Thursday, December 8, 2005

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Koders and CodeKeep plugins for .NET

A good code example is a great help when using a new API for the first time so I was pretty exited when Koders and CodeKeep released their plugins for Visual Studio. They take two different approaches:



  • CodeKeep searches private and public code sniplets

  • Koders searches a huge collection of source code


CodeKeep
I like the idea behind CodeKeep as it works on code sniplets that does something useful and not a huge db of source code. CodeKeep only has a plugin in for Visual Studio .NET 2003 but versions for Visual Studio 2005 and Eclipse should be out soon.



Even though I like the idea, I quickly hit a big limitation: CodeKeep only searches by Description or Title. This is a problem as it requires you (and everyone else) to enter a good great description. It maybe useful for organizing your own code sniplets but searching for sniplets on how to use a particular API is difficult.


Koders
Koders take the other approach; they do not search the title or description but the code. With an ever growing code base it allows you to find an example for most APIs.


The Koders Visual Studio plugin installs a menu short cut and a small search toolbar. Versions for 2003 and Eclipse are available as well.


Conclusion
Both solutions are useful, but I would prefer mix that allows me to:



  • search by code when I know the API I have problems with. The code must have a brief description/title so I know if it applies to my context or not.

  • search by title/description/category when I know the problem but not the API.

  • view feedback and provide feedback. The more people that find the code useful the higher rank it will get

  • work with a local and internet solution. I am sure the "private/public" concept of CodeKeep works but I doubt if my clients would be happy if I posted their code on the internet

4 comments:

  1. First off, thanks for using CodeKeep, and I appreciate the honesty in the review. I thougt you might like to know that CodeKeep is about to undergo a major release that will include the following features:



    - The ability to browse all public snippets, thus not forcing you to search. You'll be able to browse all public snippets by language and by author.

    - Search will now be performed on the actual snippet code, in addition to the title and description.

    - You'll be able to leave comments/feedback on any snippet, thus creating dialogue between the snippet author and the community.

    - RSS feeds for the languages have been much improved to now make each snippet an item in the feed, which includes the snippet title, description, and code.



    These features will go live on the site witin the next few days (as I write this). The updates to the add-in will follow shortly thereafter.



    The other thing you might be interested in is a feature to make a snippet "protected". To do this you create a group and invite people to the group. The snippets assigned to that group can then be seen by any member of the grouo but not to the general public. An "internal only" version of CodeKeep has been talked about, but I admit it would be a ways off.



    --Dave

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  2. Great news.

    All the features I wished for and then some!

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  3. Thought you might like to know that I released a major upgrade to CodeKeep over the weekend. Also, the first version of the VS2005 add-in will be out later this week.

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  4. Thanks for the tip Dave.



    I will give it a try.

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