describe things code can't describe" — elicited a big smile from this particular viewer.

Taylor Troesh 2023-11-29 13:51:19

Howdy friends! I recently published the beginnings of a new project:

I'm looking for projects that reduce public reliance on bloated/crumbling infrastructure. Any suggestions?

Jason Priestley 2023-11-29 17:58:17

I agree with a lot of your diagnosis of the problems we're facing. Large companies are sucking up all the oxygen and building overcomplicated software.

What you're going for with wigwams seems to have a lot of overlap with the stated ideals of the open source movement, so I think it would be helpful to think about why that movement has failed and how yours can differentiate itself. Won't people in your directory want to make money? Isn't the best way to make money with a small, user-friendly project by using it as marketing or a trojan horse to get people into a big, user-hostile ecosystem?

Taylor Troesh 2023-11-29 19:30:00

Great feedback! I have been thinking a lot about the economics of open-source recently, and I don't have any great solutions. I agree that digging into some open-source nuance might be helpful. Thanks!

Konrad Hinsen 2023-11-29 19:42:30

There's a lot of overlap with a list of simplicity-oriented software projects I compiled recently:

Paul Tarvydas 2023-11-30 02:51:40


  • most simple: UNIX shell pipelines, Sector Lisp
  • least simple: anything from GNU, emacs
Mike Austin 2023-12-01 17:43:46

I'm curious about the Gemini project, and I like the comparison to Gopher. I wonder if browsers "Reader mode" helps people (less distraction, no ads), but could be rendered wildly different per site.

Konrad Hinsen 2023-11-30 07:10:39

I have written a short essay on software sustainability, and I'd love feedback from this community:

It's written in the specific context of computational science, but it readily translates to other application domains.

Alex McLean 2023-11-30 09:23:34

I found this really interesting and useful, thanks!

As an aside, I noticed the 'archive copy' link didn't work, and also wondered if you'd considered archiving via zenodo instead.

Alex McLean 2023-11-30 09:27:21

I especially enjoyed the idea that having too many users is against your collective interests, as that would starve other projects of them, and the ecosystem would stagnate. It reminded me of 'little mesters' in Sheffield, lots of specialist, tiny factories that rely on each other to survive.

Konrad Hinsen 2023-11-30 13:22:22

Thanks for the feedback @Alex McLean! I looked up the story of the "little mesters", interesting!

The archive links are a bit special: they don't work immediately, you have to wait a bit:

By now, the link works fine!

Michael Gummelt 2023-12-01 17:50:34

We just published a new demo of Plato's PBD subsystem. Much more powerful than our previous implementation.

PBD is historically difficult to generalize and make practical, but it seems that once you take it out of the desktop metaphor and apply it to relational data where queries are more explicit, it does quite well.

I suspect this could become the most prevalent way of automating app logic without coding.

Irvin Hwang 2023-12-02 19:22:02

Hi All

I’m almost “done” with my VR visual/spatial programming app, Pebble Graphics 🎉 (“done” because I still see a lot of things that could be improved, but there are other projects I’m excited to start so I’m shipping what I have). It’s a VR version of turtle graphics with some interactive program stepping and 3D visualizations of things like state change and execution history.

I made a trailer you can watch (and listen to 🎶) here If you have a Quest headset and want to try it out, I set up a Beta release while I try to get it into Meta’s App Lab app store. This link should work otherwise feel free to DM me the email address associated with your Oculus/Meta account.

I also have some time-stamped/annotated videos later on in this Youtube Playlist ( ) in case you want to see more.

I’m more of a lurker in this slack, but it’s a community I enjoy checking on and it’s really cool to see it grow!

🎥 Pebble Graphics Trailer

Pebble Graphics Trailer

📝 Pebble Graphics

Pebble Graphics is a 3D visual and interactive programming system that lets you create and explore geometric patterns in virtual reality. Using simple commands, you can control Pebbles the dog to draw lines and shapes with programming. You can also step through your programs interactively, and see unique 3D visualizations of how things change over time. Pebble Graphics is a fun and creative way to learn basic ideas in programming.

🎥 Making Pebble Graphics

Making Pebble Graphics