Palantír: Raising Awareness among Configuration Management Workspaces

TitlePalantír: Raising Awareness among Configuration Management Workspaces
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSarma, A., Z. Noroozi, and A. van der Hoek
Conference NameTwenty-Fifth International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2003)
Date PublishedMay
Conference LocationPortland, Oregon
KeywordsAwareness, Configuration Management

Current configuration management systems promote workspaces that isolate developers from each other. This isolation is both good and bad. It is good, because developers make their changes without any interference from changes made concurrently by other developers. It is bad, because not knowing which artifacts are changing in parallel regularly leads to problems when changes are promoted from workspaces into a central configuration management repository. Overcoming the bad isolation, while retaining the good isolation, is a matter of raising awareness among developers, an issue traditionally ignored by the discipline of configuration management. To fill this void, we have developed Palantír, a novel workspace awareness tool that complements existing configuration management systems by providing developers with insight into other workspaces. In particular, the tool informs a developer of which other developers change which other artifacts, calculates a simple measure of severity of those changes, and graphically displays the information in a configurable and generally non-obtrusive manner. To illustrate the use of Palantír, we demonstrate how it integrates with two representative configuration management systems.