Tag Archives: trac

At long last, software.complete.org migrated to Redmine

I’ve been writing a bit about Trac and Redmine lately. For approximately the 1/3 of the publically-available software that I’ve written, I maintain a Trac site for it at software.complete.org. This 1/3 is generally the third that has the most interest from others, and there’s a bug tracker, wiki, download area, etc.

Trac is nice, and much nicer than one of the *Forge systems for a setup of this scale. But it has long bugged me that Trac has no integration between projects. To see what open bugs are out there on my software, I have to check — yes — 17 individual bug trackers.

To keep track on the wikis to make sure that nobody is adding spam, I have to subscribe to 17 different RSS feeds.

It took me some time just to hack up a way so I didn’t have to have 17 different accounts to log in to…

So, mainly, my use case for Trac isn’t what it was intended for.

Enter Redmine. It’s similar in concept to Trac — a lightweight project management system. But unlike Trac, Redmine allows you to have separate projects, but still manage them all as one if you please.

Redmine didn’t have Git support in its latest release, but there was a patch in Redmine’s BTS for it. I discussed why it wasn’t being applied with Redmine’s author, and then went in and fixed it up myself. (I used Git to make a branch off the Redmine SVN repo — very slick.) Unlike Trac’s Git support, Redmine’s is *fast*. I tested it against a clone of the Linux kernel repo on my local machine.

There are a few things about Redmine I don’t like, but I have learned that they mainly have to do with Ruby on Rails. As someone pointed out on Planet Debian lately (sorry, can’t find the link), the very nature of Rails makes it almost impossible for OS developers like Debian to include Rails apps in the distribution.

Not only that, but it seems like Rails assumes that even if you are just going to *use* an app, you know how to *write* one. For instance, this is pretty much the extent of documentation on how to set up a Rails app to be able to send out mail:

# See Rails::Configuration for more options

And of course, googling that turns up nothing useful.

Redmine is a rails app, so it cannot escape some of this. It seems to be a solid piece of work, but Rails seems to make things unnecessarily complex. That, and I’ve found some bugs in the underlying Rails infrastructure (like activerecord not quoting the schema name when talking to PostgreSQL) that make me nervous about the stack.

But the site is up and running well now, so I’m happy, and am planning to keep working with Redmine for quite some time.

Thoughts on Redmine

A few days ago, I discussed Trac and Redmine. Redmine is a project management tool, similar to Trac, with built-in download tools, bug tracking, etc.

Redmine has a lot of nice features. Chief among them is better integration between multiple projects, so I don’t have to go to 17 separate pages to see the open bugs on my projects.

But I’m worried about the Redmine community. It appears to live in an insular Ruby world, without much participation outside. I wrote about some of those concerns in their forums. I’ve also submitted bugs to Redmine, some with patches.

Also, it’s concerning that, although Redmine includes a very nice forum module, the Redmine forums are still on RubyForge. Also, there are many bugs in the Redmine BTS that have patches but little, if any, comments from the Redmine people that have commit access.

It could just be that Redmine is a fairly new project and just needs some time to get on its feet more. It’s been around since July, 2006, which isn’t all that long on the one hand… or quite awhile, depending on how you look at it.

The git support patch for Redmine looks very nice. However, after a month, it still hasn’t been replied and there’s no indication why. Which also is troubling.

So I think I’ll sit with Trac for a little while until I get a better feel of how Redmine is progressing.

Trac & Git

For quite some time now, I’ve been running Trac over at software.complete.org. Most of my free software projects — well, the ones where I actually go to the effort to make formal releases — have a Trac instance. This Trac instance provides a wiki, bug tracker, downloads area, timeline (with RSS feeds), and VCS integration.

Trac is a nice program, but one thing has bugged me about it all this time:

Every trac instance is its own island.

I have 17 trac instances out there for my projects. To see what bugs are out there on my own server, I have to check 17 websites (or 17 RSS feeds or whatnot). Publishing a new program is not a lightweight process.

So today I started poking around looking for something better. I really like Trac’s way of integrating the wiki with the BTS and the commits; wiki markup can refer to a bug or a changeset, and bugs can use wiki markup too.

I looked at Redmine, Mantis, and Roundup, and I also have experience with RT.

Of these, Redmine looks the most interesting. Multiple projects support, per project wiki and forums, gantt charting even, and support for SVN, CVS, Mercurial, Bazaar, and Darcs — with Git support out there as patches to their development tree already too. Oh, and I saw references to a Trac importer as well. One thing that makes me nervous, though, is that they have no links to sites that use Redmine (except one in the news section), and Google isn’t turning up users either. Does nobody use this thing?

What else should I be looking at?

Over on the Git side, I’m still liking Git. I have now migrated several Mercurial projects over to git (see git.complete.org). I am also playing with Darcs to git migration using darcs2git, which also is going well. Sometimes gitk shows a nicer representation of a Git repo converted from Darcs than I was able to get from Darcs.