Searching for the perfect project hosting

I’m still searching for decent project hosting. I now have several projects on the go, and several others bumping around in my head, and the fuss and bother of tying together all the various bits of a distributed software project development is making my head hurt.

All the bits I need are available separately, but so far I have not been able to find any single provider (free or paid for) which offers the combination of features I need. Essentially these are:

  • Version control. Ideally git, but at a pinch one of the other distributed VCS tools or even subversion would probably do if everything else was in place. GitHub seems good for this.
  • A project wiki. Using any other system for project docs just seems so clumsy. There are plenty of these; I use WikiDot for one project.
  • Sensible bug/feature tracking. This is a bit more tricky – there is plenty of bug-tracker software, but not much that works equally well for managing unimplemented feature stories and associated tasks. Ideally this should link in with the version control, allowing code and change metadata to be updated in one go. Trac seems a possibility for this.
  • Calendar management. For recording and communicating meetings, deadlines etc.. Something which works well with calendar syndication, so that anyone working on the project can see project events in with the rest of their appointments. Plenty of these: Google calendar, 30 boxes, etc. They all have their quirks, though.
  • Task (todo) management. I find it amazing that task management is so poor in on-line calendars. There are standalone task tools such as Remember The Milk, but it is integration which is needed.

There are also a few other features which are definitely in the “useful to have” category, but I’m practical enough to use manual or off-line tools if necessary.

  • Effort recording, tracking and reporting. For velocity tracking, process improvement, and even billing.
  • Collaborative planning and prioritisation. Mingle tries to simulate a task wall, but is somewhat clumsy and irritatingly expensive; I have heard of on-line tools to run “Planning Poker” sessions, but as usual, not integrated with anything else.
  • Continuous Integration. I’m not aware of any really smart tools to make use of distributed version control for this, yet. Our Cruise Control installation just stops and complains when something breaks, for example, but it should be possible to just “park” the failing patch and continue building with others in a real dvcs-based approach.

If anyone has any suggestions – or wants to build a product which does all this stuff – please let me know!

For interest, here are a few associated links.

Cuberick: Distribute Your Software Just Like Ubuntu With Launchpad

Comparison of open source software hosting facilities: Wikipedia

2 Comments

  1. Hi Frank,

    My company has developed an agile project management tool called Silver Catalyst. It doesn’t integrate with external tools (yet), but you might be interested in it if you are looking out for an alternative tool for collaborative project planning and prioritization. It’s currently in beta and sign up is free during the beta. The site is – http://www.toolsforagile.com

    We would love to hear your thoughts on the tool.

  2. Pingback: Frank Carver’s Punch Barrel / Some decent looking project hosting candidates at last

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