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Developer Feedback Needed

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Right now I am looking for all developer of any kind that have worked in a team of really any size. I am right now it the development stage of a project management system. MySQL qith be used for the backend system for storing all information withe the front being designed using HTML/CSS2, and using PHP for communcation with the backend system and using AJAX( send recieve data without reloading page ) and javascript( like menu system and other small scripts needed ). I have gone through 3 stages of brainstorming feature ideas and this list seem the most complete i can come up with. What I would like for you is suggetions for any features you think would be useful for a project management system. Here is a list of my current features planned( kinda long ): Time Clock: A time clock system I think would be a very nice addition to a project/software management system for both companies and indie development teams. It is a way for you to keep track of time spent on projects in total, keep track of time developers spend on a project or certain task, and just a way keep track on the total time a certain developer is spending on development weather is be programming or anything related to the project. One flaw of a system of this type is there is no real way of making sure if someone put 4 hour one 1 task that they were working 4 hour on a task but the amount of visibly work you can se that they put in should reflect the time correctly. This system is in no way meant for a measure for time keeping for pay or anything like that, just a secondary way of keeping track of time. One thing that I would like to have to system do is to keep track on time on projects automatically. What I mean is that the developers will only have to enter in time spent of there tasks. From that information I want the system to be able to either store or calculate the total time on a project or development team by a person or any other of a number of examples. Milestone List: This has a few purposes that are not needed but may be nice for some team to have. I think the biggest thing I think that is can help with is making it clearer for all developers to know where the project is heading. You can plan out a clear path of where you want to take the project and how long you want to take to get there. Other thing that is may help with is motivation of the team. Working on a project with no real clear way of seeing where the project is going to go get be uninterested about the project and the work effect they put into may also drop but if they see where it is going to go and like it they may try to work harder to get there. It can also help track the development of a project. You will be able to when you completed previous Milestones and what was added in each Milestone. We should even and field to store the total number of man hour put into each milestone and number of tasks, number of bug tracking fixes, etc... Developer Notes/Project Notes: Developer Notes and Project Notes I thing is a good way of keeping track of information that is needed to be known when dealing with development team or certain projects. For example, let’s say that the team decides to move into the newest version of Visual Studio and Stop compiling for the current Version they are working on, this would be something that you could put into the developer Notes section. Another Example is lets say you are using a 3rd party tool, for instance PHP for web developers, and you update the version that you are use, that is something you would need to put into the project note for that project(s) so that everyone can update there sandbox to the new version. Task Notes: Task notes I would want to be a little different than the Developer Notes/Project Notes, want them to act more like forum posts. Let’s say you are working on a Task and you are having trouble doing something, with tasks notes you can go to you task and click on and note, then you can just note the trouble you are having in that note. Now everyone else in the project team will be able to read any notes weather or not the and working on the task so I will have a place to list all new notes and if someone knows the answer to that note they can add a note to the task and this is a some way of help everyone out without ask someone in particular or if you can not get in connect with the other person for whatever reason, maybe you schedules conflict so you only have limited time when you can talk to other people in real time Custom Project ID Codes: Now the custom Project ID Codes is a way for the development team to code the projects and sub-projects/parts of projects. One thing about that has been told to me that is important and nice is for the development to be able to design there own code system. After thinking about, I think the easy and most user friendly way of doing this would to have a database with 2 string fields, and an ID field for Database purposes, one will hold a project name, the other will how the custom project ID code. This way makes it very easy for the user to define and project ID code format they want without having to edit the system code itself. Also this way when creating a task, there will be a drop down box of project parts using the name so maybe in the project of a game engine you will have a separate project ID code for the File System and when creating a task for that you can just select the File System from the list and the software management system will automatically look for the File Systems project ID code and inset that into the database doe the task. Meeting Notes: Meeting note will be part of the Meeting System/tasks. In the task for a meeting when closing a meeting after you have had it you will be able to write down meeting notes, someone in the meeting at the start should be assigned to take notes, which will be sent out to everyone in an e-mail, which I think provides a few good things. One, anyone who missed that meeting that should have been there will know the general idea of what went on in the meeting; you will still have to seek out someone if you need real detailed information about something. Second, if there was some task that was assigned to you from the meeting that you forgot you will be able to look it up in the notes of e-mail of the notes that was sent out. Application Debugger Tools and Interfaces( Non-Developer Debuggers ): I think there are going to be certain things that application debuggers( non-developer debuggers ) will need different than what developers will need when debugging applications. The first thing I can think of is when they find a bug, they are going to need a different way then developer in processing it. When a developer debugs a program and finds a bug, depending if you want to give developer permission to submit bugs because you can do the some process as I will explain for non-developer debuggers, the developer can submit a bug to the system directly where with non-developers, when they find a bug I think is should go through a queue type system, called the debugging queue, will explain that later. What I was thinking is when a non-dev debugger find what he thinks to be a bug, will have a slightly different screen then the normal bug tracking screen with a few missing input field and maybe a few more input field that the normal bug tracking screen does not have. Also when a non-dev debugger submits this "bug" it will not going into the normal bug tracking task database but instead go into the debugging queue, and like I said before you can also have all submitted bug go into this queue weather it be non-dev or dev. Below I will explain the debugging queue process. Debugging Queue: The main purposes of the debugging queue to one, keep thing more organized, and two, makes sure submitting from debuggers go where they should. Every project will have one debugging queue and when the project is first created, you will select one person to be in charge of the debugging queue, I would pick someone who knows the project best and knows how the project should work. Now the project admin or the debugging queue admin can add more people to whom have access to the debugging queue if you want or there is a need for it for whatever reason. The debugging queue admin or who ever has access to the debugging queue are responsible for checking the debugging queue to see weather the bugs reported are in fact bugs. What might happen is that a debugger maybe be working on something in the application he is debugging and something happened that did not crash the system but he think that is should not have happened. Usually this will be a bug but sometimes this maybe a design feature and this should not be a bug tracking task. This is what the debugging queue is for to stop these things from making it to the bug tacking task database. What I will also have is a debugger suggestion database where these bugs that are not really bug can go so we can take a look at them to see if maybe we should change certain features or explain to the debugger that this is a designed feature and there is no plan to change this in the near future. I think this is a nice little feature that may help the people who are doing bug tracking task to not have to dealing with submitted bug that are basically feature request/suggestions. Also note that you can complete dismiss this feature and allow both developer and non-developers to submit bugs directly to bug tracking database. Debugger Suggestions: The debugger suggestions is a database where we place either submitted bug that are really not bugs and submitted suggestions from the non-developer debuggers. This way we can keep a list of all the suggestions and whenever however you want to do it, like if you have weekly/bi-weekly/monthly/etc... Meetings you could bring up the suggestions or have meeting for the suggestions once they get to a certain number or something like that. I could even create a process where people who buy your software/project can register there product with some sort of product key which will give them access to the debugger suggestion area so you can get feedback for customer that way. This feature I think is a worth while feature to have when it comes to customer feedback and feature request along with non-developer debuggers. Source Code Viewer: The Source Code Viewer is going to be more like a text viewer with line numbering for viewer source code through the software management system. This is no way replace VS or anything like that, if you are at your computer with your development tools like VS of whatever IDE you use you can just right click and do a open as function and select whatever test editor/IDE you want to use. Now if you are not at a computer with a descent text editor this one may provide to be a little more useful with line numbering for viewing code that someone may be having trouble so you might be able to help out. This features is not a major one and will not be a major focus until all core system are in place, will be part of the first major release however. Task Relationship: Since it is possible to have an unlimited hierarchy of task one under another under another and so on within the task of any task you will be able to see a number of things related to that task. Beside seeing all the information that is entered when the task is created you will be able to see if this task is under any other task and if it is you will be provide with a link to that task. You will also be able to see if there are any tasks under this particular task. This will be useful because there may be a situwhition on where you will not be able to start on a task until all the sub-tasks, tasks under this one, are completed. This is something where the description should inform you if you need to wait for sub-tasks to be completed or you can work on your task with the sub-tasks completation does not affect you. This also works the other way too so you can see if your task need to be completed by looking at the task your task is under. This information should be detailed in the description of the task itself but thing provides another way getting this information please any feedback would be nice becuase I want to design this out fully so when i start programming i don't want to add any features untill this list is complete implameneted so i can get the product out sooner.

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There's going to be one major question that you will have to answer if you want to get anyone using your system: Why should I use this and not one of the dozens of existing management systems, many of which are highly proven and respected?

What you've got here is fine - but it's also more or less the exact same offering as innumerable other packages available already. The only really big thing you seem to be missing is prioritization and roadmapping tools, and maybe a handful of overview reports.

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For one thing it is going to be free. The only other roject management tool that is good and free in GForge but for one the installation is not the easiest and you have to run in on a linux server. My project will be easier to install, just basically through a PHP script and going to design it so if you can run Apache/php/mysql and you are javascript enabled you can run i ton any OS. I would love to know any other system, that is free, that is as good a GForge.

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Just another thing, I am not just doing this so everyone will use my software, hell I might not even release it but my plan is to. I am developing this for a Programming team that I am involved with. Stuff i could try to find something else, hell we are going to start with using GForge but right now the team is at a stand still so I have the time to design and develop this product. Sure i got just try to learn GForge source code but there are a few thing in there that i real don't need liek the forum system, use VBulletin. When I want to edit the system. This will also be a way to develop my PHP/MySQL/XHTML/CSS/javascript/etc... skills. another thing this provides me is a great example of my web development and programming skills if i am able to get any interview for web development. The bottom line is the biggest question you may think there is, is the last thing on my mind.

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Can anyone name a project management system that is as good as either GForge or sourceforge that allows use for commerical product and that is free or cheap, not 500 or 1500 per developer like those 2 are or will be, this should be easy becuase there are as stated

"dozens of existing management systems, many of which are highly proven and respected"

?

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I haven't had any experience with a full management suite but tend to use seperate pieces of software to deal each seperate area. SVN for source control and Flyspray for Task/Bug management.

I recently came across Alienbrain which had some very useful features but not all of them seem to be possible through a web based system.

Features I would look for though:
PM between team members
Preview of source code (syntax highlighted etc), images and possibly sound via the browser.
Ability to download the latest source as a zip from the browser.
Support for soruce control systems such as CVS or SVN
One Click install for both client and server (if possible)
Simple Gantt chart editor that supports tasks, milestones etc. Clicking on a task will show a more detailed brief.
Bug tracker with filtering options
Mini forum/Chatroom?

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