Code Review Tool

Previously I had watched a video about the code review tool used at Google. Recently I read a review of a number of open source code review tools. It mentioned the one used at Google. This has prompted me to want to do some more research. We used to have a lot of code reviews on my project. Right now we don’t really do them any more. Part of the problem may be that it is a highly manual process. An easy to use review tool may help us get back on track.

The Google tool is called Rietveld. It was written by Guido Van Rossum. Of course Guido chose to write this in Python. You only need a Google account to use this tool. But it is implemented to work for the Subversion code repository. The review said that this was a bare bones tool. I would not mind using the Google tool. However we don’t use Subversion here on my project.

My reservations have been nullified by another tool called Code Striker. It was created by David Sitsky. This tool was written in Perl. It is also open source, and it is a web application. The beauty of this tool is that it works with Clearcase. That is what we use on our project. It allows you to review code diffs. Like any good diff tools, it highlights differences in color.

The goal of Code Striker was to minimize paperwork done with reviews. It also has the benefit of recording comments and issues in a database. I checked out some screen shot online at the Code Striker web site. It was funny to see some sample comments on a fictitious review. Some guys were saying things like “excellent work”. Maybe the comments were directed towards the Code Striker tool.

There are some other open source alternatives in the code review market. However I think I am going to propose we start using Code Striker on my project. I will let you know how it goes.