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NoFlo turns to Kickstarter to expand program to help non-techies read code

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There’s often a powerful communication barrier between programmers and non-technical business leaders when it comes to code. Many people who have ideas for startups don’t have programming backgrounds, making it difficult to collaborate with technical colleagues and offer opinions on the code itself.

NoFlo tries to address that by helping non-technical people become code literate, while also easing development complications for engineers. It is based on the concept of “flow-based programming,” which groups bits of code into reusable, modular boxes and all of the “building” happens when those boxes are connected. Engineers can drag and drop these snippets to create a structure, snapping them together like Legos to form a coherent application. The program currently works with node.js, a Javascript-based platform that powers a variety of websites — including Uber and LinkedIn.

Now NoFlo is trying to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to expand its platform to allow cloud-based programming of apps in node.js, making the service more flexible and available to more companies.

In addition to allowing programmers to make their own code recipes, NoFlo keeps many of those recipes in its own online database, enabling engineers to swap pieces of code (particularly for the common APIs of Basecamp or Twitter) or publish clever techniques online in an open environment. From the non-technical side, each box is easy to see and connect to, allowing those who aren’t fluent in node.js to see the structure of the code and understand how data flows through the app on a basic level.

According to the available perks section on Kickstarter, the cost of accessing the new NoFlo is roughly $95 per user for two years. The campaign reached 20% of its goal in the 24 hours after it went live. If reach goals are met, NoFlo promises expansions into more languages, including Java and Objective-C implementation for Android and iPhone apps.

One Response to “NoFlo turns to Kickstarter to expand program to help non-techies read code”

  1. NoFlo is revolutionizing the Visual Programming space. We’ll be part of the revolution by building a Ruby port for NoFlo. AppStrom is a tool to build web applications without writing code. It allows non-tech people who have little or no knowledge on programming to kick start their Ruby On Rails app development with a cool set of visual tools. Along the way, AppStrom provides the flexibility to write code to the customize applications further.