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Peer Code Reviews Made Easy with Eclipse Plug-In : Page 3

Code reviews are a cost-efficient way to detect defects early and improve both the quality of your code and the skills of your team. Jupiter is an innovative Eclipse plug-in designed to make collaborative code reviews much easier.


Phase 2: Individual Reviews

The second phase, and the first phase of actual peer reviewing, is the individual code review. This is the phase where each reviewer examines the code on their own, at their own pace, and at their own convenience. This aspect of individual reviews makes it particularly appealing for developers who suffer from an acute allergy to meetings.

The work involved in an individual code review is basically the same as that for a personal code review, except that the reviewer just raises the issues and does not fix the defects. Again, the use of a review checklist is very handy.

In Jupiter, raising issues is straightforward. Make sure you have checked out the latest code from the configuration management system. Then select the Jupiter Perspective, and then select Individual Phase (see Figure 6).

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Figure 6. Starting the Individual Review

This will open a window allowing you to choose the project, review, and user that you want to use for this review phase (see Figure 7).

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Figure 7. Selecting the Review

Now you can start the review. Go through the code looking for defects or issues. If you find something, place the cursor on or simply select the suspicious-looking code, and select Add Review Issue... in the contextual menu. Next, specify the type and severity, and provide a summary and a description for this issue in the 'Review Editor' window (see Figure 8). Don't worry too much about the type: it's just a tentative best guess for the moment, and you can change it during the Team Review phase.

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Figure 8. Describing an Issue

The issue will also appear in the Review Table panel (see Figure 9), along with the other current issues. This table lets you add, delete, or edit issues, sort issues by severity, type, and so on, and also jump directly to an issue in the source code.

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Figure 9. The Review Table

In the source code window, recorded issues are marked by a purple marker (see Figure 10). If you move the cursor over them, the issue summary will appear.

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Figure 10. The Issue in the Source Code

The review issues are stored in XML format as .review files in the review directory. To share your issues with other users, you have to commit these files to configuration management.

When each reviewer has finished their individual reviews, it's time for a little get-together: the team review.

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