Here’s a screenshot of a modern IDE, the Eric Python IDE:
This screenshot is a great example of what’s wrong with IDEs today (here’s one of Eclipse or one of Visual Studio for comparison). Although it’s an extreme example, all the windows, buttons, icons, selections, lines of differently coloured text and other distractions hardly craft a focused workspace. In fact, what are integrated development environments even designed to do?
“IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing tightly-knit components with similar user interfaces”
– Wikipedia’s article on IDEs
Yet, according to Wikipedia, “because an IDE is by its very nature a complicated piece of software, this high productivity only occurs after a lengthy learning process.” For the purpose of creating web-based prototypes, we think things can be different – simpler, more intuitive, and more integrated.
The same Wikipedia article mentions that an IDE “provides many features for authoring, modifying, [and] deploying software” and “increases developer productivity”. That sounds a lot like what a tool used to develop interactive prototypes should do.
The modern IDE sucks. We think designing in the browser allows you to get away from overly complicated IDEs with huge learning curves and arrive in a friendlier environment where productivity and ease of use are paramount. We’re working on a user interface for Quplo based around these ideas. Stay tuned.
In our follow-up post, How we redesigned our editor, we talk about exactly what kind of changes we want to bring to the IDE.
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