Coding usually involves a lot of typing, but on touch screen devices too much typing is quite tedious. Some of that typing could be replaced by autocompletion or autogeneration of code and therefore made much more comfortable.

Do you know applications or methods, that allow comfortable coding on touch screen devices?

closed as not constructive by Ben Brocka Aug 6 '12 at 11:53

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  • 1
    The reason that the initial question wasn't answered is that it isn't very focused. It's like asking in a mechanics forum "how would you build a car?". If you were designing an IDE and were stuck on an aspect of it, asking about that aspect (with the work you've already done) would very likely get a good response. – JohnGB Nov 23 '11 at 10:28
  • Hi Karin, welcome to UX! Besides what JohnGB said above, the problem with this question is that it doesn't involve specific facts or references - you're just asking for people's opinions. If you want to talk about building an IDE, why not visit the chat? – Rahul Nov 23 '11 at 12:15
  • You should have a look at the <a href="research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/touchdevelop/…> project from Microsoft Research which aims at allowing programming on windows phones. – jeremy-george Nov 23 '11 at 12:16
  • @fonzo: Thanks for the link. The application looks very interesting. – Kaadzia Nov 23 '11 at 12:31
  • @Rahul: I was looking for a collection of ideas from the users that read this question during a period of time. In a chat I would just have got a discussion with the users that are currently online. I rephrased the question. Would you open it up again? – Kaadzia Nov 23 '11 at 14:39

Codea is a touch based development tool.

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Honestly, because most programming is so text-heavy and problem-specific, I don't think I would want to use a touch interface as it wouldn't be practical for most use cases. Even with "lego coding", you need to customize your templates far too often for touch alone to be useful. Also, I wouldn't want to give up a real keyboard for a soft keyboard. I like my iPhone, but I wouldn't want to program on it.

The one caveat that I would mention is that if new programming languages emerged that moved away from the current paradigm and were inherently visual, they might be a better fit for a touch interface.

  • I definitely agree with you on typing speed and comfort on a physical keyboard. If you want to, imagine a combination of touchscreen and a real keyboard. What functions would you want to see on the touch screen? For example I'm using the eclipse autocompletion quite heavily and could think of many ways to imporve that with a touch interface. – Kaadzia Nov 23 '11 at 12:12
  • Maybe I'm just not be imaginative enough, but I can't think of any part of my current workflow in my IDE that would be improved by touch. If you were building a drag-n-drop CMS, it might be a different story, but I think general programming will be better served using a keyboard. – Virtuosi Media Nov 23 '11 at 21:11

I might be being short sighted perhaps, but as far as I can see there are a fair few real world issues regarding programming via touch devices, but they nearly all boil down to the following:

my satisfaction = g_Productivity / m_numBlisters;
  • Autocompletion's currently saving me lots of blisters in the real world. Maybe a good touch IDE could reduce m_numBlisters even better. – Kaadzia Nov 24 '11 at 12:39

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