San Francisco – What will IDEs look like in four years? According to technologists at IBM and Microsoft, IDEs will have to accommodate trends such as more screen "real estate" and more pixels on the desktop.

At an EclipseCon 2008 session in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, Tim Wagner of the Microsoft Visual Studio platform team and IBM’s Kevin McGuire, an Eclipse UI developer, brainstormed on what might be expected from IDEs in 2012. Their jointly conducted session followed an earlier presentation by Microsoft’s Sam Ramji, director of platform technology strategy, which showed a new interest in Eclipse by the commercial software giant.

IDE’s, McGuire and Wagner stressed, should be more connected and make developers smarter. An IDE also should be more malleable. Interaction could be different than the current mouse-and-keyboard paradigm.

"The IDE should be our favorite app," Wagner said.

Meanwhile, the standard desktop will have multiple CPUs and developers will have more pixels in front of them because of the use of multiple monitors, he said.??

Wagner noted gamers have driven down the price and driven up the power of graphics processing chips, but IDEs have not kept pace. "Why does our IDE still look like something that came out in the ’80’s," he said.

There are also sociological trends that IDEs need to embrace, including distributed and dynamic teams, open source and its transparency, increased scale, and developer diversity, according to Microsoft’s and Eclipse’s technologists.

Other ideas presented included customizing of IDEs and better use of scripting.

Souce- Infoworld