BicycleRepairMan operates by searching and modifying python files on the filesystem, and thus has always required that you save your work before you do a query or a refactoring. I've never felt this to be a big deal before, but more recently I've been using its functionality more aggressively within emacs and I've started to see this as a bit of a pain.
Moreover, as BRM (hopefully) develops 'autocomplete' functionality IDEs are going to want to pass partially completed (unsaved) code to BRM. I originally thought this problem could be solved by passing a copy of the unsaved buffer through to BRM, however this proved to be more tricky than I thought - the pymacs python bridge for emacs doesn't cope well with large chunks of unescaped text and even if I fix that I can't expect that other IDEs will be problem free.
The best solution came in the form of emacs 'autosave' files: For those not familiar: emacs periodically saves the contents of unsaved buffers into temporary files (just in case the power goes or something). The filenames are the same as the original filename but prefixed with a # or a dot. All I had to do was make emacs auto-save all the modified buffers prior to the query, and then have BRM load these files if they existed and were newer than the 'real' python ones. I can't think of any reason why this shouldn't work with other IDEs - any ideas?