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Fisheye and Crucible Add "Social Networking"

by Dave West on Jul 06, 2009 |

Atlassian has released version 2 of Fisheye (a source code repository browser) and Crucible (code review tool). Both tools have revamped UI as well as added features. Most apparent in Fisheye 2 is a kind of "social networking" aspect that allows developers to follow and interact with the team as well as the work. Crucible 2 introduces and supports the idea of iterative code reviews.

The combination of the updated UI with the social networking capabilities leads to support for four major features of Fisheye 2:

  • enhanced activity tracking:
    • define and follow activity streams
    • filter activities so you can focus on what is immediately relevant
    • identify "favourites" (people, streams, repositories, etc.) with bookmarks for immediate access
    • RSS and email watch is enabled for every activity stream
  • follow the people that actually do the work with a people page, contributor pages, and individual user activity pages.
  • expanded and enhanced source exploration with almost everything being indexed and reportable
  • enhanced team collaboration - make sure everyone is looking at the same file and even identify who broke the build."

 

Crucible 2 adds a number of features that allow you greater control over your code review process. You can establish a review process that is right for your organization, flexibly determining: pre/post commit review options and setting activity notifications, permissions, due dates, reviewers, and defect classifications. These improvements are intended to enhance support for an iterative (asynchronous) review process:

Conducting asynchronous code review typically leads to an iterative process. Crucible lets you update the contents of a review while it is under way. Updating an existing review, helps reviewers see fixes in the context of the discussion that instigated the change. It also saves later reviewers from reviewing the redundant code altogether.

 

Both tools emphasize the ability to integrate with other tools, both those from Atlassian (notably JIRA and, of course with each other) and those from other vendors, e.g. Eclipse and IntelliJ. Both tools supply RESTful API's and plugin frameworks so you can 'roll your own' integration.

Not too long ago, the agile community, especially its founders, resisted the idea of automated agile tools in favor of tangible artifacts like story cards and big visible charts. Increased reliance on automated testing, the need to support teams that were not co-located, and the need to support Agile@Scale has significantly reduced the anxiety about other kinds of automated agility tools. It is nice, however, when a tool vendor demonstrates a sensitivity to Agile philosophy and principles in the design of their tools - something that Atlassian seems to have done in a very conscious manner. Agile is a people-centric approach to software development, with communication and feedback among team members and between the team and the code an absolutely essential principle. The announced enhancements to Fisheye 2 and Crucible 2 support this principle.

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Who broke the build (again)? by Olivier Gourment

Well.. wouldn't it be time that we focus more on "who improved the build" rather than the "blame" feature? Can these tools help with this and if yes, how? Do they rightly put "commit comments" more visible? Can they aggregate and emphasize the most important ones? That would be a cool addition.

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