Four tools that make Java code review painless and effective

Just read about the release of a new Java code review tool and that reminded me of an article I had written quite some time back.

The article was based on my experiences in a company. Code reviews in that company were more of a ritual than meant to actually deliver some results.
Code review tools have the potential to make a big difference to the quality of code delivered.

Have a look at this article Three tools that make Java code review painless and effective.
Although the article was written in 2003, I believe all the tools
discussed, namely PMD, Checkstyle, and Jalopy are still very much around. The latest release was of the
review tool Hammurapi. So that makes it four code review tools you should look at.

Do you think code reviews are important and what do you think is the best way to review Java code?

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10 thoughts on “Four tools that make Java code review painless and effective

  • September 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm


    I  have just started reviewing the code for a java project.

    Can you please help me how to integrate any of the four tools with EclipseEE and do the review.


  • April 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

    codeclover is also a good one.which helps a lot.i will try the one what u mentioned .. bye…

  • January 20, 2005 at 10:58 am


    I also blogged about these code review tools, primarily about PMD in my blog. You can check it here, ne_calendar.asp?team=Admin&location=Mayfair&order=6.3.1.

    My comments on these tools from my blog,

    ‘ I want to say that this tool cannot completely replace manual code reviews which are more effective. Pareto’s 80-20 rule applies here. ha ha… :-). As this tool will help to review 80% common problems and good old manual review can cover 20% critical problems. ‘

  • January 20, 2005 at 12:07 am

    Another tool that I’ve heard of in this space is Juliet which is used for code comprehension.

  • January 19, 2005 at 10:46 pm

    Pair programming does NOT replace the usefulness of a code review tool. I doubt it allows you to write bug-free code that is completly free of design shortcommingg. People aren’t perfect. Tools won’t fix that, but they certainly help.

    We pair program and it certain does help code quality.

  • January 19, 2005 at 10:41 pm

    Checkstyle is great. We used to use PMD, but dropped it as CheckStyle now has many of the same rules PMD does. But these are just one TYPE of checking tool Others include:

    [URL=]JLint[/URL] – Very fast. Good for detecting NPE’s
    [URL=]Simian[/URL] – Dupliate code.
    [URL=]ESC/Java 2[/URL]

    The first 3 intelligently scan your bytecode across multiple files. Checkstyle only looks for patterns in your source code.

    ESC is the best, I think, but it’s hard to use. We use it successfully, but it took a while to figure it out. It has almost completely eliminated the chance for NPE, index of out of bouncds, and class cast exceptions. It requires lots and lots of design-by-contract annotations.

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