I previously wrote about Excel as the most successful IDE:
Now what makes a spreadsheet better as a development environment is difficult to say; I’m unaware of anyone having researched it.
That research is indeed extant, and the story is well-told in A Small Matter of Programming. While Professor Nardi’s focus is on end-user programming, reading her book raises questions about gaps in professional programmer tools.
Specifically, in the realm of collaboration. Programming tools support a few limited forms of collaboration:
- individual work
- a team of independent individuals working on a shared project
- pair programmers
- code review
For everything else, there’s a whiteboard. Why? What’s missing?