Darwin Among the IDEs

Tim Wagner, Kevin McGuire

Eclipse Ecosystem - Emerging Technology · Keynote
Thursday, 09:00, 1 hour | Grand Ballroom FGH


The future of IDEs seems clear…more refactorings, more menu items, and more windows. More clutter making it harder to find anything useful. Longer lists and seemingly infinite treeviews. Endless pages of options. A Brontosaurus munching contentedly while a comet draws ever closer…

Meanwhile, the environment has shifted significantly. Hardware is growing more powerful, screens are getting bigger, devices are becoming more sophisticated, and the types of programs we write are changing. Our current path of exploitation, of "just doing the next obvious thing", is providing diminishing returns. Are we even solving the right problems anymore? Is the beast we call the IDE heading for an evolutionary dead end?

In this talk we explore how the world has changed faster, and in a different direction, than our IDEs have. It’s time for new genetic material! We look to other tools and technologies to inspire the design and interaction of our IDEs, including some surprising sources, such as musical instruments and games. We ponder the changing environment and how we can adapt. What do we do with 32 cores? What happens when your IDE is in the cloud? What should our IDEs look like when we have a 10,000 pixel-wide display or a 300-wide cell phone screen? Who's going to be programming this stuff anyway? Are there essential pieces of DNA from extensible platforms that we can splice in? Come help us spread the word: Mutation can be fun!

Dr. Wagner is a former Eclipse board member and lead of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform, now working with the Visual Studio platform team to enhance the Visual Studio product line with extensible technologies and to exploit WPF to create new user interaction scenarios. His interests include IDEs, compiler front ends, and the creation of extensible platforms and APIs.

Kevin has been a platform-UI committer for many years at IBM. His focus is on usability and UI architecture. Prior to that he was UI Design/Developmnent Lead for a large IBM product WebSphere Integration Developer. He was on the original Eclipse team, in charge of the Team/CVS component. He has shipped many IDEs over the years including VisualAge for Java/Smalltalk all the way back to the Envy days at OTI.

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