Ravi Chugh is a (recently-tenured 🎉) prof at the University of Chicago. He’s famous for leading the Sketch-n-Sketch project, an output-directed, bidirectional programming tool that lets you seamlessly jump back and forth between coding and directly manipulating your program’s output. The tool gives you two different projected editing interfaces for the same underlying program, so that you can leverage the different strengths of each. In the interview we talk about the principles of bidirectional editing, the team and history behind the Sketch-n-Sketch project, benchmarks and values that can be used to assess these sorts of novel programming interfaces, possible future directions for Sketch-n-Sketch and the field more broadly, and a bunch more. It’s a long one — almost two and a half hours — but it’s packed with thought and charm.
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