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Crucible is a powerful addition to FishEye, making it easy to review code changes, make comments, and record outcomes in an efficient, distributed, and process-neutral way.

Introduction

Crucible is a tool that facilitates code review. It can be as valuable to organisations that already have a formal inspection process as it is to teams that don't review at all.

Regular peer review is a proven process with demonstrable return on investment (ROI). The benefits vary from team to team but commonly include:

  • Identifying bugs and defects early.
  • Sharing expertise and encouraging knowledge transfer.
  • Improving system-wide knowledge.
  • Encouraging adherence to internal standards and style conventions.
  • Identifying individual strengths and weaknesses.

One of the less apparent, but nonetheless important, benefits that comes from a transparent code review process is that quality improves simply from the knowledge that code may be critically reviewed. Developers take more care with style, readability, comments, and commit-messages because their peers are going to see them.

Despite these and many other clear benefits, code review is often seen as 'impractical on time sensitive projects', 'only valuable in large teams working on mission critical applications', or at worst 'a total waste of time foisted on developers by management'. Formal code review can feel like an expensive use of time, because the review process can:

  • Be burdened by excessive paperwork and other administration.
  • Interrupt your current task and make you less productive.
  • Include meetings where participants fail to prepare, so that the meeting becomes a walkthrough rather than a critical review.
  • Become an ego battle or point-scoring exercise dominated by a vocal minority.

These issues do not affect the immense potential value of code review. They are simply problems with some review processes.

Crucible's mission is to streamline the process aspects so development teams can access the benefits. Crucible achieves this by:

  • Making reviews asynchronous.
  • Bringing reviewing to your desk (wherever that might be).
  • Eliminating most of the administration.
  • Limiting the ability for individuals to dominate the dialogue.
  • Providing an archival record of reviews.

Crucible increases the quality, quantity, and frequency of code reviews thereby reducing bugs, helping knowledge sharing and fundamentally improving system quality.

Starting Points

Visit the Crucible Feature Tour to understand how Crucible can benefit you.

You can run Crucible with a FishEye-compatible source code repository set up, such as CVS, Subversion, or Perforce. For more information, please read the FishEye documentation.

Read the Installation Guide to get started quickly.

For Crucible troubleshooting, see the FAQ.