CVS integration with notification and chat: lightweight software team collaboration
G. Fitzpatrick, P. Marshall, and A. Phillips. CSCW '06: Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work, page 49--58. New York, NY, USA, ACM Press, (2006)
Code management systems like Concurrent Version System (CVS) can play an important role in supporting coordination in software development, but often at some time removed from original CVS log entries or removed from the informal conversations around the code. The focus of this paper is one team's long term use of a solution where CVS is augmented with a lightweight event notification system, Elvin, and a tickertape tool where CVS messages are displayed and where developers can also chat with one another. Through a statistical analysis of CVS logs, and a qualitative analysis of tickertape logs and interview data, there is evidence of the tool transforming archival log entries into communicative acts and supporting timely interactions. Developers used the close integration of CVS with chat for growing team culture, stimulating focused discussion, supplementing log information, marking phases of work, coordinating and negotiating work, and managing availability and interruptibility. This has implications for consideration of more lightweight solutions for supporting collaborative software development, as well as managing awareness and interruptions more generally.