ToonTalk (tm) -- Using Animation for Source Code and Video Game Technology for Programming

Ken Kahn, Stanford CSLI

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University December 3, 1993


Two completely visual concurrent programming systems will be presented. First video clips from a play about Pictorial Janus will be shown. In it, a programmer presents Pictorial Janus with drawings of programs produced using an off-the-shelf illustration program and by scanning hand drawings. The system parses the drawings and produces an animation of the program execution in the same visual terms as the drawings. I'll also discuss my current project to build a programming system called ToonTalk (tm) in which animations are program source code, program executions are animations, and the programming environment borrows heavily from video games.


Ken Kahn received his ph.d. from MIT in 1979 for research on the automatic creation of computer animation from story descriptions. He then went to Sweden where he did research on logic programming, object-oriented programming, and partial evaluation. In 1984 he became a member of the research staff at Xerox PARC where he worked on Loops, CLOS, Vulcan, Janus, Pictorial Janus and other programming languages. In September 1992 he left PARC to found Animated Programs, a company whose mission is to make programming child's play.


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