Code Review and Collaboration

So far I did not suceed finding an online code collaboration tool for code review that is embedded in Netbeans. Except the collab plugin which requires a XMPP server (which I installed but NB not really willing to log into it and rewarding me with errors). I found another tools which is not embedded in Netbeans but an editor by itself: GOBBY (link).
It supports several team members working on the same (text) file and comes with a chat. One needs to start in host mode, so no server is required. It runs both under Windows and Linux. Unfortunately I did not manage to make the Windows version talk to a Linux host.
It still works ok for me because I can share a file (from my Netbeans project) by opening it directly in Gobby. Once the changes are made and you go back to Netbeans, the IDE will update the modified file.

Gobby Collaboration Editor

Gobby Collaboration Editor

News: Android SDK 1.5, Jazoon09

  • Android SDK 1.5
    The new release is on its way and a early version is available for download. Some new features (onscreen keyboard, home screen widgets) will be in the API. Have a look at the Android Blog (link).
  • Jazoon 2009
    Today is the last chance to grab a seat at a reduced early bird price of 1035 Euro for the 3 day Java conference in Zurich, Switzerland. (link)
  • Netbeans Collab Server
    The service at is discontinued from April 20th 2009. You better start looking for an alternative. The only one I know is to setup your own OpenFire Server (link). More information on the topic at (link)

How to Use Netbeans Collaboration

In times of distributed development teams and highspeed internet connections, online collaboration is nothing new. Individuals and companies are using MSN, Skype and other chat and voip based tools to exchange information or share screens for support and presentations. Netbeans offers its own little collaboration tool, the collaboration plugin you find in your plugins page in the Netbeans IDE. On top of a chat function you can actively share code and review on the screen, your partner see your changes or comments on the fly.
A lot of people talking about agile, xp, pair porgramming, code review and more, so I am surprised the plugin has no very active support in the Netbeans community at the moment. But it works ! It runs perfect in NB 6.5 both on Windows and Solaris (at the same time). But we might add some more features like a voice chat or screen sharing or similar functions. Anyway I am happy with and use it together with Subversion to ensure a safe passage through the distributed development:

Here I will share with you how to get started:

1. Open the NB plugin screen and look for “collab” under available plugins.


Netbeans: Available plugins

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About Open Source

Working in the Software industry for the last 15 years I saw the nice and ugly sides of programming. For me the biggest challenge in software is to create and keep a team of talented and motivated developer who love their work. In bigger companies it is almost impossible to create a environment for this (with exceptions like  maybe Google). I always admired the quality of gaming software, seems here we have a high level of identification with company and product.

Back to the topic Open Source: It is astonishing what high level of quality Open Source Teams achieve without meeting each other and big management overhead, basically without spending money. I guess it is impossible to create such motivation in a private company ?!

If you are not really sure what OPEN SOURCE means, you better check the definition and limitation. A good starting point is the Open Source Initiative (link). Free software does not necessary mean free like in free beer !

You want to browse Open Source hosts with a myriad of projects ? Check out the links at the right side of this blog under OPEN SOURCE COLLABORATION.