Standard Article

Visual Programming Languages

  1. Philip T. Cox

Published Online: 13 JUN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse450

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Cox, P. T. 2008. Visual Programming Languages. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 1–10.

Author Information

  1. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JUN 2008

Abstract

Diagrams have always been used as aids in the design of programs, but because of the limitations of hardware and software, could not be directly incorporated into the software development process until the advent of low-cost, high-quality graphics in the 1980s. This enabled research on the pictorial representation of software structures, including an extensive study of visual programming languages. A visual programming language is one that uses diagrams to represent significant portions of the logic of a program, with the aim of making programs easier and faster to build and debug. We present several representative visual programming languages, discuss theoretical and cognitive issues, and provide a brief overview of current research in the area.

Keywords:

  • visual programming;
  • programming paradigm;
  • data flow;
  • form-based;
  • declarative;
  • programming by demonstration;
  • visual language formalisms;
  • usability