CodeStream is team chat for software developers that lives right inside your IDE, making it easier for you and your fellow developers to talk about code, where you code.
Wait. Isn’t chat just a distraction? No, not the “Where should we have lunch?” or the meme-of-the-day type of chat. More like the “Can someone help me with this code?” or the “Have you thought about a different implementation?” kind of chat.
CodeStream allows for this type of discussion to happen in a frictionless way, by putting it inside your IDE, where your code lives and where you already spend most of your day. Kind of like this…
As you can see, your IDE now has chat built right in, with each file in your source tree having its own chat stream.
Frictionless, Contextual and Persistent Chat
Whether you’re using email or a team chat service, talking about code in a meaningful way can be tedious. Copy a block of code in your IDE, head over to the appropriate chat channel, paste the code, provide some context (repo, file, line numbers), and maybe open a terminal and do a git blame to see who originally wrote the code so that you can mention them. Then you can ask your question… finally!
With CodeStream, each source file has its own chat stream. Just go to the appropriate file, select the code and type your question. Done. Context is built right in. Even the author of the code block is automatically mentioned!
If you were lucky enough to get your question answered in the chat channel, chances are that once the discussion scrolls out of view it will effectively be lost forever. A new developer that takes over the code down the road will never benefit from that discussion.
With CodeStream, the discussion lives on with the source file forever, and is even associated with specific commits. You’re effectively building a knowledge base over time, with zero effort.
By taking the friction out of the process of talking about code, our hope is that developers will do a lot more of it. And importantly, they'll do it much earlier in the development process. Getting code right before it's pushed or merged means less refactoring and less technical debt.
Although CodeStream lives primarily as a plugin in your IDE, it’s a cloud-based service. That means that if your development team is using a mix of IDEs, everyone can still be participating in the same discussions via CodeStream.
Note that during our beta period, we’ll initially have support for Atom, but others are coming soon!