Social networking touted for software development

Atlassian tools provide activity streams that reveal what different people are doing in the code repository

Atlassian this week introduced FishEye 2, which adds social networking capabilities to source code repositories, including Subversion and CVS, and boosts agile programming projects.

The company also is offering Crucible 2, a peer code review tool.

Serving as a Web interface to repositories, FishEye 2 indexes content within a repository for viewing with a Web browser, said Ken Olofsen,  Atlassian product marketing manager for developer tools. Social networking capabilities include developer access to "activity streams" that reveal what different people are doing in the repository. The information is provided via RSS feeds or other information flows.

"The biggest thing that we've added [in version 2] is being able to follow people," Olofsen said. Users can track the development efforts of several persons.

"It's very much akin to agile," Olofsen said.  Transparency is provided on development activities because changes to code show up in the feed,  he added. "Agile is really all about feedback," which FishEye 2 provides, he said.

"I would say [the biggest benefit of version 2] is being able to understand your source better than ever. You can explore all sorts of information in your source code repository," with FishEye providing filters, said Olofsen.  Source code artifacts have a unique URL.

Version 2  features a revamped interface. "A lot of the usability has been improved," Olofsen said.

Other capabilities in FishEye 2 include the ability to navigate a Subversion repository and the inclusion of a query language for searches. Browsers supported in FishEye 2 include Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Plans also call for supporting the Google Chrome browser.  Additional repositories supported include Perforce and Git, but Git support currently is in a beta release form.

Crucible 2, also a Web-based tool for development teams, enables lightweight asynchronous code review, Olofsen said.  The upgrade makes it a more seamless process to manage revisions. Iterative code review in version 2 enables incorporation of revisions into a review process.

IDE connectors allow for use of Crucible 2 within the Eclipse and JetBrains IntelliJ Idea IDEs.

Each product starts in price at US$1,200, with different tiers of pricing available.  They are also included as part of the hosted Jira Studio suite, which costs $25 per person per month.

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Paul Krill

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