Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (364 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Does the project have a publicly accessible project management tool?
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 16:03:53 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <jp37h8$tmc$>
On Thu, 17 May 2012 08:37:54 +0200, Pascal Bleser wrote:

Or it becomes yet another administration annoyance like the forums and
many more of our tools where only a very (*very*) few can work on it, be
it in terms of features or maintenance.

The current situation is already ridiculous enough, let's make sure that
we do *not* add more to it.

Agreed that we need to be careful about that, absolutely.

If this is a tool that we can use, we could use the existing public
instance of Kablink as well, though I don't know anything about who
manages it or what it's running on - or have any availability statistics
for that site.

Well I don't care at all about the "Kablink/Vibe guys", let's make sure
that if we add yet another tool, it is something, for once, that is nice
to use and, ideally, that can be supported by more than one or two
people on the planet.

Also agreed.

Injecting a tool into the openSUSE community infrastructure primarily
because it's "from Novell", no thanks, we had that in the past, we've
seen how that worked out (iChain?).

iChain, Access manager - yeah, having been involved in the forum issues
and trying to get them resolved, believe me, I hesitate to suggest this.

But my choice to look at this tool isn't driven by "because it's from
Novell", but because it's something I've used for this and is something
I'm familiar with - and I know it can do what I'm looking for.

To be honest, I believe... no, I am certain it is a mistake to go down
that route:

So before I respond to these comments below, let me say this: I am not
dead set on using this particular tool. As I said above, I've used it to
do project task tracking and it's good at doing that. My original
thought was to use my own installation (I have the 10-user "trial"
license on my server at home, and 3 users in use), but I thought that
using something that was more publicly available/accessible would make
the bugzilla project more transparent.

In addition, if there was already a tool available, I didn't want to
introduce a second tool to do the same thing, even if it was only for my
own purposes (I'm a big fan of reusing existing infrastructure rather
than creating new infrastructure unless it's absolutely necessary).

(tl;dr but I'm trying to be comprehensive)

1. The spechul tool ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kablink has absolutely no traction in FOSS from what I can see (I might
be wrong, but I believe I would have noticed) so it will be yet another
liability -- let's not have the iChain debacle again, please.
How many people will have expertise with it ?
(let's say five at most)
How many people will be able to help out with issues, downtime,
etc... ?
(let's say two at most)
If you're counting on "upstream" Kablink devs: I don't want to hurt
their feelings but, realistically, how long before it's dumped ?

I have had concerns about the OSS project - both that and iFolder,
actually, because they don't seem to have advanced much.

2. Yet another tool?
Really? Don't we already have enough tools that create confusion (e.g.
openFATE vs Bugzilla, forums vs connect) and aren't integrated in any
way except for SSO ?

Adding more tools will primarily be highly effective at one thing:
create more silos, and we have way too many of them already (irc, MLs,
forums, connect, wikis, bugzilla, openFATE,
OBS, software search, docs.o.o, retro, indico).
I'm not saying we need a single tool for everything (don't give me a
straw man here :)) but cmon... :)

There is definitely a high risk of putting an additional service into
place that will become something like connect (almost completely useless
in its current state IMHO, and I don't believe that will change), or
create a divide like openFATE vs Bugzilla (almost the exact same kind of
content (features/ideas vs issues) but in two different tools with no
interconnection whatsoever).
Also, from what I can remember from having seen it briefly, it has a lot
of overlap with other tools that are already in place.

Hence more confusion, more splitting of content and people.

Well, it's a question of if the existing tools have the functionality we
need. That's something that IMHO we need to do better as a project -
which is part of the reason I asked if there was a tool in place already
that could do what I was looking for.

If there is, I want to use it. If there isn't, then let's find something
that does what's needed so we can actually manage a project within the
openSUSE project and see that we're making progress on it.

3. The ugly tool?
Highly subjective, and I've only seen Kablink twice, it was a few months
ago (but hasn't evolved much since then apparently)
and... I mean... really?
I get it that you and Roger do like the tool but do you really believe
it is going to get a lot of traction ?

I find it to be clean and usable. But then again, I also like the GNOME3
experience. ;)

But I'm also familiar with it, which is why when Bryen mentioned that
Roger was looking to do something with it for the project, I said I'd
follow up and see where things are at, if they're anywhere.

Kablink didn't strike me as a project management / tracking kind of
tool, are you sure there aren't alternatives that are both more common
in the FOSS ecosystem (and hence better known and hence with a high
chance in terms of acceptance) and better suited for the job (also to
reduce overlap with existing tools)

Maybe there are - I honestly don't know. Kablink and Vibe both have many
features that wouldn't be necessary to managing projects; the integrated
wiki, discussion, etc, etc, etc - all would duplicate existing
functionality. So that is a fair concern to raise.

For task tracking, what I am looking for is something more comprehensive
than a Google Task list (which doesn't track progress or milestones), but
less formal than a full-blown project management tool like MS Project
(yeah, I know, bad form to mention a MS product. ;) ) I don't need Gantt
charts and stuff like that, just something that lets me easily see how
far along a task and its associated subtasks are.

I don't count "sharing files in folders" as "project management";
actually, a feature like that is a massive issue as people will put
things in there instead of github.

I don't either. See above. :)

Actually there is already such a tool in place, that is used by the
boosters team (I guess it still is nowadays ^^) and has been used a bit
by the board in the past, which is "retro", an open source agile kind of
ticket tracker:

Retro is not bad, not that widely used though (certainly not as much as
e.g. Redmine, Trac, Jira/Greenhopper) but lacks more fine grained
permission setup, team/group handling, etc... to be used on a large
scale by the whole project (at least from what I can remember, was
already suboptimal to set it up for the boosters + for the board).

I'll take a peek at that and see, that might fit my need as well.

But AFAICS they're thinking of using Trello instead.

Good to know there are a few options out there - I haven't done a lot of
looking in the OSS space at what can do this, because I've used Vibe and
have it installed, and it does the job well enough for what I need.

But I'm certainly not saying "this is the tool we must use" - as if I
could do that anyways. ;) But I brought the topic of having such a tool
up because I want to be transparent in how the bug process project moves
forward, and I have a few other ideas for similar types of projects that
need to be pushed (I mentioned FATE already and there seems to be some
interest in looking for a more effective way to track enhancements).

To end on a more positive note (after that long rant)...

Don't get me wrong: some sort of task and progress tracking tool could
be highly useful if used in a central manner by everyone and all the
teams (artwork, boosters, infrastructure, possibly OBS, marketing, board
(some things need privacy though),
possibly factory, etc...) in order to have - *one* place/tool where to
look for tasks, TODOs,
- interconnection/linking between tasks that go over the
boundaries of a single team (e.g. marketing depending on some artwork
being done before they can move on)
- a tool that doesn't do a dozen other things, as that'll just
create even more spilling of information and, with it, confusion

I don't want to spoil your motivation and am thankful as everyone else
for your efforts to push things forward, but I fear that all the issues
I listed above are not considered and,
frankly, I have doubts that Kablink is the right tool for the job, to
put it mildly :)

Whenever selecting a tool, it's always good to do a needs analysis.
Maybe it's a fit, maybe it isn't. I'm OK with it either way - I'm not so
blind as to think that this one tool is going to "save us all", be the
perfect fit, or even be the best choice.

But as this bugzilla project kicks off, I need /something/ that can help
keep track of things because there are going to be a few moving parts to
the success of the project, and if there's one thing I've learned about
project management over the years, it's that if you don't track what's
going on in the project, you'll fail before you even start.

And I don't want to set a project like this up to fail before it even
gets off the ground. :)

Jim Henderson
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