The University of Sussex

CVS integration with notification and chat: lightweight team support

Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Paul Marshall, Anthony Phillips

Communication and awareness have been identified as key issues for effective software development. Code management systems like Concurrent Version System (CVS) can play an important role in this work, but often at some time removed from the original entries. The focus of this paper is what happens to a software development team’s use of CVS when the log is synchronously augmented with an event notification system, Elvin, and a tickertape tool where CVS messages are displayed and where developers can chat with one another. Data from interviews and a high-level log analysis demonstrate that the tool was effective in supporting timely interaction around CVS entries and became an important communication and awareness tool. Analyses of the CVS logs of two different projects show that, when using the tool, developers tend to include more information in the messages they write when they check code in to the repository.

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