apps vs. code

an app is made of code. you can code an app that makes:

  • apps from code: (text -> gui)
  • code from apps (apps that manage or produce code as text)
  • apps from apps (apps that manage or produce code graphically)
  • code from code (automatic translation from one kind of text to another. this is what “compilers” do.)


creating an app, whether you “write code” or not, is a useful and educational experience. it can teach you important things about apps, and code.

in my opinion, people should definitely learn to code if possible; even if they never design an app. designing an app is a great idea, too– but there is no substitute for the knowledge that just letters and numbers and punctuation (really just numbers) can make absolutely anything “digital” (just look at that word) happen.

computers translate things into numbers, and numbers into EVERYTHING that computers do. they are magic calculators that change the world. they can make music, video, images, organize, communicate (and publish) globally, teach, inspire, (and also do math!) an app is a product: code is a domain. accept no substitutes (but appreciate the applications, and the simplicities, of both.)




4 thoughts on “apps vs. code

  1. a fun note about this post: it was created using the wordpress software, which is much like a GIANT app. wordpress has tons of parts, and it often works nicely (thats part of why i use it.)

    so it let me edit, offered an environment for working with text with various styles and other aspects of layout, and then i pasted in text from a comment of mine elsewhere (that comment inspired todays post) and when i went to view the new blog post, part of it looked different somewhere else!

    it turns out, that wordpress copied not only the text i wanted it to copy, but also some of the (css style/html) code from the comment as well– so part of this post was in a different style, and sometimes you could tell.

    the EASIEST way to fix this was to switch to the “html” view in wordpress, so i could find the code that said “change the style here” and remove it. wordpress has about half a million lines of code– but i still had to change two lines of code in my own post, which i didnt even put there. thats the value of code, even when apps work pretty well.


    1. the only “apps” i ever did for a phone or tablet were pure javascript/css/html, in a browser. if you want those to integrate with phone features like saving files, sensors, etc. you need additional libraries (i just used javascript.)

      part of it is that i never wanted to install the android sdk, or i would try kivy (their website now seems to feature some unrelated non-profit) or app inventor– despite the fact that i use it as an example of how even “drag and drop” coding can become absurdly complicated through a planetary-scale api.

      personally i find the whole concept of mobile/tablet apps appalling. a cool idea made about as terrible as it could possibly be, right down to the phone oem telling you what youre allowed to install on your own machine.

      the main reason i wanted and got a smartphone was to learn about the software for it, and see what my options were in terms of usage and development. but i never wanted google software on my computer– not toolbar, not picasa, even chromium does things i find distasteful.

      if my answer seems light on suggestions, hopefully its clear why. incidentally, fig works on sl4a on android, but i dont usually recommend that because the android platform isnt good for console apps either. (if you have a real keyboard attached, thats another story.) i do like sl4a though; let me know if you can find scripting layer for android on f-droid.

      Liked by 1 person

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