Developing and Evaluating the Code Bubbles Metaphor

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Executive Summary

Today's Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are hampered by their dependence on files and file-based editing. A novel user interface that is based on collections of lightweight editable fragments, called bubbles, which when grouped together form concurrently visible working sets is proposed. An overview of this interface, as well as a summary of the results of a quantitative and a qualitative evaluation of the interface is presented. Programmers spend between 60-90% of their time reading and navigating code and other data sources. Programmers form working sets of one or more fragments corresponding to places of interest ; with larger code bases, these fragments are scattered across multiple methods in multiple classes - forming a working set, comprising the context of an activity.

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