The name

Malevich was inspired by Google's code review system called "Mondrian". It was written by Guido van Rossum as his starter project at Google, and it pioneered the space for web-based point-and-click code code review tools. Guido gives an excellent presentation for Mondrian here: - you can get the presentation, or watch the text talk, the links are in the right pane.

The most important feature of Mondrian is that making review comments is really, really easy. One just clicks on the line of code to which one wants to attach the comment, a text box opens, and one starts typing. Afterwards, the comment is visible right between the lines of code, for all (both reviewers and reviewee) to see. It is really this easy.

Mondrian is an excellent, absolutely wonderful tool, but it has one problem: it is an internal Google tool, and as such, is not accessible to the developers outside Google. Guido (see the link above) has subsequently released a public version of Mondrian called Rietveld. However, this tool requires uploading the code to be reviewed to Google source servers - something that no reasonable for-profit software organization will ever do for the simple reason of IP protection.

Enter Malevich - a point-and-click web based review tool, just like Mondrian, but anyone can deploy his/her own version!

Back to the name. Mondrian was named for Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter ( Kazimir Malevich ( is a Russian painter contemporary to Mondrian, best known for his painting of a black square:

I love "Black Square" because, being really, really, really bad at anything that involves any sort of art, and doubly bad with painting, images, and graphical design (as you will see when you look at the screen shots) this is the one image that even I can reproduce. So if this software project will ever need an icon, or a logo, or any sort of graphical representation, I revel in knowing that I will be able to do it :-).

Last edited Jan 25, 2009 at 4:42 AM by SergeySolyanik, version 1


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