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Programming Visually With Sikuli

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Sikuli screenshot

A streamlined Sikuli could one day put programming into the hands of the average computer user. "We're not really getting much smarter biologically. I think we need to find ways to make ourselves smarter technologically," says MIT Associate Professor Rob

Credit: MIT Human-Computer Interaction

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Maryland have created Sikuli, software that could eventually make programming easy enough for everyday computer users.

Sikuli has the potential to quickly automate any programming task that involves a graphical user interface. The programming tool uses a combination of screenshots and simple commands. Users can script what appears to be function calls, except with screenshots between the parentheses instead of code, which means the interface can be used by beginners as well as more experienced programmers.

View a video demonstration of Sikuli.

The User Interface Design Group says some understanding of Python is needed to use the current version of the programming tool, but a more streamlined, novice-friendly Sikuli program could turn the average computer user into a programmer. "You can look at it as an augmentation of human capability," says MIT professor Rob Miller.

From Computing Community Consortium
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