[This article was written by Dr. Nils Göde]
Almost every long-living software system has accumulated an abundance of quality deficits over time. It’s not only impossible to remove all findings, I also do not recommend to do that. You may very well argue to not remove any legacy finding by saying »It has worked all the time« or »It wasn’t me who introduced the problem«. But then—on the other hand—you should make sure that you don’t introduce any new problems. To check this, you need a tool that can reliably differentiate between legacy findings and findings that have been recently introduced. This has to work also if directories of files are renamed, code is moved between files and findings change their appearance in the code. Making the distinction between legacy and recent findings is one of the many strengths of Teamscale.
Teamscale has a sophisticated method of tracking findings even if code changes or moves. This means Teamscale has the complete history of every single finding and knows when it has been introduced. Therefore, Teamscale can tell you reliably for every individual finding whether it is a legacy finding or a finding that has been recently introduced.
You, as a user of Teamscale, can define which findings are considered legacy findings by setting one or more »baselines«. Each baseline specifies a certain point in time or a revision in your version control system. Baselines can, for example, be set to releases or important milestones during development.
Once you have configured baselines, you can select a baseline in the Findings perspective.
The Findings perspective will then show only those findings that have been introduced after the selected baseline. This way, you can easily find out which findings have been recently introduced and should be addressed.
Needless to say that baselining works also with the IDE plugin. That means you can also configure your IDE to show only those findings from Teamscale that have been introduced after a given baseline. In summary, baselines are a powerful feature of Teamscale that allows you to concentrate on recent findings and don’t waste any effort cleaning up code that has worked all the time and fixing legacy problems that you have not introduced.