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New App Builder

I wrote this app builder to help new students learn how to write Rebol code:
To create a user interface for a new app, just point and click any GUI widget (button, text field, dropdown box, etc.). You'll be prompted to edit the properties of each added widget, and you can add actions which will run when the user interacts with the widget. Actions can make use of varied data sources (text read from a file/URL, selected from another widget, info requested from the user, etc.). The simple Rebol code used to do all these things is displayed as you add widgets, actions, and data sources. The builder creates real usable apps, and provides a completely natural learning procress which even children can understand and operate, without any previous coding experience. It's an intuitive and fun way to learn how to write practical working code immediately.
The next video will demonstrate how to create 10 varied apps using the builder.

posted by:   Nick     28-Jan-2017/20:22:02-8:00

Nice. You have been busy.

posted by:   Steven White     30-Jan-2017/0:02:50-8:00

Everything I've posted recently is just a few hundred lines of code in total, all done in spare time breaks between an actually very busy schedule. THAT's why I love Rebol ;)

posted by:   Nick     30-Jan-2017/3:15:56-8:00

BTW, the app builder has been updated (mostly additional help features and bug fixes). I'm also finishing up an additional little text intro, to get users going with Rebol, in the way it's used in the builder.

posted by:   Nick     30-Jan-2017/3:26:18-8:00

The sound on the video is very soft. A little louder could not hurt.

posted by:   Arnold     30-Jan-2017/9:47:06-8:00

Unfortunately, I make these videos wherever I happen to be, with whatever device I happen to have on hand - not the best way to get any quality. When Red matures, I'll make a dedicated channel with more professional quality content.

posted by:   Nick     30-Jan-2017/10:03:51-8:00

Some tiny demonstration apps made with the appbuilder:
The script has also been updated with more built-in help.
I'm know that most developers won't care about little toy tools like this, but in my experience, for beginners just starting out, it makes all the difference between getting interested in Rebol, and moving on to something else...

posted by:   Nick     30-Jan-2017/13:47:44-8:00

I find them helpful. They also show off a feature of REBOL that, for all I know, could be quite common but which I myself never have seen, the ability of a REBOL program to generate and execute parts of itself. If finally did finish my version of your ftp chat program, and I used the approach of generating a layout and putting it into the pane of a box. I refer to your various documents somewhat often for techniques and ideas.

posted by:   Steven White     30-Jan-2017/14:22:53-8:00

I made a newer version of the app builder with many more building features, another version without all the extra help (only 120 lines of code), and a very simple GUI-only version (just a GUI builder, not a code builder). The original version is still available there. The following 20 apps, created with APPBUILDER.r, have been uploaded to http://re-bol.com/appbuilder/

posted by:   Nick     6-Feb-2017/0:24:26-8:00

I uploaded a video demonstrating the creation of 10 little apps using the appbuilder:

posted by:   Nick     6-Feb-2017/23:28:27-8:00

Thanks Nick. Interesting application of this script will be sending generated GUIs scripts via Gmail. Free https link, hiding script text in images, etc.

posted by:   Danie     8-Feb-2017/3:20:32-8:00

Danie, yep, there are lots of ways to add fun features :)

posted by:   Nick     8-Feb-2017/9:44:39-8:00

There are now 42 examples in http://re-bol.com/appbuilder/ and I'm continuing to improve the way the appbuilder works. I've experienced some amazingly encouraging success showing Rebol to people using the builder. In fact, this little app has received the best response I've EVER had, getting people to be interested in how Rebol code works. Kids and even some people I know who've never wanted anything to do with coding, have been trying it with real curiosity and successful understanding. The interactive hand-holding and point-click code generation, which requires just enough editing to make useful code, is making all the difference in the world.
I wrote the appbuilder because I've watched kids be able to use Scratch (for many years now), and watched adults prefer IDEs such as Livecode. I've been spending some real time testing and trying to understand how people respond to all these different kinds of tools, and the response I've received to this little builder has been better than any of those other approaches. Students can create more apps more quickly with more ease, having not only a GUI builder, but also a code generator. The builder gets people to see and edit code, without having to remember anything in the beginning. The result is a very natural, quick, and intuitive process in which they learn just enough about language structure, syntax, and algorithmic thought to start writing code on their own in a text editor. The builder has cut out a tremendous amount of the normal confusion, error, and resistance which I'm used to seeing people express when they try Rebol, or coding of any kind.

posted by:   Nick     8-Feb-2017/10:08:44-8:00

I packed the appbuilder into appbuilder.exe, to make it easy for anyone on Windows to try.

posted by:   Nick     8-Feb-2017/21:29:42-8:00

There are now 49 examples, and a file detailing the order in which they should be studied by new students. Together with the help text (built into the app, and uploaded separately), this forms a complete introduction for new users. I've had fun and encouraging results going through these examples in the appbuilder with quite a few people. I'm excited to see responses from students which are more positive than any other I've experienced in years.

posted by:   Nick     9-Feb-2017/8:06:36-8:00

I added a "Scripts" button in the app builder, which allows to select and load any of the examples apps at http://re-bol.com/appbuilder/ .

posted by:   Nick     9-Feb-2017/10:09:06-8:00

Thank you!

posted by:   Sam     11-Feb-2017/19:07:17-8:00

Thanks for looking Sam :)
There are currently 63 example apps. I'm having too much fun showing this to people, and I'm constantly floored at how much more interested everyone is, compared to showing them code. It seems like such a silly gimmick, but the psychology of being able to point and click is clearly very powerful. I'm building a new web site all about the app builder, to be announced very soon...

posted by:   Nick     12-Feb-2017/3:51:22-8:00

I made a new web site for the appbuider:
I haven't finished documenting all the 70+ app examples, but there's enough there that you can see I've only got a couple days to go...

posted by:   Nick     13-Feb-2017/13:13:41-8:00