Yesterday our class had the good fortune to talk to Bret Victor, an innovator in the field of software tools that further creativity. Victor is definitely one of the most innovative people I’ve met (just look at his CV), and seeing the demonstrations of software he’s programmed definitely affirms in my mind that he has made giant leaps forward in coding.
The demonstrations that we saw included three different software prototypes he’s programmed. Many more of his ideas can be seen on his website; the ones he showed us are described below.
One was a coding interface, on his website called Inventing on Principle, where one could interact dynamically with code and watch the effects in real-time. You could highlight objects in the code and see them light up in the drawing, and vice versa. In the code, you could change numerical specifications and watch the drawing change as you moved a slider across the screen. You could even pause a game code and see the past and future of an object as it runs across the screen.
Another was an animation software for Apple products, also included in Inventing on Principle. This software takes creativity to a whole new level, as you can make videos that look real with much less hassle by using an iPad’s touch-screen capabilities. By moving an object through a series of frames, one could make much more organic movement, rotate the object, even change the drawing for that object as it is animated.
The last program was a prototype, where the user may interact with data and watch statistics change according to the graphs which they are based off of. Victor made an example of this called Ten Brighter Ideas, where one could choose different suggestions to save energy and see the impact of any percent of the population helping in that effort.
Thanks again to Bret Victor for taking the time to talk to us!