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Announcing Flowcode v8

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm
by Steve
Some of you might have noticed the countdown on our homepage announcing next week's arrival of Flowcode v8. Over the next few days we will use this thread to reveal a few of its new features prior to release.

To begin with, I want to introduce a couple of relatively small new features that we hope will appeal to existing users who create large and complex programs:

Icon Grouping allows sections of flowchart to be grouped together into a single icon, which improves the readability of a flowchart and reduce its overall size on screen. These icon groups can be moved, copied and pasted like any other flowchart icon, allowing you to manage sections of commonly-used code. Simply ungroup the icons again to reveal the group's contents.

Code Folding is a similar feature which improves flowcode's readability. Clicking the '-' symbol will temporarily 'collapse' or 'roll-up' the icons within the branches of decision, switch and loop icons, making the flowchart less cluttered and easier to read. When you want to look at the code within a branch, simply click the '+' symbol to expand it.

More new features will be announced over the coming days...

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Re: Announcing Flowcode v8

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 2:44 pm
by Steve
Flowcode v8 introduces two new programming modes to supplement the existing Flowchart and C-code modes.

One of these is a visual mode we call “Blocks”, where the icons are shaped so they fit together like a jigsaw as show in the images below. Anyone familiar with Scratch, App Inventor, or other visual languages that are based on Blockly will understand the new Blocks mode in Flowcode, which has become a popular way of programming over recent years, especially to those learning programming for the first time. Flowcode programs can be displayed in either Flowchart or Blocks mode and changes made in one mode will automatically be displayed in the other, so users will have the choice of which programming ‘language’ they use to create their programs.

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Another new programming mode in Flowcode is called “Pseudocode”. This is a textual language where the programming icons of the flowchart are instead represented by natural English-like language statements. Like the Blocks mode, this new mode will suit new users of Flowcode who are relatively new to programming and have some experience of using pseudocode to describe their programs.

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Re: Announcing Flowcode v8

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:50 pm
by Steve
Perhaps the most important new features in Flowcode v8 are three concerning C code.

One aspect of this is that a user's own C code can now be entered directly within the "C code" window. This either inserts new C-code commands between existing statements (or flowchart icons) or customises the C code of an existing flowchart icon.

As well as improving the C-editing features within Flowcode, we now allow most C statements and constructs to be simulated. Whereas previous versions of Flowcode ignored any C code within a user's program during simulation, Flowcode v8 temporarily converts the code to a form which can be simulated. A few more-complex features of the C language are not simulatable, but the majority of the language is.

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Finally, as well as allowing C code to simulate, Flowcode v8 has the additional feature of allowing the conversion of C code to the equivalent flowchart icons (or blocks icons and pseudocode).

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Taken together, these C-code improvements have significant benefits for practising professional engineers as well as those students learning C-code programming.

Re: Announcing Flowcode v8

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:18 am
by Steve
Flowcode v8 now allows users to target Raspberry Pi boards, giving intuitive access to the i/o pins and hardware features such as PWM, I2C and UART. Flowcode programs can be run immediately via Flowcode on a PC, and multiple Flowcode programs can be set to run on startup or on some other condition.

Alongside this, our E-blocks2 hardware platform also supports the Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi Shield is perfect for those who wish to integrate their Pi into the E-blocks system. This shield also enables the Ghost features (ICT and ICD) of Flowcode, allowing debugging and monitoring capabilities.

Our latest blog post contains a video explaining these new features, and more information will be available on our website very soon: