FishEye

FishEye has been public for a while now but I thought I’d write a quick note about from my perspective as a user. FishEye was recently released by the company I work for, Cenqua. I’ve not been involved in FishEye development but I have been using it for ages in my Clover.NET project work. We’re big on eating our own dogfood, as they say.

FishEye is useful in many ways and most of them have little to do with the pretty graphs. Actually the graphing component is something I originally wrote for Clover. Anyway, besides that small contibution, I am just a user, and as such, a rich source of internal bug reports and suggestions. At least I like to think so 🙂

While many people still surprisingly operate without a source control system, it’s generally recognized as a good idea. However to get the full benefits of it, you really need to be able to see what is in there. FishEye is about making it easy to understand what is in your repository and to find things there.

I use FishEye everyday in a few ways. One is to understand why a certain bit of code is the way it is. Often that’s to understand why I made a change and not simply other members of the team. FishEye’s diff presentation has proved particularly useful for this sort of work.

I use FishEye’s RSS feed to keep track of what is happening in projects. If you’ve worked in an Apache project, you’ll appreciate the benefit of the commit mails sent out by Apache’s CVS server. It’s a way to review code changes as they happen and to understand what changes are being made to code. FishEye’s RSS feed serves a similar function. As I work from home now, it’s important for me to be able to understand the changes being made by other team members.

As we have run a FishEye demo on Ant I was also able to use FishEye for a one-off audit of the Ant codebase. It was important to understand what code had been committed by various people. FishEye made this easy since you can constrain your view by author. If that’s not enough, FishEye has a great query language for performing SQL style exploration of the repository. You can start with a simple search and then move to more advanced search modes.

So, while I’m understandably biased in my outlook here, I have to say FishEye rocks.