17 Year Old Creates Flickr Competitor

Aside

From Slashdot: “Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch has an article up on a new Flickr competitor called Zooomr. The interesting thing about all of this that it was developed in only three months by a 17 year old and to top it all off, the site is currently localized in 16 languages”. The site is “experiencing high volumes” since appearing on Slashdot and is being moved to a larger data center. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

WebSVN – Easy to Install Web Based Subversion Repository Browser

If your looking for a web based Subversion repository browser that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to install, you might want to check out WebSVN.

WebSVN is a web based Subversion browser written in the PHP programming language. It took literally minutes to install. All you have to do is untar (or unzip) the installation on your web server, rename the include/distconfig.inc to config.inc and edit the config.inc file per the instructions contained in the module comments to add repositories to browse.

WebSVN supports templates, so its very easy to change the look and feel of your browser. For those used to ViewCVS, it may take a little getting used to, since the UI isn’t as intuitive at first. However, it supports the blame command, which ViewCVS does not.

Back in the beginning of the month I wrote a note to myself about a tool that creates RSS feeds from a Subversion repository. Most of these solutions require setting up post commit hooks to generate the RSS file. You get this functionality free with WebSVN — just click the “XML” button.

I need to play a little more with it, but overall from the 10 minutes I spent with it this morning (including installation), I’m liking it.

To see WebSVN in action, you need look no further than the Debian SVN repository.

Online Code Reviews with CodeStriker

One of the most difficult processes to implement in a development environment is the code review process. That’s not to say that code reviews aren’t done, but they are often done informally and there is no documentation that a review existed. In order to get this documentation often a paper based solution has to be devised, causing more manual work and less time to cut code.

Codestriker is an application originally written by David Sitsky that allows web based code reviews. The tool can talk to both Subversion and CVS repositories and will produce a diff based display in which you can enter comments on a line by line basis and track their progress through the review process.

There are two ways to get a diff file into the system. The first allows you to talk directly to a Subversion or CVS server in order to grab a range of revisions from the repository. For repositories that CodeStriker cannot talk to natively, you can produce a diff file to upload to the server. This functionality allows the tool to work with source control systems such as RCS, Clearcase, or Perforce.

A few of my collegues and I have been using Codestriker to do code reviews amongst ourselves for quite a few months now and the tool makes the process much more manageable (and visible!). Having the tool online allows an author to receive immediate feedback via email when a comment is added to a review topic. This allows you to implement (or reject) review input as it comes in rather than getting a ton of work at one time that you have to finish before release time.

The Codestriker tool is written in PERL and runs as a CGI script over a MySQL database. The installation process is pretty straightforward and a full user manual exists on their web site.

Some of the features of the application that I really like consist of the following:

  • All review comments are in a centralized place that is accessible via a browser
  • Reviews (or topics) can be generated from a live CVS or Subversion repository
  • If the review was generated from a live repository, you have “parallel view”, which shows you the full file differences so that you can see all of the changes in context
  • Comments are added per line
  • When a comment is added to a particular line, the person who initiated the review is notified via email
  • and finally, all review comments are in a centralized place that is accessible via a browser!

The best way to get an idea of what CodeStriker can do for you is to take a look at some screen shots. If you like what you see, download and install it for a test drive.

100% Pure Java Subversion Client Libraries

As a note to myself, I have to look at JavaSVN when I get a chance. Its a pure Java implementation of a Subversion client.

Some things I have to research:

  • What would it take to integrate this into CruiseControl to eliminate the need for the Subversion client being installed on the box?
  • What would it take to integrate this into Apache Ant for the reason listed above.
  • Finally, has anyone actually already done the above two things?

I’ll post the answers back here when I find out.

Trac: Integrated SCM and Project Management

This post is more a reminder to myself than anything else. As I was browsing the wordpress plugin repository I saw they are using version 0.8 of a product called Trac that integrates with Subversion and provides basic project management and defect tracking.

The site says the software does the following:

  • An integrated system for managing software projects
  • An enhanced wiki
  • A flexible web-based issue tracker
  • An interface to the Subversion revision control system

This looks really interesting and I need to remember to check it out. I tried to download it this morning, but it seems the download area of their site is down.

Update: Edgewall.com is not down. For some reason, FireFox was giving me zero reply error. When I went to a Windows machine with IE, I was able to download the software.