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Sending Messages & Creating Codemarks
Sending messages is as simple as selecting a channel or DM, typing your message in the chat box at the bottom of the stream, and then hitting Enter. Done!
Of course, CodeStream is chat that is connected to your codebase, so the real value comes from discussing code and creating the codemarks that build your team’s knowledge base. Click the “+” button at the left side of the chat box to bring up the New Codemark form.
Alternatively, you can start by selecting a block of code in your editor and the form will automatically pop up (although you can turn this behavior off via the toggle at the bottom of the form). You can also select “Add CodeStream Comment” from the light bulb menu that appears to the left of your selected block of code.
Creating a codemark is easy, but here’s a quick overview of the form.
- Post to - Select the channel or DM in which to share the codemark.
- Marker Icon - Select a color for the icon that depicts your codemark in the source file. You can use colors as labels to give the codemark additional meaning (e.g., red issues are critical).
- Code Block - If you started by selecting a block of code in your buffer, it will be pre-filled here, but it will automatically update as you change the selection.
- Codemark Type - A codemark can be a comment, issue, trap or bookmark, and the fields you enter will vary based on type. For example, issues allow you to enter separate title and description fields, and even add assignees.
- Description - You’ll notice that the most recent developer to touch this code is automatically mentioned (assuming that they’re on the team). You can simply delete the mention if not needed.
Edit, Delete & Quote
Click the gear menu that appears when you hover over one of your messages in the stream to edit, delete or quote it.
TIP: You can also quickly edit your most recent message by pressing the up arrow key when in the chat box (as long as you haven’t already started to type another message).
If you want to call a teammate’s attention to your message you can @mention them so that they get special notification. Type the @ sign and select the appropriate person’s name from the list that pops up.
CodeStream has threaded discussions to help keep things organized. Click on any message in the stream to see all messages from the thread grouped together, and to add your own comment to the thread. You can even post a codemark as a reply to a thread!
When you add a comment, the message will appear in the thread view (as depicted above), but it will also appear when you’re viewing the main chat stream. In this view, you’ll see that a snippet of the original message in the thread is included so that everyone is immediately aware that it’s a comment in an existing thread.
Adding comments to a thread instead of just posting in the main chat stream helps provide context, especially if there’s cross-talk going on. Keeping discussions about code organized in threads is also extremely important when it comes to building up your team’s knowledge base and allowing those discussions to be leveraged in the future.
TIP: Your discussions can span source files, or even repos. For example, a teammate may post a code block depicting an API call they’re struggling with, and you could post an example of the proper way to make the call from a different source file.