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Programming Cellphones Handhelds Software Windows

Write Windows Phone Apps, No Code Required 210 210

jfruh writes "One of the biggest challenges Microsoft has faced with its Windows Phone platform is that it's far behind in the apps race against iOS and Android. One way to close the gap is to lower the barrier to entry for new app devs, and Microsoft has done so with Windows Phone App Studio, a hosted service that lets you build applications without actually writing any code. The description of how App Studio works may leave you wondering how useful or exciting the apps created will be, but a surge of developer interest during the current beta program has surprised even Microsoft with its scope."
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Write Windows Phone Apps, No Code Required

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  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:37AM (#44619119)
    If you're creating an application that hasn't existed yet, you're instructing the computer as to how to do something, i.e., you're programming, i.e., you're creating code in one way or another. Either that, or the environment is so limited as to make the "write apps" part completely meaningless.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:43AM (#44619229)

    It's not really a contradiction, it's just adding a layer between the dev and the actual code. Think WYSIWYG web editors that have been around forever. You're still building a website, it's just showing the computer what you want and letting it generate the actual code. It's really not a lot different than coding in C# and then having it compiled into binary... you're just creating the program at a level even further away from what the computer will actually run. Of course, like the WYSIWYG web editors, the code will almost certainly be sloppy and inefficient compared to coding it yourself, but it opens up the market for basic apps to people that otherwise couldn't/wouldn't make them.

  • by cristiroma (606375) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:44AM (#44619231)
    Writing "apps" like this is like making websites in MS Word
  • by Begemot (38841) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:50AM (#44619319)

    check the top free apps [google.com] - none could be made without code
    it looks like MS wants quantity instead of quality - no wonder the only informative thing TFA has is the number of users and projects.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:50AM (#44619325)

    You can make a pretty usable website using only WYSIWYG editors, so why not an app? The two really aren't that different considering they're both aimed at the casual/amateur market.

  • by SQLGuru (980662) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:55AM (#44619413) Journal

    The same could be said about machine language instructions. You aren't really creating new ones, you are just putting them together in a different order with different values loaded into the registers.

  • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:00PM (#44619489)

    Haven't used the App Studio - remember that Myst was written in HyperCard and there's plenty of other examples in that vein.

    While in an entirely different class, LabVIEW is a graphical programming language which is quite powerful (true language / direct compiler). Simple/easy to code/read doesn't mean lousy or weak software. Besides, quality is usually pretty unrelated to code (other than some cases of performance).

  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:04PM (#44619547) Homepage Journal
    No, these things last forever. It's going to be a cottage industry that never dies, like FrontPage websites and Access databases.
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:07PM (#44619573)

    it's just adding a layer between the dev and the actual code.

    The problem is that nobody knows what that "actual code" is supposed to be. Do you mean the computational process? Because there will always be a layer between the programmer and the computational process, even if you program in machine code. Every time someone finds a new abstraction to programming, people will come out and start shouting "that's not programming, that's cheating!", but there is no free lunch. That reminds me of the wonderful “Now that we have Cobol, can we get rid of all those beatnik programmers?” quote, courtesy of US military, 1960s or so. No, you can't, it's still programming, even if you manage to do more work in less time, it's still qualitatively very much the same activity.

  • by umafuckit (2980809) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:52PM (#44620203)
    Obviously this is just a ploy to increase the number of Apps on their store, to make it look more populated and active than it really is.
  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:38PM (#44620969)
    Even Microsoft tells their customers Access is crap but as long as people continue to buy copies they keep updating it! I can't even get one of our groups to use the free version of MS SQL because Access is "easier" despite the fact we will not support them. If the 1 programmer they have leaves their project is toast.
  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover (150551) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @03:01PM (#44622173) Homepage Journal

    Why was it a "horrible" experience? Did filemaker pro somehow fill your crankcase with 90 weight grease and wreck your engine? Did the DOS program spray poop-scented air freshener beneath your seat?

    Or did you just see someone using an old DOS program that's doing exactly what the business owner needs without costing him a ton of money? Doesn't sound too horrible to me.

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