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The Grass is Always Greener, Software Development Version

May 4, 2010 7:01:40.958

I found these tow posts - one on Reddit, one on the "Code Bubbles" project - to be a fascinating contrast. Over on Reddit, someone flagged the release of GNU Smalltalk 3.2. This generated the all too common "image based development stinks - real me use code in files" argument. For instance:

Can this Smalltalk implementation use the typical file model and compile down code into native binaries, or does it use the g****** image model and require the interpreter to run any apps?

All by itself, that's not noteworthy - discussions around image based development often get heated like that. What I found interesting was this comment from the Code Bubble project:

Developers spend significant time reading and navigating code fragments spread across multiple locations. The file-based nature of contemporary IDEs makes it prohibitively difficult to create and maintain a simultaneous view of such fragments. We propose a novel user interface metaphor for code understanding and maintanence based on collections of lightweight, editable fragments called bubbles, which form concurrently visible working sets.

The UI metaphor you see in the video detaches code from files, and - more or less - simulates an image. Maybe we'll see convergence over time.

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posted by James Robertson

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