The artistic use of computer graphics through software like ShaderToy has seen a massive rise in fragment shaders used for artistic purposes, allowing graphics programmers a new playground to sketch within.
Though fragment shaders are incredibly fun to program they are usually incredibly hard to debug and work with in typical real-time graphics environments. Fasinated by fragment shaders potential as art as well as the design challenge of creating a tool that must be simple to use yet allow for verbose debug feedback, Batchelor created Shader Writer.
Shader Writer is a minimalistic code editor/ IDE for writing vertex and fragment shaders on the gpu. It allows for float, int and vector manipulation through pop-up visual sliders and axies, displaying results in the viewport real-time without the need for recompilation. As well as this, the interface is incredibly minimal, with the menu bar being visible through a right click and the movement / resizing of the editor through keyboard shortcuts.
This culminates in a program that appears as simple as a piece of paper but that has the capabilities to write a full shader program.