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Introduction to Visual Programming Language

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 09 Jun, 2022
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Any language that uses the graphics or blocks that are already defined with the code and you just need to use those blocks without worrying about the lines of code is known as a visual programming language. In today’s era majority of the programming languages are text-based i.e. we have to write the lines of code to perform the specific task like in C or C++. programming if you want to print a table of 2 then you have to write the complete text using syntax and functions of that language but in visual programming language this task is replaced by graphics or blocks like components then can be joined logically to perform the task.

Visual Programming language lets the user think in a logical manner unlike in regular programming language the user has to think about that how he/she can explain the program to the computer, to do this let’s take one small analogy like if you have to code multiplication table of 2 then in regular programming language what you will do is you will take the loop and with the help of it you can print the multiplication table but in the visual basic language you just have to add the block which has the inbuilt code in it of loop and you just specify the value and you just have to think logically and your work is done without worrying about the semicolon, syntax, functions, etc.

Examples of Visual Programming Language:

There are n numbers of visual programming languages and the few which are in the top list is given below

  • Scratch: With the help of this language users can create, stories, games, and animations without writing any lines of code in this you just have to create the logic and assemble the blocks.
  • Blockly:  Used to create block-based programming language and editors, and also to generate code from blocks to javascript lua dart python and PHP, etc.
  • mBlock language: It is used in programming robots.
  • Bubble language: It is used to create web applications.
  • Minibloq language: It is used as a graphical programming environment for Arduino.

Examples of Visual Programming Language Interface:

You just have to choose/create and join the blocks and your applications are ready without writing any lines of code and also in all the visual programming languages, one thing is common that it will have the graphic blocks like in the given image below. 

Figure: Example of the interface of  Scratch visual programming language 


Figure: Example of Blockly language used by kodular to create apps

Applications of Visual Programming language:

 VPL can be used in multiple domains like multimedia, educational purpose, video games, automation. Let’s see them in brief:

  • Multimedia:- VPL helps users create multimedia without worrying about the real code or other complex features. It narrows down to specific functions and with the help of those functions, multimedia is created.
  • Educational Purpose:-Scratch VPL, etc are used to help students in their projects and make them familiar with the coding.
  • VideoGames:-VPL helps to create the videogames without writing lines of codes Ex- Scratch VPL is used to make videogames.

Advantages of visual programming language:

  • Easy to convert ideas into reality for example you don’t know how to code so you can start with VPL(Visual Programming Language). and then switch to actual coding.
  • Visuals are easy to grasp i.e. to develop something in visual programming language requires less efforts.
  • It includes a variety of built in objects that are required while creating something using VPL.
  • It is a beginner-friendly also anyone will be able to derive the logic without worrying about writing lines of code.
  • Adding a user-specific code is also available and simple as it allows to create of blocks as per the convenience of the user.

Disadvantages of visual programming language:

  • These languages require more memory as they use graphics, as a result, their execution is also slow and a large amount of memory is occupied by them.
  • They can only work in an operating system like windows, mac, or any other operating system which supports graphics.
  • As the inbuilt functions are not sufficient so you have to add your custom code as a result it is cumbersome.
  • Only limited functions are present in these languages.
  • Adding our custom code as a block requires coding knowledge or else you have to work with limited functions which are provided with the language.
  • As a computer engineer, it is not a good idea to use VPL as most of the tech giants like FAANG or other tech companies work on textual languages like JAVA, HTML, etc, rather than VPL.
  • For the long run VPL might not be that much useful as in a regular language you can explore more in it but in VPL at one point you will get bored by using the same it.

Difference between regular programming languages and visual programming languages:

Sr. NoRegular LanguagesVisual Programming Language
1.It is a programming language that only uses text.It is a programming language that uses graphics or blocks in place of text.
2. It is not beginner-friendly language It is a beginner-friendly language
3. Customization and flexible applications can be created using regular languagesThere are not that much customizable as the blocks or graphics that contain the codes are limited and after that, we need to add our custom code as a block.
4. These are quite fast and efficientThis is not fast and efficient as every block has some code with it so it takes time and also it has graphics with it.
5. The interface is not good i.e. only text and syntax of language we have to get familiar with it.The interface is great as the user has to just join the blocks and frame the logic without writing the code
6requires time to learn as the user has to get familiar with the language syntax then code in itany school student will be able to grasp the VPL and create the applications
7.Requires lot of efforts as a beginner to start with the languageDoesn’t require a lot of effort and also the main targeted user of VPL is school level students so that they can love the coding
8.These are quite fast as compared to VPL as they don’t have graphics.These are slow as compared to regular languages as it has graphics.
9.These require less memory as compared to VPLThis requires more memory as it has graphics so to store them more memory is used. 
10.Examples: Javascript, C, C++, Java, Python Etc.Examples: Mblock, Blockly, Scratch Etc.

Although both Regular and Visual Programming Language is in the trend in their respective categories the only difference that lies between them is that regular languages are written first and with the help of visual programming languages the parts of regular language are taken in according to its functions and the blocks and with the help of block programming is made simpler.

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