Thursday, April 14, 2016

Astromech - Hex Editor Preview

Here's tonight's screenshot from Astromech: A very early preview of the new "Hex" Editor.

It doesn't edit hexadecimal code -it edits dependency trees. I'm sure at first the whole thing looks a little hand-drawn, a bit too good, but in fact all of the connection lines are auto-routed by Dijkstra's algorithm on a hexagonal grid - which I find gives more pleasing results than square grids, assuming you can handle the math.

This is a "first preview" of what's going to be the cap-stone of Astromech before I finally push it out the door - the integrated script editor needed to tie together all the other parts.

I'm trying to do an end-run around all the problems of text, keyboards, languages and localization, and comp.sci jargon in general - by having another tilt at one of the big windmills of computer science - Visual Code Editing. Representing code graphically, rather than as text.

Many before have tried and failed. I'd probably be doomed to fail if I also tried to create a 'generic' programming language, but I have a very specific set of needs that isn't fully Turing complete - mostly I just need to connect up predefined modules into processing chains which have well-behaved startup and shutdown semantics.

These scripts will be hidden inside every Astromech item and level, responding to clicks and collisions and requests to add new 3D models into the visible scene. They're already there, but large chunks of JSON are a pain to edit. I need something better.

This might be it.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! However... I hate to cast doubt upon the possible completion of a project, but are things like this ever really finished? :)