Light Table: The Future of IDEs Please

Light Table: A Glimpse at Programming’s Future

It appears I wasn’t the only fan of Bret Victor’s talk and the possibilities of the tools he described. Chris Granger took the notions and ran with them to create a Clojure IDE called Light Table. It doesn’t look like the IDE is built specifically for Clojure, but that was his language of choice. Light Table is an interactive draft table for the programmer. That’s the best way to describe it. It gets out of the way, makes documentation and code easier to see, read and find. It has the dynamic execution described by Bret to encourage exploration and help find bugs before they cause problems. This tool looks amazing! It’s a first step in what should be a new breed of programming editor.

For me, this would move me out of the simple code editor I currently use into an IDE. When I worked in Java more, I used Eclipse, but when I started working more in PHP and other web languages, I migrated back to a text editor with some nice features. My editor of choice currently is jEdit. It does what I need. It has an FTP plugin so I can edit directly on my servers when I need to. It has nice syntax highlighting and a pretty good diff tool as well. Also, it runs the same on both my work Mac and my personal Windows 7 notebook. Works for me. I’d definitely switch to Light Table if it supported PHP, Perl, and Javascript.