Phlisped: An Experiment in Graphical Programming

I know, I know. I promised to release the code to my graphical programming project months ago, and I didn’t. I’m an awful person. At any rate, without further ado, the code is now available on Github:

Here’s a few screenshots of it in action. Some of these are from a little while ago. Yes, that’s


screenshot-normal (1)

screenshot (1)


A few notes:

  • I wanted to get some things working before I released it, but life caught up with me, and I just didn’t. So here’s a (semi-)stable version. If you want help getting it to work, let me know. I’d love to help you.
  • It depends mainly on Racket and openGL. I believe it also depends on ftgl, but it shouldn’t be hard to remove that dependency. If you have a problem with that, just let me know.
  • I’m still interested in graphical programming, but I’m not sure my approach is the right way to go forward. I would love to hear any positive or negative feedback on it. This project is not under active development, so I’m mostly throwing it out here to generate discussion.
  • I don’t really have docs written up, but go ahead and ask me if you have any questions. One hint: try vim-style keys (h,j,k,l,i,…) and to switch visualizations. Go ahead and experiment. There are features for some kinds of intelligent autocompletion, autorenaming, and some other bonus features that don’t have standard names.
  • See my other blog posts for some ideas of my philosophy in creating this. Also read the comments.

If anyone wants to contact me, you can go ahead and comment here or create an issue on Github. Alternatively, send me an email at pcmonk (at)


6 thoughts on “Phlisped: An Experiment in Graphical Programming

  1. From one awful person to another, thanks for releasing it events in unfinished form. I basically agree with you that lisp is most amenable to graphical programming, but the two suffer from an overlap of stigma: lisp from the AI winter and graphical programming from attempts with Algol descendants.

    This is from my phone so I can’t give your work the look it deserves yet, but I’ll play around a bit tomorrow.

    • Yeah, there are definitely people who attach stigma to those two because of all the failed attempts in the past, and some of it might even be deserved. But I haven’t given up yet. Let me know if you have any questions about it. I don’t think it has ever been run on any computer other than my laptop, so I’m not sure that it’ll work out of the box.

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