I have complained a bunch of times about IDEs in this blog. Luckily, in my lab at UBC, some work is being done to help fix the problem. Unfortunately for me, most of the work is for Eclipse which runs horribly slow on my PowerBook (but apparently runs fine on the Intel Macs).
Regardless, I know some of you use Eclipse, so I figured I would let people know about a rather cool project that is being worked on here that just hit version 1.0: Mylar. Essentially Mylar is a plug-in for Eclipse that helps you manage your tasks. It does this by having you specify what task you are working on and what you do while you work on your task. By tracking what files you touch, etc., Mylar is able to tailor the various views in Eclipse to only show you stuff relevant to the task at hand instead of the entire file or class list.
It's a neat idea and works rather well. The creator of Mylar, Mik Kersten, did his Ph.D. on this and has a user studies showing how much efficient people are when their view of their system and application are narrowed to only the parts they touch constantly for any particular task.
Anyway, I thought some readers of this blog might be interested in it since I know some of you are Eclipse users.