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About the upcoming Project Management tool and/or Bugtracker

13 replies [Last post]
Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11

Hello, everybody.

I'm posting this message to discuss about the upcoming Project Management tool. However, I think we need both a PM tool and a bugtracker.

So far, It's been suggested:

And I think that...

  • dotProject: I like it a lot, except the tacky interface.
  • phpCollab: A dead project, IMO.
  • streberPM: I liked everything about this one.
  • Trac: I think should be the bugtracker.
  • Tracks: Isn't it too simple if we keep in mind that GGL is always growing?

The Bug tracker:

In addition to the Project Management tool, this one is a must-have, as we need a tool to keep track of the source code in GGL that also has built-in support for issue tracking and SVN. Thus, I think websvn should by replaced by Trac.

Maybe using an "All-in-one" tool (Project Management + Bug tracker) is easier to maintain, but I haven't found one of these suitable for our upcoming projects: Is Trac (for example) suitable for us to keep track of non-technical stuff such as embassies-related proposals? I don't think so; for these tasks, we need a PM tool. On the other hand, is streberPM (for example) suitable for us to keep track of our HTML? I don't think so either; for these tasks we need a source code tracker (such as Trac or Bugzilla).

Finally, I vote for:

  • streberPM as our Project Management tool.
  • Trac as our source code's tracker.

Cheers!

PS: Don't you think that all of our source code should be available from our SVN? It shouldn't be available for the Spanish translation only, IMO. Also, Olivier wouldn't have to maintain a zip file.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Since I don't have much

Since I don't have much experience with any of the above tools I'm not sure which would I recommend.

But if you decide to consider an all-in-one option (because of potentially easier maintenance) Drupal could be an option. It's used on this site. It has a project management module as well as an issue tracker (which serves as a bug tracker). It is used for developing Drupal itself.

Project Management module: http://drupal.org/project/project (the page contains useful info)
Issue Tracker module: http://drupal.org/project/project_issue

EDIT: Drupal can also be used for a planet as it features both an aggregator and blog module, included with the default install (though not enabled). There's probably nothing Drupal can't be used for (that's what it's known for, flexibility). How extensive those functionalities are is another topic, it's something to try and see. Smiling

Cheers

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Joined: 2006-10-30
Which option is right?

If we settle up the PHP/XML<>Wiki/Planet discussion, we will be able to find a solution more easily. Rewriting the site is the hard job in any case.

To clarify things, I like the idea of one site powered by one CMS. That would narrow the choices available.
I suggested the other options because I think separated apps are more secure. Streber is already installed so we can compare them later. If Olivier did not have to deal with too many things, that would be a plus. Maybe a combo Streber/Drupal would be the best choice.

It is not too important that svn is integrated with the project manager, we can use the latter to organize and assign tasks, and verify applied changes with Drupal or websvn.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
BZ

What about Bugzilla?

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Well so far I have only

Well so far I have only been able to test Streber (thanks for the install kuan!), so I cannot really compare. It looks very nice in my opinion; I cannot quite have a complete list of projects to display in the "projects" page, but I'll manage to learn I guess. Smiling Since my online-time is limited I can only spend so much time per day testing it.

More generally of course you are all right to point out that we need to do basically 3 things:
1) Manage projects
2) Edit html files
3) Manage a planet site

IMO the planet site can be done quite independently, so if there is a separate system doing just that, it'll probably be fine. Somehow I believe the atmosphere on it will be more relaxed, with maybe people joining that are more interested in side-projects like artwork or embassies, rather than directly editing the site.
I usually like one application to do just one thing, it usually does it better and it's a pleasure to use (just a feeling). Of course an all-in-one system is not out of the question. I endeavour to give Drupal a deeper try this weekend, management-wise.

However, I am not quite sure about 1) and 2). Here my total lack of experience in development doesn't help Smiling

Gustavo wrote:

In addition to the Project Management tool, this one is a must-have, as we need a tool to keep track of the source code in GGL that also has built-in support for issue tracking and SVN. Thus, I think websvn should by replaced by Trac.

Maybe using an "All-in-one" tool (Project Management + Bug tracker) is easier to maintain, but I haven't found one of these suitable for our upcoming projects: Is Trac (for example) suitable for us to keep track of non-technical stuff such as embassies-related proposals? I don't think so; for these tasks, we need a PM tool. On the other hand, is streberPM (for example) suitable for us to keep track of our HTML? I don't think so either; for these tasks we need a source code tracker (such as Trac or Bugzilla).

I thought that we might be able to manage the projects fully on one project manager and then just use WebSVN just the way it's done today. So the process for changing the Windows page for example would be:
- Propose a project, define it etc in [Our Project Manager].
- Attach the proposed Windows page file, work on it offline, update the attachment.
- When finished, commit the new file to the SVN through WebSVN.

This is not quite state-of-the-art, since the "attachment" is not quite practical and there might be version conflicts if several members work on things separately.
However it's rather straightforward.

Another solution could integrate the work files directly into SVN. But then one has to watch out that we have to build drafts, so there would have to be the "actual" Windows page + a temporary draft of the new version, clearly separated so it cannot be accidentally committed to the website.
It might very well be possible to have this functionality nicely incorporated in a system, I don't know (maybe Trac?). But I fear this is too complicated for us (it's not like we are editing one large program).

I think though, that over everything, the project management feature is a priority. I like to think of "bugs" in a loose way (maybe like the ubuntu people do), and I think being able to work easily over projects is super important. My vision of the perfect system is that someone can bring something (file or just comment) to a project easily (not frightened or put off by the task), and most of all, that everyone can have at all time a clear overview of the main priorities being worked on.
In this respect, I find that we will have less use of bugtrackers. From what I have seen, they are more focused on managing bits of software than projects (which can be long-term). What I fear is that there would be two kinds of projects: the bugs in the bugtracker and the ones in the PM.

So?
For now I believe we should go for either one of the following:

  • keep WebSVN, get a PM like strebber, build a planet website separately (Wordpress, Drupal etc)
  • erase WebSVN, get a PM-focused system that also does SVN (not quite bugtracker), build planet site separately
  • get it all in one (like the shampoo Smiling)

I'll try to have tested all the systems mentioned above by tomorrow Sat. night. Meanwhile don't wait for me to keep the decision process going, because this is not a definitive decision of course Smiling
Olivier.

PS yes of course the SVN will have all the files very soon. I'm also very tired of this download file Smiling and this is perfectly logical.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
In response to Olivier

Hi!

ariadacapo wrote:

IMO the planet site can be done quite independently, so if there is a separate system doing just that, it'll probably be fine.

I agree.

I've been thinking about becoming a blogger, and the best software I've found is Serendipity; it's much better than Wordpress, IMO. I recommend it for the GGL Planet.

ariadacapo wrote:

Somehow I believe the atmosphere on it will be more relaxed, with maybe people joining that are more interested in side-projects like artwork or embassies, rather than directly editing the site.

For sure.

ariadacapo wrote:
Gustavo wrote:

In addition to the Project Management tool, this one is a must-have, as we need a tool to keep track of the source code in GGL that also has built-in support for issue tracking and SVN. Thus, I think websvn should by replaced by Trac.

Maybe using an "All-in-one" tool (Project Management + Bug tracker) is easier to maintain, but I haven't found one of these suitable for our upcoming projects: Is Trac (for example) suitable for us to keep track of non-technical stuff such as embassies-related proposals? I don't think so; for these tasks, we need a PM tool. On the other hand, is streberPM (for example) suitable for us to keep track of our HTML? I don't think so either; for these tasks we need a source code tracker (such as Trac or Bugzilla).

I thought that we might be able to manage the projects fully on one project manager and then just use WebSVN just the way it's done today. So the process for changing the Windows page for example would be:
- Propose a project, define it etc in [Our Project Manager].
- Attach the proposed Windows page file, work on it offline, update the attachment.
- When finished, commit the new file to the SVN through WebSVN.

This is not quite state-of-the-art, since the "attachment" is not quite practical and there might be version conflicts if several members work on things separately.
However it's rather straightforward.

That's in case of proposals. What about bugs?

ariadacapo wrote:

I think though, that over everything, the project management feature is a priority. I like to think of "bugs" in a loose way (maybe like the ubuntu people do), and I think being able to work easily over projects is super important. My vision of the perfect system is that someone can bring something (file or just comment) to a project easily (not frightened or put off by the task), and most of all, that everyone can have at all time a clear overview of the main priorities being worked on.
In this respect, I find that we will have less use of bugtrackers. From what I have seen, they are more focused on managing bits of software than projects (which can be long-term). What I fear is that there would be two kinds of projects: the bugs in the bugtracker and the ones in the PM.

Well, I must admit it's a good reason to not use a bugtracker.

ariadacapo wrote:

For now I believe we should go for either one of the following:

  • keep WebSVN, get a PM like strebber, build a planet website separately (Wordpress, Drupal etc)
  • erase WebSVN, get a PM-focused system that also does SVN (not quite bugtracker), build planet site separately
  • get it all in one (like the shampoo Smiling)

I vote for the first one.

Cheers!

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
I have tried all of the

I have tried all of the proposed systems;

  • dotProject: definitely very complete, project management-wise. IMO it's a little too complex for us (not extremely friendly) but quite acceptable
  • phpCollab: indeed looks dead... I could not find a working demo of that one
  • streberPM: Pretty cool. Works wonderfully for me. It doesn't have too many features and is easy to understand.
  • Trac: Too bad this one is software-focused. It's even friendlier and simpler, but does not fit our purpose IMO, since it is definitely more a bug-tracker than a project manager.
  • Bugzilla: same remark (although this was not a thorough test)
  • Tracks: It is much more a personal organisation application than a group project manager
  • Drupal module: Again I think it's more focused on software... We will not be constrained by milestones or releases I think... my vision of what we need is simply of something to organise ideas.

So I join Gustavo in proposing to keep WebSVN, install strebber, and build the planet website separately.
At the moment there's an issue with the installed version of strebber on the site, but I will discuss this with the installer-in-chief kuan ;-)

Are there any other proposals, different systems, different opinions?

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Kuan just solved the

Kuan just solved the strebber bug.
I also gave a try at ActiveCollab, you can try it on http://test.getgnulinux.org/activecollab/ with testuser as both username and password.

It'd be good to have a decision made on Wed, 13th evening so we can set the project manager up and have it running by Sunday, as proposed earlier.
I am currently leaning towards ActiveCollab over Strebber (mostly for slightly better looks) but this is very minor.
O

PS I apologise that I have now no network at home, so my presence online is inevitably suffering this week.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I think ActiveCollab is not

I think ActiveCollab is not that bad, but I think Strebber is exactly what we need.

Just my opinion...

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Joined: 2006-10-30
Streber themes
ariadacapo wrote:

I am currently leaning towards ActiveCollab over Strebber (mostly for slightly better looks) but this is very minor.

Have you tried the "webbplatsen" theme? It looks really good here, reminds me the Mozilla Modern theme.
BTW, is ActiveCollab translated?
I ask you that because we could take advantage of that feature in Streber.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Ok, let's go for Stebber

Ok, let's go for Stebber then.
I don't know for the translation of ActiveCollab... The French in Strebber is pretty terrible but I don't mind at all (I'm just happy with English). I do not really have a strong preference, so Strebber wins over Smiling
I'll talk with Kuan to maybe move the install to a different place, and then we can delete my dummy projects in there and start filling it with projects. There's a large list waiting :-). We can have completed this by Sunday as planned..

Olivier.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
That's great!

That's great!

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Not sure if this would

Not sure if this would still be relevant, but I just stumbled upon it and thought it'd be good to share the link: http://proj.chbs.dk/

It's a list of free project management tools.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Whew... better late than

Whew... better late than never, the project manager is on-line. Visitors can access by logging in as "curious" as both username an password. Ask me for a username if you wish.
Sorry for the delay. Mine is a permanent struggle with time.

Thanks libervisco for the list, which would have come really helpful a few weeks ago... now that things are up it's best not to reconsider I think ;-)

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