Goodbye Trac, Hello Redmine

March 18th, 2010

TracFor several years, we’ve been using some open source software called Trac to manage our software development projects for Kyero.com.

If you’re not familiar with this type of software – here’s the basics of what it does ..

  1. Provides an internal wiki so that our software developers, technical support staff and project managers can share information about the functionality and development of our software.
  2. Talks to our software versioning system (subversion) so that we have an ongoing and fully documented log of what we did & why. We’re currently on revision #8749 of the Kyero ‘project’.
  3. Allows us to keep tabs on bugs and new pieces of functionality. We’re currently tracking issue #3830 – and we have 213 outstanding projects and bugs

Trac has been a fantastic tool for us. It’s become the central repository for every piece of technical and background information about Kyero.com. It’s allowed us to keep tabs on almost 4,000 developments and issues and has kept a log of almost 9,000 different revisions of our software over the years.

Without Trac, we’d never have developed so much, so fast and in such a controlled way.

Last week, however, we replaced Trac with a similar piece of software called Redmine, here’s why.

RedmineRedmine does the same job as Trac, but it’s got a few extras which made it worth our while to make the switch.

  1. Redmine allows us to handle multiple projects concurrently and interrelate them at critical points. So if one project is dependent on us completing a stage on another project, Redmine allows us to set those dependencies. This means fewer surprises and ‘Why did that break?’ type problems.
  2. Individual issues can also be interrelated – so we can work out the optimal development path to getting a new piece of functionality working, or a problem fixed.
  3. We currently use subversion to create distinct versions of our application – but Redmine will happily work with several others too – CVS, Mercurial, Darcs, Bazaar and Git. We’re thinking about switching from Subversion to Git at some point in the future – and Redmine will allow us to do so seamlessly.

So there you have it. Our thanks are due to the custodians of both Trac and Redmine for making such great tools freely available.

Without them, you’d now be experiencing a Kyero.com with less functionality and more bugs.

Our software development costs would be higher – which would impact our advertising rates – which would impact the number and quality of advertisers and properties we could attract and service.

Software like Trac and Redmine is the hidden ‘infrastructure’ – the plumbing – of software development. Just like the plumbing in your home, you’d certainly notice it if it was missing or not working properly.

Martin Dell, Kyero.com


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