I’ll try to avoid simply reposting other people’s stuff here, but this is something I’d like to keep an eye on:
In its own words, it’s Rethinking the User Interface Paradigm of Integrated Development Environments.
It’s based on navigation between small code fragments such as methods rather than a traditional file hierarchy approach. Navigation and connection is the key to it and it allows you to arrange related code bubbles next to each other whether or not they exist in the same file. The belief is that working with many small fragments (bubbles) is more useful than working with few large windows (files).
I’d suggest that it’s more likely to compliment the existing IDE UI paradigm than replace it. For certain types of problem, you’d want to switch to ‘bubbles’ mode. It seems great for stepping through code in a debug session. If the steps take you through a dozen different classes, each in their own file, it’s easy to lose the place. You only see one file at a time and you have to remember how you got there. A dozen bubbles fit neatly onto a single screen so you can easily see where you are in the code and how you got there. It seems to provide a good balance of detail and context.
This project is currently in limited beta phase as an Eclipse plugin. As I don’t use Eclipse as my main IDE I can’t give it a proper try out just now. However, I intend to watch the progress of this and hopefully revisit it once it’s available as a larger scale beta.