What is it?

File History Flow Visualization is an eclipse plugin for the exploration of the history of an arbitrary text file. It fetches all revisions of a file from a given repository and compares them to evaluate data about all activities in the file's history. The data is locally stored and can be explored via an line based visualization. The visualization offers fast access to the history, in particular the activities and the involved authors. File History Flow Visualization was originally designed to explore the activities of programmers in software development. But it can be used in other domains too.

What can it do?

The visualization:
  • Shows which lines are owned by an author.
  • Marks all lines that have been added, modified or deleted.
  • Points out the history and dependencies of a selected line range.
  • Displays metrics based on the file's history.
In the background:
  • Stores the history data in a local database, thus the visualization can be used offline and offers faster access to the visualization.
  • Runs a batch job to store the history data of multiple files in the database.
And more:
  • Uses the editors that are registered at eclipse, e.g. the JDT Java Editor.
  • Synchronizes the selected line ranges between the editors and the visualization.
  • Shows details of the selected line range in a tabbed property view.
  • Shows all involved authors in a list with author filtering and color selection.
  • Offers user preferences for the visualization colors etc.
  • Displays user defined metrics that are contributed via an eclipse extension point.
  • Supports simultaneous exploring of several files.


File History Flow Visualization is not far away from the CVS annotate command. It is an flow visualization of annotations. Even the flow visualization is not really new. It can be found in different applications (History Flow and CVSscan). New is the possibility to browse the complete history of a file based on annotations, and explore their dependencies and history in the file's history.

File History Flow Visualization has been developed by Harald Kästel-Baumgartner at the University of Hagen. This project was initiated and guided by Dr. Till Schümmer.

Please feel free to report bugs, feature requests or anything else on the project page or via the contact form.