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How can we make coding easier?

February 9, 2021 (Syndicated From

An app that makes apps?

I think about how hard it must be for the younger generation to learn to code. There’s an abundance of younger people who don’t use an actual computer with a keyboard. This generation is highly skilled and comfortable with using a mobile touch device, but these devices have notoriously been inefficient at learning and producing code.

So I think all the time about how we could make it easier for people to code. Visual coding interfaces like and IBM’s Node Red come to mind, along with the discontinued Yahoo Pipes.

I’ve been obsessed with some way of visual programming, however it’s never really taken off.

There are the old way of doing things with wordpress and drupal, content management sites, powerful pieces of software that could allow anyone to create a blog, or even something more complicated with plugins and extensions.

Then we had the wave of easier-to-use platforms like wix, SquareSpace, and Shopify. These are really great platforms, rich and easy to use. However, if you’ve ever tried to push them past they’re limits you’ve been met with a ton of challenges.

Today there’s sites like Notion and Airtable, powerful wiki / spreadsheet based, that can replace project tracking apps like Jira, or google sheets, confluence. With a simple set of rules it’s one platform that can morph or transform into multiple different types of apps. In some specific cases I’ve seen people within companies make a proof of concept from apps like these to manage a workflow, or demonstrate a feature set.

What if I want to have a site that shows a different t-shirt for sale every day of the week with an accompanied live-stream gaming video? It’s not going to be easy to set that up with any existing platform. We’re limited.

What’s the future of WYSIWYG apps?

I think that we’ve had platforms like React for a bit but we haven’t actually made the jump to make it easier to code, we’ve taken it for granted. Web components in all forms and incarnations was a very important jump / abstraction, but we’ve not used them properly with CMS or form creation.

The key is something Microsoft engineered a couple of years ago, Adaptive Cards simply put, stackable card components. You have a grid of columns, and line up components as such. What do you end up with, a JSON tree of properties. That’s what bubbles up to the top.

The second part of the equation is data, imagine if this platform had shared schemas, address, order, you can opt to pick one and work with it. Integrations with other API’s, such as Shopify would be easy to map over. Many years ago I was talking about the benefit of Shared Schemas.

It’s all about the bridge between data, and pages. Imagine simply “forking” a schema for articles or posts. Then easily being able to use that schema post.createdAt, post.updatedAt, post.title, etc directly mapping those to react or vue components.

I dream of a day where we can have a platform that anyone can basically replicate Instagram, Discord, TikTok without having to learn code.