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Rethinking programming with EVE

Light Table co-founder Chris Granger has announced last week a $2,5M seed funding for a new project called EVE. In a nutshell, EVE wants to bring the power of computation to everyone, not by making everyone a programmer but by finding a better way to interact with computers.

On the surface, Eve will be an environment a little like Excel that allows you to “program” simply by moving columns and rows around in tables. Under the covers it’s supposed to be a powerful database, a temporal logic language, and a flexible IDE that allows users to build anything from a simple website to complex algorithms.

Several big-name investors have gotten behind EVE: Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Sep Kamvar and Andreessen Horowitz have participated to the round. It’s very interesting to see A16Z as an investor of EVE. This makes perfect sense with their previous investment in IFTTT which allows users to create “recipes” in which an action on one service can trigger an action on another entirely different service.

I’m absolutely amazed by these new projects (check out also Stamplay) aiming at making the power of computer programming accessible to (almost) everyone. With software being omnipresent in our lives, I was worried that just one type of people (computer programmers) had to power to shape how we interact with connected devices. Now, people with diverse backgrounds will be able to program computers. I think it’s good for diversity.

On a side note, the geek inside me is a bit sad to see the level of abstraction going up with programming. I’m part of generation who learned programming with assembly and C and really got to the bottom of it. All the new languages and IDEs will still leverage these low-level languages but I fear that less and less CS engineers will master them, driving scarcity with engineers who do.