Today morning I found this interesting article by neon in one of the internet boards that I am pretty active in. It’s about a new concept of designing IDEs and the way of coding. Instead of organizing your code via files, it is organized in bubbles. Each bubble is shown to you as demanded, i.e. if you need a certain code fragment, for instance a certain method of a class, you just display the code of that certain method (not the entire class, or entire sourcecode file that the class is stored in), in a bubble. You can even add notes to the bubbles or group them into categories, and much more – why don’t you watch the video on it, if you’re interested in the details.
The funny thing is, that while watching the video, the first thing that crossed my mind was: This reminds me of Smalltalk. The first resemblence is of course due to the childish interface, which reminded me of Squeak, the second I saw it. Judge for yourselves:
Now to be honest, Smalltalk always had a totally different approach of organizing the sourcecode. It was not organized in files, but added to the image that run on the virtual machine which interpreted the sourcecode. To access the images sourcecode you had to run the class browser. But even there the organisation of code is different (hierarchical) and there is no simple way to display different code segments of any choosen length that you need.
The only way would be to start many instances of class browser objects and navigate to the different methods, but that would display a lot of non need overhead data.
So to be honest – though you will experience a lot of resemblance with Squeak, when you are a Smalltalk developer, the Bubble IDE expands this into a totally new, innovative way. So comments as in Slashdot a pretty short sighted.
Now the websites Codebubbles.com is pretty empty (I’m even not sure whether this actually is a website related to this project – it was just mentioned in the post), but while researching for this article I found the, as it seems, original project space. It’s a project by the Ph.D. student Andrew Bragdon, at the Brown University in the USA. You can even sign up for a Beta Version of the Code Bubble.
I of course already did that, and am now curiously waiting for an answer.