Documentation is still somewhat limited. There is information on installing the system. But the basic idea is just to download bubbles.jar and run it. The rest is done automatically. There is a tutorial available which shows some of the basic concepts. Help information is available within the system (see the Help button at the upper right when running Bubbles),

Code Bubbles is supported by the National Science Foundation (grant 1012056), Microsoft, and Google.


"Code Bubbles: A Working Set-based Interface for Code Understanding and Maintenance", by Andrew Bragdon, Robert Zeleznik, Steven Reiss, Suman Karumuri, William Chang, Joshua Kaplan, Christopher Coleman, Ferdi Adeputra, and Joseph LaViola, Jr. (CHI 2010)

"Code Bubbles: Rethinking the User Interface Paradigm of Integrated Development Environments", by Andrew Bragdon, Steven Reiss, Robert Zeleznik, Suman Karumuri, William Chang, Joshua Kaplan, Christopher Coleman, Ferdi Adeputra, and Joseph LaViola, Jr (ICSE 2010)

"Integrating S6 Code Search and Code Bubbles", by Steven Reiss (TOPI 2013)

"Plugging in and into Code Bubbles: The Code Bubbles Architecture, by Steven Reiss, Jared Bott, and Joseph J. La Viola (SP&E 2013)

"Tool Demonstration: The Visualizations of Code Bubbles", by Steven Reiss (VISSOFT 2013)

"Tool Demonstration: Browsing Software Repositories", by Steven Reiss (ICSM 2014)


Code Bubbles source is available on SourceForge.

Code Bubbles is now an open-source project. If you are interested in working on the code and having your changes be incorporated into the current binary, you should contact Steve Reiss.


Code Bubbles is a front end to Eclipse designed to simplify programming by making it easy for the programmer to define and use working sets. Working sets here consist of the group of functions, documentation, notes, and other information that a programmer needs to accomplish a particular programming task such as adding a feature or fixing a bug.

Code Bubbles accomplishes this by providing compact function-based views of the code (all backed by the underlying files) that are displayed in bubbles and that are easily moved around and manipulated on the screen. The bubbles are fully editable. A large bubble area lets the programmer set up different working sets simultaneously and easily move between them.

In addition to providing facilities for editing and understanding code, the Code Bubbles front end provides facilities for debugging and testing programs. New features are always under development.


Code bubbles can be obtained from

Simply download this jar file and double click on it to start its execution. Before you start, you should be familiar with Eclipse and have a relatively recent version of Eclipse that you can add a plug-in to installed on your system.

Instructions for installing and setting up the system are avaiable but might be out of date.

Note that the newest versions of Code Bubbles require Java 7 and Eclipse 4.X.

Running Code Bubbles

There is a user guide for Code Bubbles that might also be slightly out of date. A early help video for Code Bubbles might be used for illustrative purposes.

If you have questions, you can send email to Steve Reiss. If you have bugs to report of features to request or other information, you can use the bug-reporting system tied to Code Bubbles. Simply click on the trac-bugs button in the upper right hand corner.