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I too was amazed by that video. But then I started thinking... (I'm sure I'm just not smart enough but...) How would the techniques shown in the video work in the real world? Showing a sort of a 5 integers is easy. How about showing the visualization of sortTriangles( const array points, const array triangle_indices, array out_sorted_triangle_indices) { } How would the system even have a clue that every 3 values in indices references 3 points and that those points are triangles and need to be graphed? I think if you try to apply similar ideas to your own code you'll soon see very few functions lend themselves to easy visualization. Now maybe this is like TDD and somehow if we had visualization we'd design our code better to be visualize-able. Or maybe it's just not has easy as he made it look. To pick more nits. The graphic editing in the video. I know of almost no art made like that. In fact art programs have existed that were more algorithmic like Intellidraw (mid 90s) that failed miserably. Artists don't want to code, they want Illustrator. The number of people that want to code up dynamic images is arguably pretty small. But, even assuming there was a place for that visualization so many things were glossed over. As someone who's had to provide sliders for artists, to even display a slider generally requires meta data about the range of the slider. Should it go from 0.0 to 1.0 in 0.01 increments? Or maybe it needs to go from 1000 to 100000? If I let it go to 0 will I get a divide by zero error in my code? Will a negative number break my code? If one slider is "number of leaves per branch" and another is "number of branches" and the users slides the first to 10000 and the second also to 10000 one of 2 things will likely happen. Either the system will run out of memory OR the system will go so slow that trying it set them back to reasonable values will take minutes. Of course maybe some super smart guy will figure out the generic solutions for these types of problems. On the other hand, maybe it's really not as easy a problem as it was made to look.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2012 on Visualizing Code to Fail Faster at Coding Horror
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Nov 2, 2010