Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Code Bubbles: Rethinking the User Interface Paradigm of IDEs

Code Bubbles (via Edge Cases):

Code Bubbles is a front end to Eclipse designed to simplify programming by making it easy for the programmer to define and use working sets. Working sets here consist of the group of functions, documentation, notes, and other information that a programmer needs to accomplish a particular programming task such as adding a feature or fixing a bug.

Code Bubbles accomplishes this by providing compact function-based views of the code (all backed by the underlying files) that are displayed in bubbles and that are easily moved around and manipulated on the screen. The bubbles are fully editable. A large bubble area lets the programmer set up different working sets simultaneously and easily move between them.

As Rentzsch says, this provides an interface that is more spacial and has higher information density than is available, say, in Xcode. See also the YouTube video. Importantly, this is only at the user interface level. Unlike some other futuristic IDEs, it does not require trading all your files in for a database and, as a result, giving up your existing toolchain.

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