Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spice up your pending changes view

When you're in a hurry, fast food is convenient. But after a while, you're going to get tired of the limited choice between ketchup and mayo for the dressing. Same thing goes with RTC Source Control. By default, it comes with certain preferences that work well in common situations and will get you started quickly. But once you use the tool extensively, it's time to explore some of the ways you can customize its UI to fit your taste. Here we will focus on the Pending Changes view. We will assume you are familiar with that view and its typical workflows (check-in, accept, deliver...). The view offers you plenty of flavors to choose from...

Auto check-in or not auto check-in?


By default, you have to manually check-in your local changes. Edit a file, save it. A local change shows up in the Pending Changes view. Select it and check it in. That's probably the way you've been working from day 1. There's an alternative way that works really well for certain users. Go to Eclipse > Window > Preferences > Team > Jazz Source Control > Changes > Check-in Policies. Check the Auto check-in local changes option and don't worry about the other options on that page. That's it, you're set. As long as you are logged in, every time you edit and save a local file, the new version gets automatically checked-in. Convenient. Try it and see if you like it. In our experience, some people prefer to drive manual, this is up to you...

Verbose or not verbose?


To help you decide if you are ready to accept or deliver a change set, Pending Changes view shows you various properties related to that change set - the person who created that change set, when it was delivered, files that were added, deleted, renamed, etc. Some users love details. Others prefer a view with no clutter. Turn on or turn off what you want in Eclipse > Window > Preferences > Team > Jazz Source Control > Changes > Label Decorations.

Eclipse compare editor or third party compare editor?


Before accepting or delivering changes, you double click and inspect them in a compare editor. By default, we use the built-in Eclipse compare editor. But there are other options out there in the market, and we know some are very popular. So we make it easy for you to plug in your own compare editor. Use Eclipse > Window > Preferences > Team > Jazz Source Control >  External Compare Tools.
The tool comes with predefined settings for some popular third party compare editors. If yours isn't listed, you can manually specify the arguments it requires from Source Control.

These are in my opinion some of the most useful ways you can tweak your Pending Changes view. If you're a big fan of some other options not listed here, please add a comment and explain how it makes your life easier...

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