A group at Brown University has a very different take on the ubiquitous “IDE”‘s or “Integrated Development Environment”s) in which programmers live as they write and debug their code. The design uses what seems at times like a never-ending collection of bubbles in ways that are by turns ingenious and overwhelming:
Although the graphics are certainly more pleasant than the IDEs I’m used to, I find myself constantly lost as I try to establish my context within the overall program, and the sense of watching a program’s flow through this metaphor is unusual to say the least. Ultimately, I find I’m more drawn to the team’s other ideas (such as code factoring via a simple direct manipulation gesture) than I am to their overall bubble metaphor.
For more, see the team’s site at: http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/acb/codebubbles_site.htm
What do you think?