In this chapter we'll go over some of the basic concepts in Pictorus that might be new or confusing for folks new to visual programming. If you come from the Simulink world, most of this is probably already familiar to you.

To set the stage, it's worth mentioning that almost every concept and rule of thumb in traditional hand coding has a visual coding analog. For example, a classic coding guideline is that functions should be kept small - if a function is growing beyond a half-dozen lines, you should consider refactoring it into multiple, smaller functions with less responsibility. The same is true in visual programming! If your diagram is starting to look like a rats nest of crossed signals, it probably means it's time to rework your graph into smaller Components with just a few inputs each.

But other times, the graphical nature of block diagrams means you need to think about things fundamentally differently than you would hand coding. For folks with extensive software experience, try to remember that it took you years to get decent at hand coding, so if something is frustrating or feels dumb, be patient and try to work through it. Many people give up on visual programming when they encounter things that they could do much faster with hand coding, but they forget how long it took them to get that efficient.

That said, there's still a good amount of functionality we're excited to implement in the future. So please, let us know when something seems unreasonably difficult or impossible to do. We'll add it to the backlog!