Sunday, June 7, 2009

Things we should add to our build process

I want to try some of these and see what happens:
  1. Use Sonar for tracking various metrics (it uses all well-known Open Source tools like PMD, Checkstyle, etc. and compatible with Hudson, which we already use in our projects);
  2. Use Cirr to document public API changes (to know when something really important has changed);
  3. Use Macker (btw, its' FAQ is really informative, thanks!) to keep dependencies between different modules under control. It first requires some modeling, after which it can break builds in case someone breaks convention;
Also, what I want to do in the nearest future is some kind of retrospective metrics analysis tool. It will consist of (maybe) set of shell scripts checking out revisions from Subversion repository, compiling code, running JDepend and others against it, applying some XSLTs to its results to combine it altogether into single big XML, putting it then into some kind of 3D storage (Revision * Metric * Module), like OLAP cube in order to analyse it. Theoretically, such tool can generate a great amount of information, and what's interesting is how useful it could actually be.

The idea was inspired by one of the reports on Software Engineering Forum 2009 (link in Russian).

TeamCity by JetBrains: yet another great CI solution

After some excitement about Rational Team Concert features, here comes another one about TeamCity, by JetBrains, the same company which gave us IntelliJ IDEA and ReShaper.

So, TeamCity is an all-included solution supporting tons of really advanced features, among which there are:
You can try and actually use it for free until your project is huge enough. It takes just 225 Mb to download and 3 minutes to install.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nice short article about IBM Rational Team Concert

Here it is. Seems that RTC is even better than I thought... Among cool things mentioned, there are:
  • Support for Agile methodology out of the box
  • Original approach to SCM, based on the concept of "streams" (which are essentially branches)
  • Advanced build system, automatically collecting all supporting artifacts, such as change sets, fixed defects, etc.
  • A lot of great documentation (like Getting Started with Jazz Source Control)
What I can add from my personal experience, is that the Major Huge Advantage of RTC is that you get all these features integrated altogether out of the box. Installed it today on Windows 2003 Server - it took just 15 minutes (!) to install and configure a complete team collaboration solution. It normally takes few days to configure something like Trac + Subversion + Hudson, and even longer if you'd like to replace Trac with Redmine or Bugzilla on Linux, etc.

Client JavaScript data storage

Cross-browser data storage made easy using PersistJS. It supports a lot of different ways of storing data on client browser, falling back to plain old cookies, when necessary. The library itself is really minimalistic and standalone (opposed to Dojo Storage, for example). Also, it can be integrated with another lightweight runtime storage solution called "Taffy DB", which will enable almost SQL-like queries in JavaScript. Looks very nice to store some user-related info, session data, etc.