Most people working with personal computers don’t have degrees in computer science and don’t write their own programs. But in the population of people who do program, scientists make up a large percentage. Off-the-shelf software often doesn’t provide just what laboratory scientists are looking for therefore, many of them tinker with altering these store-bought packages or develop their own. If you do a little programming on an IBM PC, you should know that some reasonably priced language tools that go beyond compilers and program editors can save time and headaches—products such as organizational language tools, screen editors, and on-line help programs’ all of which can help make programming less of a chore than it otherwise might be.

Organizational language tools help a programmer develop the concept or logic for a program before actually writing any code. Flowchart editors and prototyping software are two such tools.

Before investing lots of time...

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