Building a toy for my children suggested an analogy with programming. Many toys come knocked down, requiring assembly, with instructions of the form “insert peg A into hole A, slide tab B into slot B, …”. This is just like the way we use names in programming languages, indicating parts that need to be attached by labelling them with the same name. The function call A is to be attached to the function definition A. Programming with names is like creating a program as a big pile
Here is a review of some research on managing the explosion of information in an IDE. Note that all of these are based on Eclipse, which appears to have become the dominant platform for IDE research.
Mylar is an experimental Eclipse plugin that tracks what program elements you are interested in, by watching your editing/browsing behavior. It alters the standard views such as the Package Explorer, Outline, and Type Hierarchy to focus in on what you have
Dynamic Aspects has released some white papers and demos of their planned development tools. Their initial product is a Java IDE where the language becomes the tool. They seem to share many of my goals, and I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with. Their headline feature is micro-refactoring.
Lambda the Ultimate posted an item on Subtext. I waded into the ensuing discussion to try to clarify things.
I didn’t notice it for a few days though, and the attention span of blog discussions seems to be only a day or two. What I need is something like the old clipping services for newspapers, that would email me whenever anyone blogs me. I thought that was what pingbacks were for, but I have never received one (nor a trackback).