Tasktop 1.8.1 released with code review support for SmartBear’s CodeCollaborator

by Wesley Coelho, February 22nd, 2011

Code reviews are becoming an established part of Agile and Lean software delivery. Today’s release of Tasktop 1.8.1 will make it much easier for Eclipse-based developers to participate in the code review process. We have teamed up with SmartBear Software to provide a task-focused approach to code reviews using CodeCollaborator, a leading peer code review tool. Developers will now be able to manage their code reviews using the collaboration facilities of Eclipse Mylyn’s Task List and use the knowledge capture facilities of the task-focused interface to streamline the code review processes. For organizations adopting the code reviews, the main benefit is an easier path to developer adoption and reduced friction in creating and collaborating on reviews.

Code reviews, like other development tasks, involve only a tiny subset of the code available to a developer in the IDE and the remaining code is simply a distraction. Fortunately, thanks to the task-focused interface, reviewers can now focus the development environment on only the source code that is relevant for the review, making the process far more efficient. Unlike other code review solutions, the code presented includes all the source code that was relevant for the original developer, not just a diff of what was committed to the version control system.

Select the code reviews to appear in the integrated Task List

How does this work, you ask? Developers working on a bug or feature activate the associated task to automatically track and display the most relevant source code using Tasktop’s task-focused interface, which monitors development activity to determine the most relevant information for the task. The “context” of relevant code and even documents and web pages is then attached to a new code review in CodeCollaborator. The reviewer then activates the review to focus their development environment to display only the relevant code and even reopen the editors the original developer had open.

Another key benefit of uniting Tasktop and CodeCollaborator is the task list integration. Developers can now view and schedule code reviews alongside their other tasks from defect tracking and project management systems. Furthermore, the task list provides a notification mechanism for code reviews so it’s easy to keep on top of review status updates. Together, these capabilities make it much easier to incorporate code reviews into the regular development work flow.

Tasktop connects reviews with a team’s development process beyond displaying them in the task list alongside other tasks. Developers can use the Associations section of a review to create relationships between reviews and the defects and features in dozens of project management systems. This provides traceability between the code review and the design rationale and history captured in the project management system. It’s also a great way to see whether a particular defect or feature has an associated review.

The Code Review editor provides access to all of CodeCollaborator’s review features as well as Tasktop’s time tracking, associations, scheduling and context information.

The Tasktop CodeCollaborator Connector is bundled with Tasktop Enterprise and also available from the Mylyn Connector Discovery. To get started with a free trial:

  greenbullet_icon Download Tasktop Enterprise
  greenbullet_icon Download the CodeCollaborator Server


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