The IP.com Prior Art Database
English (United States)
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Advanced On Demand Rendition Of Source Code Change History Information Inside A Development Toolkit
Software development and code maintenance process often requires understanding history of the certain pieces of code as to why it was added, when it was added, who is the author of the code, and any other pertinent data (defect number that triggered the change). This information is sought almost on a daily basis by every developer working in a medium-to large team environment on a project.
Current practice is to manually extract this information using several steps, efficiency of which entirely depends on the developer's ability to troubleshoot and decipher information. One of the common procedure used is as follows:
Manually review the historical comments added by the programmer (there could be none) to get a sense of the time-line when the code piece in question was introduced. Most source code control software (CMVC, Clearcase) allow for such change
Use the information above to zero in on the source file revision number where the change was introduced.
Use a file compare utility like diff, windiff to view the changes made in that revision.
Identify the defect/feature number that introduced the change and the author of that version of the source code.
Some advanced tools like the Jazz based Rational Team Concert have solved many of these problems by providing the source code change history in development tools. Such tools include a Software Configuration Management component which includes an annotation that allows a developer in an Eclipse IDE to view sections of lines of code and see what changes were incorporated in earlier versions, who made them and when, etc. This function may be accessed by a sort of scroll bar running down one side of the pane displaying the code. However the information provided in the annotation on a line by line basis may be too much data and hence difficult to comprehend. Also the annotations are static and do not provide references to other materials or code that may have been affected by that changes or caused another change. The annotations also do not provide information about what the original code was before change.
This idea enhances the existing capabilities of tools which associate source code change history with code in editor. The following are the four novelties being added to the existing features:
1. Show summary of changes at method/function level:
Provide the integration and annotation at the method/function level and not only at the file/line level. For exam...