Perforce upgrades cross-platform code-change GUI

The company's Visual Client tool has been upgraded to feature a cross-platform GUI to give developers a consistent view of a system's evolving source code
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor

Perforce Software is vying for greater interest in its software configuration-management system by providing wider access to versioned files through a graphical user interface that supports Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS and Linux.

As programmers collectively "evolve" software applications, they need to be able to visualise and track the changes being made at every stage of a project on every platform. To achieve this, the Perforce Visual Client (P4V) tool has this week been upgraded to feature a cross-platform graphical user interface (GUI) to give developers a consistent view of a system's source code.

"Modern development environments typically span more than one location, more than one set of applications and more than one platform. Given the multiplicity of these cross-platform challenges, being able to visualise and examine changes to the source code with clarity is fundamental to good programming practice," said Dave Robertson, Perforce's director of European operations, on Tuesday. "With this kind of tool in place, teams can gain a tighter grip on their development projects and also forward plan with greater accuracy."

The new release of Visual Client has been upgraded by using Trolltech's Qt 4 cross-platform, software-development framework to streamline its architecture, as well as improve its look and feel. According to Perforce, this enhanced visualisation of file history, with a new time-lapse view tool, means that developers can instantly see how the entire content of a file has evolved over time.

To try to improve insight into the difference between file versions, Perforce has also included a visual merge tool in the new product. This tool provides graphical three-way merging and side-by-side file comparisons, using colour coding to simplify the process of resolving conflicts that result from parallel or concurrent development.

P4V is available now, with end-user licences starting at $800 (£400) per seat. The product is bundled with the Perforce Server at no additional charge. A 45-day developer evaluation version is available on Perforce's website with free technical support during the trial period.

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