Now you can write PHP code… without writing any code

August 26, 2010 – 5:17 pm Tags: ,

Yes, you heard that right! You can now code in PHP without having to write a single line of code – amazing, right?

The application that makes this possible is called Lemon ADE, and it runs on the iPad.

In this post I’ll go over how Lemon ADE works, and I have also recorded a short video demonstrating coding with the app.

How can you code PHP without coding?

Lemon ADE is an abstract syntax tree editor. This is similar to what the PHP parser does when converting written PHP code into something it can execute.

I think the video is the best way to explain how the app works, so here it is:

Lemon ADE features

As you can see from the video, Lemon ADE has a list of blocks you use to create your code. It currently supports enough stuff for being actually able to write an application, but it’s lacking things such as classes or arrays.

Once you have managed to construct your application with it, you can export the code to an FTP server. The code itself isn’t always formatted very well, for example indentation occasionally breaks, but it outputs working PHP code.

From a usability standpoint, the application is quite easy to use once you get the hang of it. However, it becomes tedious when you have a lot of code, as the code becomes difficult to browse and even more difficult to find what you need from the entire mess.

In closing

While Lemon ADE is a pretty cool concept, it’s far from being actually useful for day-to-day programming. However, I think it has promise, so perhaps with further abstraction (so you need to type less and add fewer blocks) and UI modifications (so you can actually find things) it may become at least semi-useful one day.

Lemon ADE is a free download for the iPad

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About the author

Jani is a 15 year veteran of the software industry. He's currently available for consulting

  1. 3 Responses to “Now you can write PHP code… without writing any code”

  2. This kind of ADEs is useful for describing/planning apps with, for example, UML. And with iPad type devices it can be really fun to do so.

    By Sam Dark on Aug 26, 2010

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