Doing Code Review in Eclipse
Develop | Posted June 01, 2010

(This blog entry is part of a series of entries describing some of the new features in Code Collaborator v6.0. The series content is listed in this entry.)

For our customers who use Eclipse-based IDEs, we provide an Eclipse plug-in that makes it easy to add files to a code review from within the IDE. It also has an Action Items view, which lists the reviews in which you are a participant:


Beginning with v6.0 of Code Collaborator, if you double-click an entry in the Action Items list, a Review Editor opens:


This is but one part of a significant set of enhancements that Roy (along with important help from Nik and Cody) put into the Eclipse plug-in for our v6.0 release. The Review Editor above is equivalent to the Review Summary screen in our browser UI. There are also views for entering/reading comments and defects and much more.

The goal was simple: to bring the complete review experience into the IDE. 

And the resulting user experience is similar, but not identical, to our browser UI. In some ways, it's better. For example, the sections shown above are collapsible - the "Moving On" section is collapsed. In other ways, however, it's not as good. As an example, while the file comparison view provided by Eclipse is okay, it's not as flexible as the one we have in our browser UI.

The key though is that for Eclipse users, you get to stay in one tool. Further, it is the tool that has all of your source code loaded. So if you see something in a review that raises a question about another part of the code that is not in the review, you're just a click away from seeing that other code.

As an added bonus, if you are the author of a review and the plug-in is able to find the files that are being reviewed in your current workspace, it will decorate them with check-marks to indicate they are included in an ongoing review and with X's to indicate the presence of a defect(s):


If you open the file with the defect, you'll see our standard red bug icon on the line with the defect:


Hover the mouse over the bug to see the text of the defect. And as you would expect, it is listed as a problem in the Eclipse Problems view:


This is just the beginning - there are many additional features that could be added to our enhanced Eclipse plug-in. We have some ideas, but I'm more interested in hearing yours - please leave a comment or add an entry on our feedback forum.





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