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[] Technology Project Declaration: Mylar

As per the Eclipse Development Process, we are notifying the Eclipse Membership-at-Large of the intent of the University of British Columbia to propose the Mylar project as part of the Technology PMC.

A brief description of the project is below. A project proposal will be posted on in a week or so.

Project Declaration for "Mylar"

When used on large systems, Eclipse views become overloaded with elements. Tree views often contain deep hierarchies with thousands of nodes, search results often contain hundreds of elements, and each needs to be inspected carefully to find elements related to the task-at-hand. The end result is that developers spend more time looking for the information they need to get a task done than they do programming. Although the Eclipse IDE is better than most for working on large systems, features such as working sets still burden the developer with manual configuration as tasks change. The problem is that the current IDE user interface, which shows system wide slices of program structure, does not scale to very large systems. As systems continue to grow, this problem will continue to get worse. But no matter how complex a system is, for any task that developers work on--any defect they fix or feature they add--developers only care about a subset of the system.

Mylar proposes that the Eclipse user interface only needs to show developers what they are working on. It does this by encoding developers' editing and navigation activity in a degree-of-interest model and using the standard Eclipse views, highlighters, filters, sorters, and decorators to show only the relevant elements.

"Mylar" is:
a) An aluminized film used to avoid blindness when
staring at a solar eclipse
b) A user interface and interaction ‘skin’ used to
avoid information blindness when staring at Eclipse

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