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"Sketch-n-Sketch: Interactive SVG Programming with Direct Manipulation" by Ravi Chugh

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Published on Sep 18, 2016

Programmatic and direct manipulation systems have distinct and complementary strengths, but users must typically choose one over the other or use some ad-hoc combination of systems. As an attempt to bridge this divide, we are developing an interactive programming system called Sketch-n-Sketch for creating Scalable Vector Graphics.

Sketch-n-Sketch offers a high-level, functional programming language paired with GUI-based tools for manipulating program output: these tools help to encode user intent by semi-automatically rewriting the program with new relationships, and help to preserve existing relationships in the program when output values are directly manipulated. The resulting workflow allows for prototyping a design much like in typical GUI-based tools and then iteratively adding more structure to the program with guidance from the system.

In this talk, we will demo Sketch-n-Sketch, describe our approaches to the technical challenges, and discuss ideas for combining programmatic and direct manipulation in other settings.

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