Monthly Archives: June 2016

Flow-based programming

I recently discovered the Now page and work of Henri Bergius on flow-based programming (FBP). He is developer of NoFlo and lead developer of FLowhub. NoFlo (node.js flow…) is a Javascript tool for FBP, and Flowhub is a graphical development environment for FBP. FBP was invented in the late 1960’s at IBM by J. Paul Morrison.

FBP makes a lot of sense. As far as application-specific apps, see the chemical process simulators COCO, Aspen Plus, and even Reactor Lab’s Division 1, Lab 6, Reactor Networks. Although lacking a graphical programming interface, our web apps have code structured with a similar metaphor of independent objects sending messages to each other, as do the dynamic simulations in Reactor Lab. This metaphor makes writing, expanding, and maintaining dynamic simulations easy.

A screenshot of Reactor Lab’s Reactor Networks is shown here, with a screenshot from the Flowhub clock example below it. Click on an image to see full-sized version.