Strange Loop

A Live Programming Experience

Live programming provides live feedback about how code executes while it is being edited. Unfortunately, live programming and similar efforts are still not very well understood with many attempts limited to demo-ware, fancier LISP-like REPLs, or Smalltalk-like fix-and-continue IDEs, which while useful, lack true live feedback. This essay presents a new live programming experience called APX (A Programming eXperience, a play on Iverson's APL) that aims to overcome these challenges with a language, type system, rich code editor, and virtual time machine designed for useful live feedback. We frame our discussion of live programming design and technology challenges in a description of APX.

Sean McDirmid

Sean McDirmid

Microsoft Research

Sean is an American refugee currently living in Beijing. There, he works for Microsoft exploring how programming experiences can be re-invented and significantly improved by considering them holistically (e.g. via live programming) rather than the typical piecemeal approach that considers language and tooling separately. Before being exiled, he obtained a PhD from the U of Utah with a post doc at EPFL working on Scala.