a code editor that isn't

We had a discussion at work today about the process of programming, and programming tools. Mike made the observation that many times instead of coding you end up typing. That is, just spending time entering text. We agreed that the ideal code editor would eliminate the task of typing, and would allow you to work at a level of abstraction higher than the literal lines of code that make up your program. We want a code editor that is not simply a smart text editor.

See, today we look back at the state of programming 40 years ago and say, how could they use punchcards.  40 years from now we will say, how could they use text files?

So I've got a bug in me now to write (or at least design (or at least talk about)) the next generation of programming tools.  A lot of it won't be groundbreaking things; a lot of this stuff exists today in various different programs, but what I've never seen, and I'm convinced doesn't yet exist, is a unifying vision that is strong and grand enough to sweep up our collective imaginations and change the way we think about how we work.

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