Mondrian, Just the First Internal Google Tool Be Released Via App Engine?

Guido van Rossum, creator of Python and Google employee, has released a version of the internal Google code-checking tool Mondrian via the Python mailing list (text after the jump). The new app is called Code Review and was built with almost all new code on the Django framework. Code Review uses a lot of the same concepts and infrastructure that Mondrian does including Big Table.

There are differences. Code Review uses the open source software control system Subversion (also the backend of Google Code) whereas Mondrian works with Perforce, the commercial tool used internally at Google. Code Review will eventually be made open source.

Mondrian first became public at a Google Tech Talk. At the time Niall Kennedy wrote up a great summary of the talk.

It’s great that Guido is releasing this and that Google is letting him. I am impressed. Could AppEngine be the way that Google releases its most useful internal tools? I’ve talked to several Google employees about the amount of code Google open sources and it’s always less than they would like. The problem they face is that the code is tied to Google infrastructure and the hours required to de-couple it make the projects a non-starter.

Previous to the release of App Engine (and thus the exposure of Big Table) Code Review would have been one of those non-starters. Since he was able to rely on the Big Table implementation in App Engine the job became a lot easier. What other tools of Google’s would you want (any of these)? I wonder if anything new will come out in time for Google I/O.

(via Reddit Programming)

An excerpt from the mail sent by Guido:

Some of you may have seen a video recorded in November 2006 where I
showed off Mondrian, a code review tool that I was developing for
Google ( I’ve always hoped
that I could release Mondrian as open source, but it was not to be:
due to its popularity inside Google, it became more and more tied to
proprietary Google infrastructure like Bigtable, and it remained
limited to Perforce, the commercial revision control system most used
at Google.

What I’m announcing now is the next best thing: an code review tool
for use with Subversion, inspired by Mondrian and (soon to be)
released as open source. Some of the code is even directly derived
from Mondrian. Most of the code is new though, written using Django
and running on Google App Engine.

I’m inviting the Python developer community to try out the tool on the
web for code reviews. I’ve added a few code reviews already, but I’m
hoping that more developers will upload at least one patch for review
and invite a reviewer to try it out.

To try it out, go here:

Please use the Help link in the top right to read more on how to use
the app. Please sign in using your Google Account (either a Gmail
address or a non-Gmail address registered with Google) to interact
more with the app (you need to be signed in to create new issues and
to add comments to existing issues).

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