The Eclipse Cockpit?
In computer development, information tends to be scattered across various files and programs, and detecting and rectifying bugs in different parts of the system requires different tools, which work independently of one another. All this tool-switching and trying to remember what's going on in different parts of the system, can be a massive headache for the developer. According to the article, this is where the IDE comes in. A good IDE acts as the single access point for all that compilation, debugging, navigation, and editing. Even better, these processes are interactive within the IDE.
The article extends this analogy, citing autopilot-like IDE features such as automated fixes of common mistakes.
Chris Aniszczyk has blogged about this article, giving the metaphor of Eclipse as a cockpit his seal of approval, but pointing out that the word 'cockpit' can imply complexity, and IDEs are there to make developers' lives easier. To him, the only complex thing about IDEs is the initial learning curve – and the fact that his IDE doesn't have missiles.