UPL

UPL : “Universal Programming Language“, or you can say UPL : “UPL is Programming Language” :).

It is an idea that we were thinking of for more than a year, and thanks to Yamani it is slowly coming to the reality.

The Idea
As was discussed in many blogs few weeks ago, we need to find good and intelligent ways to teach our children and “programming children” (those who are not Childs in real but newbie in programming world) about programming.

Thinking about that we can see (as we think) the two biggest obstacles faced by these two groups are:
(1) The complex syntax:
come on how many people you know were able to understand the pointer of pointer of a function that takes a reference and a pointer in C++ from the first time :).
(2) The Language:
by language we do not mean the programming language but the “English” language (even though it is becoming the universal language now, still lots of kids have problems in English learning it. (and come on who said programming must be in “English”).

What UPL can do about that!
Well so what do UPL do exactly?
It is not the direct solution to the problem, but it is one of the keys to the solution. It is a simple engine where you can create your own programming language with your own syntax, and with the human language that you desire.

The current version of UPL support a very simple syntax that is some how look like old quick basic. There is a language file where you can replace any keyword in the (English UPL) to any other keyword in any other language or any other word in English itself , for example the keyword “Declare” could be changed to “dim” to look like visual basic more, or it can be changed to “Aref” the Arabic word the means declare, or even you can write in Arabic writing, French , Japanese, and like that it gives endless choices of creating your own language.

What happens inside the upl Editor is what ever syntax you are using it will be translated to the English up and then again the English upl is translated into JAVA (in the current version the algorithim is updated to change any syntax to Java directly) and finally java file is produced compiled and executed.

the syntax of current English UPL is very simple:



download

UPL in action(Future)
Well yes it is not in action yet (well it is still alpha, still it don’t have loops,still … , ….,….) but lets talk about future , what UPL can do when it gets into action. So lets see some possible futures for upl:
1- Engine for creating lots of educational programming language syntax in different human language scripts (English , French, japanease, ….).

2- The same engine mentioned before could be use to make programming look more like story writing for kids
(I mean after a lot of modifications) a kid will be able to write some kind of story and clicking on run will show him the story happening infront of him ( well we will need to use graphical libraries for doing so).

3- Visual animated programming ( ummm imagine this )
: a kid opens a software he drags an icon of a hummer with declare written on it then he writes “x=12” , next he will drag an icon of wondering rabbit that have if written between it ears and write “x>10”, and continue programming in this way. We can see this drag and drop will create may be html document, and there will be a translation file from that kind of html into the English upl which will be automatically translated to java and run.

4 comments

  1. Hassan AL-Marhoon

    Good project,

    Thanks Al-Yamani, Yousuf and Ali for this project. Really it’s great idea.

    I hope that the project team and the open source community will add the future’s features that you mention.

  2. Saud Said Al-Zakwani

    It lies a responsibility to every programmer on how to sculpture the future generation at the stage you are and I believe this project encourages programming and makes it fun in its on way. Way to go Yamani, Ali and Yousuf.

  3. khalid almamari

    great idea! thanks Ali for sharing this.

    looking foreword to see it in beta version.

    good work Yamani, Ali and Yousuf.

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