Developing an open source visual programming language for educational purposes


General Information

INF 2904

Developing an open source visual programming language for educational purposes

InformationTechnology

Open Source / Software Localization

In this project we intend to develop GPVPL, an open source and general-purpose Visual Programming Language (VPL) that requires basic programming concepts and no coding at all. VPLs allow users to create and modify computer programs by manipulating graphical components on the screen as opposed to writing code in text-based programming languages. GPVPL uses visual components to replace actual programming functions, structures and basic instructions. It also allows programmers to create their own visual components. It is very clear that the most successful VPLs such as LabVIEW and Ladder Logic [1,2] are domain-specific languages. In this project we aim to develop a VPL that is very easy to use -hence suitable for educational purposes-, yet very powerful to allow experienced programmers to develop complex general-purpose software. The design and implementation of the language will concentrate on the following key features: 1- Pure visual language (i.e., no coding at all) 2- General purpose 3- Ease of use 4- Open source 5- Capability of creating new visual components 6- Capability of producing code in different programming languages such as C# and java. 7- Multi-lingual interface 8- Mouse and keyboard interaction 9-Automatic documentation generation In this project the design, implementation and testing of the new language “GPVPL” will be carried out. A basic prototype of the language, currently being worked on, assures us with high confidence that the project will succeed. We believe that the new language will make programming more attractive to young children, encourage individuals and companies in Saudi Arabia to develop local software solutions, and help spread the culture of developing open-source software.

1. Develop and localize high value technology 2. Increase the university scientific contribution 3. Help graduate and under graduate students get engaged in the research process 4. Increase the attractiveness of the IT field locally and globally

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