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Can chatgpt program fully functional apps?

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Jbrow327

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Can chatgpt program fully functional apps that are ready to sell/subscribe to in the app store?
Stuff like game apps and task tracker apps etc.
Does anybody here have experience with this?
 
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alexkuzmov

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Can chatgpt program fully functional apps that are ready to sell/subscribe to in the app store?
Stuff like game apps and task tracker apps etc.
Does anybody here have experience with this?
Hard no.
As it stands you can use chatgpt or other AI fo assistance.
Think of it like stackoverflow that you can talk to.
 

srodrigo

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Can chatgpt program fully functional apps that are ready to sell/subscribe to in the app store?
Stuff like game apps and task tracker apps etc.
Does anybody here have experience with this?
No, unless it's a very simple one. I've seen Pong, Snake, and other games been spit out by GPT-4. Same with very simple apps, even given a paper mockup. Impressive, but still pretty much useless apart from for bootstrapping something quickly.
 

alexkuzmov

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No, unless it's a very simple one. I've seen Pong, Snake, and other games been spit out by GPT-4. Same with very simple apps, even given a paper mockup. Impressive, but still pretty much useless apart from for bootstrapping something quickly.
Thats only because you have the complete code for those available online...
 
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srodrigo

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Thats only because you have the complete code for those available online...
Exactly. ChatGPT is a Google Search Engine or a StackOverflow on steroids. It's pretty cool and it can be useful, but it's limited to data. There is no magic (at least not yet).
 

Lex DeVille

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Yes, it can. If you provide it proper direction along the way. But you'd have to know the right questions to ask it and the right guidance to provide it.
 

srodrigo

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Yes, it can. If you provide it proper direction along the way. But you'd have to know the right questions to ask it and the right guidance to provide it.
I'm curious, have you had any success getting it to assemble some non-trivial app?
 
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Lex DeVille

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I'm curious, have you had any success getting it to assemble some non-trivial app?
I used it to code a better version of a plugin I paid a developer over $3,000 for. That was GPT 3.5. Haven't tried anything with 4.0. I also asked for help with database setup and instructions on how to connect everything. At this point, I don't think I'll need developers for WordPress plugins anymore.
 

srodrigo

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I used it to code a better version of a plugin I paid a developer over $3,000 for. That was GPT 3.5. Haven't tried anything with 4.0. I also asked for help with database setup and instructions on how to connect everything. At this point, I don't think I'll need developers for WordPress plugins anymore.
Fair enough. I don't know how complex your plugin was. Very interesting to know though.

There's OpenAI Codex, which is a fine-tuned model for programming. But it's based on GPT-3, so I'm not sure whether it's diverged much. I haven't tried it yet. I haven't tried v4 either.

I'm using ChatGPT to help me with copy. A bit bland, but a good start that I can tweak.

Interesting times :)
 

Skroob

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I'm gonna back @Lex DeVille up here, mostly. I've been using ChatGPT for a lot of stuff lately.

In my experience, it's about at the level of a junior web developer. If you can tell it exactly what you want, and can guide it through the mistakes, it can get something decent done. However, it is a pretty lousy iOS developer, and based on what I've gotten from it so far, I wouldn't want to depend on it to build a functional app beyond something wildly trivial. I could walk this thing into making something complex, but I've been doing this for a long time and it would essentially be me training a new developer (who then forgets everything when I close the window).

I'm assuming it's just because so much more of the publicly available code out there is web-focused, not iOS. There's nothing special about iOS development that makes it harder or anything for an AI to work on. Sooner or later, it should get good enough, but it's not there yet.


There's Codex OpenAI Codex, which is a fine-tuned model for programming. But it's based on GPT-3, so I'm not sure whether it's diverged much. I haven't tried it yet. I haven't tried v4 either.
Codex (which is the engine behind GitHub Copilot) is better at development, having been trained just on doing code, but still works better as boilerplate suggestions for a developer who already knows what they're doing. It's a great time saver, but again, I don't think I could get it to write a whole app unprompted.
 
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Lex DeVille

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My thought was maybe you could use it to code the basic app framework and then have a human developer take over for maintenance, upgrades, and things like that if you want to put it for sale.
 

srodrigo

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works better as boilerplate suggestions for a developer who already knows what they're doing. It's a great time saver, but again, I don't think I could get it to write a whole app unprompted.
100% agree, good for boilerplate templates to get started.

Codex (which is the engine behind GitHub Copilot) is better at development
I didn't know that Copilot was basted on Codex. Makes sense though, OpenAI and Microsoft get along.
 

Jbrow327

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Thanks for the answers guys. I know chatgpt is all about the lead in prompts. What about using no code templates to put an app together? Is this a good idea?
 
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Skroob

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Thanks for the answers guys. I know chatgpt is all about the lead in prompts. What about using no code templates to put an app together? Is this a good idea?
It depends on what you're trying to do. I never recommend them for mobile apps, because the best you can do is the trivial stuff that's either included on the phone or been done a thousand times. Even if you do manage to find a place to innovate, you hit the usability wall almost immediately and will have to switch to a native language. You'll wish you'd spent the time learning the right way to do it.
 

Jbrow327

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It depends on what you're trying to do. I never recommend them for mobile apps, because the best you can do is the trivial stuff that's either included on the phone or been done a thousand times. Even if you do manage to find a place to innovate, you hit the usability wall almost immediately and will have to switch to a native language. You'll wish you'd spent the time learning the right way to do it.
What do you recommend for mobile apps?
 

ironmind

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I think that ChatGPT is great if you already are a developer or at least have certain notions.

For non-technical persons, I think that it is going to be great for small things like fixing CSS, HTML, or similar things.

But for more elaborate things, you need to know what to ask ChatGPT.

For example, if you want to ask ChatGPT to make a related posts plugin, first of all, you need to ask ChatGPT how to connect to a database.

Most people don't even know that WordPress posts are stored in a database.

Then you need to know your database prefix (go to phpMyAdmin and find it, and don't break anything while doing it), know the table name where posts are stored.

Know a little about SQL, for example, know what a SQL query is, and know a little about primary and secondary keys.

Then you need to know how to ask ChatGPT how to do a grid and ask terms like a div with shadow, an image of x pixels, a font of x font size.

For a programmer, even if they don't have a clue about how WordPress works, it is very easy. However, for a person who has no idea about programming, even the most noob-friendly medium-elaborate development would take days or even weeks.

In my opinion, if you don't have any idea about programming, it is not recommended to build a functional, medium-elaborate app. Instead, it is more correct to learn at least a bit about programming and then improve your workflow at your development time with ChatGPT.
 
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Skroob

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Where did you learn to program apps?
Hard experience over a 25 year career ;)

There's a lot of available resources out there. I like Kodeco for a lot of stuff, I actually still use their site and books as references very often. Big Nerd Ranch books are excellent as well, I'd suggest this one for iOS: iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (7th Edition) | Big Nerd Ranch and this one for Android: Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (5th Edition) | Big Nerd Ranch

If you prefer video courses to books, I know Stanford has a free iOS course on YouTube that's supposed to be excellent. There's also courses on sites like Udemy and the like. I've heard good things about CodeAcademy as well.
 
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Jbrow327

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Hard experience over a 25 year career ;)

There's a lot of available resources out there. I like Kodeco for a lot of stuff, I actually still use their site and books as references very often. Big Nerd Ranch books are excellent as well, I'd suggest this one for iOS: iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (7th Edition) | Big Nerd Ranch and this one for Android: Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (5th Edition) | Big Nerd Ranch

If you prefer video courses to books, I know Stanford has a free iOS course on YouTube that's supposed to be excellent. There's also courses on sites like Udemy and the like. I've heard good things about CodeAcademy as well.
Thanks
 

srodrigo

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Native, first-party supported languages and frameworks, always. That means Swift for iOS development, and Kotlin for Android.
I'm about to start another app in Flutter. Wish me luck:playful:
 

alexkuzmov

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Hmmm @Lex DeVille @srodrigo @Skroob now you got me doubting my initial assesment.
My conclusion was similar to "asking the right questions" to the AI gets you a little of what you want.
Whereas "asking the right questions" in google and stackoverflow gets you exactly what you want.

The usefulness of the tool might depend on a combination of prior knowledge, complexity of the code and availability of material for the AI to learn from.
Which excludes any advanced coding right off the bat (which is not a bad thing IMO)

I have to take a look again and see if I can get it the perform better.
However.

1. Any guidelines, tips on "asking the right questions"?
2. Anything special about the boilerplate code that I cant get from github with npm or composer or whichever package manager?
3. Since wordpress was mentioned, what does the plugin look like? A single file to copy or a zip to install or?
 

srodrigo

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2. Anything special about the boilerplate code that I cant get from github with npm or composer or whichever package manager?
I was thinking about this as well. "Why do we need ChatGPT for boilerplates if some tools already provide them". But the boillerplates something like create-react-app makes are very basic, whereas ChatGPT could give you boilerplates that include a basic payment system, or a basic list and detail app, or whatever (not sure whether it's fully capable, just an idea). I think that would be useful. There are folks selling boilerplates out there with payments and some other stuff, it'd be cool to have it for free. But even though, I doubt the quality would be the same.
 

alexkuzmov

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I was thinking about this as well. "Why do we need ChatGPT for boilerplates if some tools already provide them". But the boillerplates something like create-react-app makes are very basic, whereas ChatGPT could give you boilerplates that include a basic payment system, or a basic list and detail app, or whatever (not sure whether it's fully capable, just an idea). I think that would be useful. There are folks selling boilerplates out there with payments and some other stuff, it'd be cool to have it for free. But even though, I doubt the quality would be the same.
What would you ask it if you want say a react app with lsravel backend and stripe subscriptions?
 
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srodrigo

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What would you ask it if you want say a react app with lsravel backend and stripe subscriptions?
I'm not a good prompt engineer (falling behind already:playful:). But I guess I'd ask just that?

I just gave it a try, and this is what it created:
Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-32-55.png
Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-33-06.png
Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-33-16.png
Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-33-34.png
 

srodrigo

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What would you ask it if you want say a react app with lsravel backend and stripe subscriptions?
I'm not a good prompt engineer (falling behind already:playful:). But I guess I'd ask just that?

I just gave it a try, and this is what it created:

EDIT: I forgot to ask for Stripe subscriptions, so I've changed the output below. Also, the output below is different to the first attempt, where it gave a network error.

Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-41-58.png

Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-42-11.png
Screenshot from 2023-03-22 21-42-22.png
 
Last edited:

srodrigo

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Another experiment is the same query above plus "Provide code for each step", given the first attempt didn't do that.

It started well, but eventually hanged. Twice.

I think this is because I use the free version?
 
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Can chatgpt program fully functional apps that are ready to sell/subscribe to in the app store?
Stuff like game apps and task tracker apps etc.
Does anybody here have experience with this?
I was messing around with it and told it to write a Pine Editor indicator with some parameters for Trading View. Didn't allow me to but then I asked to make an example with the same parameters. It wrote some code, I plugged it in and it didn't work. Tried it again and it made a basic moving average. It depends on application - that may have been too complex for it to do but getting some basic help or maybe even some optimization/proofing on logic for your code may work.

Edit: The Reason it wouldn't work originally is because its not allowed to make financial tools or something in the sorts
 

alexkuzmov

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Another experiment is the same query above plus "Provide code for each step", given the first attempt didn't do that.

It started well, but eventually hanged. Twice.

I think this is because I use the free version?
Maybe its the free version, or maybe its thinking too hard :D
I meant to write laravel in my post above, but my fat fingers got in the way :D

Thank you for the posts, its exactly what I got in terms of quality.
General info, a few examples, some direction and the assumption that the reader already has a solid base level of knowledge.

I'm not giving up on it yet (although I still think its not ready for dev use).
There is a very silly project I've been wanting to make and I'll try to do it with AI for a day.
Basically a autogenerated horoscope site.
I'll record my experience and maybe post it here.
 

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