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Author Topic: Using Trac as task tracker for other development departments as well?  (Read 11610 times)
mvBarracuda
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« on: October 28, 2009, 01:39:05 PM »

The problem was recently brought to my attention and I would like to hear how you feel about it. While we're moving towards a first techdemo release, more and more developers show up lately and consider to get involved in the project. With more and more developers getting involved, it's hard to coordinate the work in the departments. The programming department is using the Trac project management tool to cope with the problem:
http://parpg-trac.cvsdude.com/parpg/

While there are a bunch of possible alternatives to using Trac, e.g. maintaining a list to tasks that need to be tackled that could reside at the wiki, I'm starting to think that these alternatives can't offer the functionality that Trac does. While I can see that getting used to Trac will take some time for everyone who hasn't used such a task tracker before, I think the project will benefit from using such a tool in more departments in the long run. Writing Trac tickets takes time and requires effort but I think it's far more frustrating to lack an accurate overview of tasks already completed and those that have not been tackled yet.

So this question goes out to developers from all departments: how do you feel about using Trac in your specific department to help with planning and coordination?
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amo-ej1
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 01:58:45 PM »

I'm in favor of using trac for as much as possible (other than wiki-things) but when it comes to code I'm in favor of using trac as  a place to store patches, to discuss these patches, to create/group/manage/dispatch tasks/ and to annotate changes in our repository (see the commit guidelines). I think that by using trac as much as possible we can get a lot of added value at limited or not cost (read: simply by using it right).
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zenbitz
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 08:34:07 PM »

I can see the utility for the Writing and even Mechanics depts. to some extent.  Some of the trac items are going to be very vauge... but that's OK.

One minor problem is that we then have a 4-headed organizational beast between Wiki, Forums, Trac and SVN commits (not even counting IRC, which is the antithesis of organization)  Just adding cross-references from trac <-> forum and forum <-> wiki takes a not insignificant amount of time in addition to actually writing coherent trac tickets.

So, I am for the idea, but not sure what the most efficient system is to implement it.

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Kaydeth
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 09:43:48 PM »

Are we able to add new "type" fields?

If other departments do use Trac, ideally I would want to be able to filter tickets by department.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 11:58:24 PM »

Yes we can :-) I think either the type fields or the components field can be used for the purpose. How the other feel about it, which approach would you prefer?
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superfluid
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 02:09:35 AM »

I like the idea of tracking all outstanding work items in trac, as we come up with them. IMO it'll help us understand how far away we are from a certain milestone and help us decide what the pressing issues are. We can have discussions as to whether or not they're valid.

Not everything needs to go here though. Once work has been started, we can update tickets with wiki locations or event relevant forum threads.

To me components makes the most sense, since it has to do with the different aspects of the game.
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shevegen
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 01:50:08 PM »

I think the basic idea behind it sounds nice (the way I see it the basic idea is for departments to focus on specific issues and not lose track of these)

In the forum many times some details are forgotten. The wiki is more lasting, but really only very few people use it - not everyone is a second zenbitz there!

I have no real opinion (pro or contra) about using trac for other departments, but what I would like to see is that then only trac is advertized heavily to get things done in a issue-by-issue fashion (and to keep track of changes as well).
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saritor
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 02:35:24 PM »

I think that our Wiki should be mostly about project documentation, and we may need someone from each department to help keep it up to date. Note the mostly :p, keeping proposals/graphics there is nice, but we need to make sure that if they are referring to Trac tickets that they are linked back to Trac. Right now I think the wiki is kind of a hodgepodge of things and definitely is in need of some cleaning (incoming Trac ticket? :p)

Trac should be responsible for housing all major project issues across all departments (mechanics, graphics requests, etc.). This way we can have a firm grasp on what is lacking or needed in each department. Its just a much better organization method than referring to pages upon pages in a forum post to maintain what has been done. Many other projects that are much larger than us work this way and its amazingly efficient doing so.

Forums are working great as a medium for discussion of implementation and new tasks that are rising up. I think it should be considered the defacto place to look in regards to what discussion is being had on current development. Also, IRC is a great place to chat and discuss ideas/implementation, but if something major is decided there we should make sure to catalog/note these choices on the forums in an appropriate thread.

A lot the forum ideas are already in place but I just wanted to clarify my stance on the whole grand picture. I think all these above things will make communication and organization be as smooth as possible.

Sorry for turning the thread into a grand scheme kind of question. :p
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2009, 03:29:07 PM »

No problem Saritor :-) That's what I basically had in mind when I started the discussion.
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saritor
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2009, 08:03:16 PM »

I also think it would be a good idea for people who are working on something that may not be in trac to get it there as a ticket. That way we will be able to have a clear idea as to the things others are working on (aside from weekly programming meetings).
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2009, 04:45:41 PM »

Yep, I totally second that proposal saritor. Ideally speaking there should be a Trac ticket for any major bug/enhancement/task somebody works on. There is still the question how you define a major task and what separates it from a rather small one. I don't know who initially brought it up but I remember that basically everything that you can't tackle within your spare time at one day is pretty much a complex task and should therefore have a Trac ticket.
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amo-ej1
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 08:54:45 AM »

Personally I'm favorite of putting everything (except changing three spaces and a comma) in trac. Simply to create visibility on the changes, to allow easy reviewing of changes, to annotate changes (the how and the why), to know what tasks are still open, to know what people are working on, to know what you can work on and to have something for new people to start working on.

but that's just my opinion off course.

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zenbitz
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 03:55:34 AM »

For non programming tech demo trac tasks I created the the following wiki:

http://wiki.parpg.net/TechDemo_Asset_ToDo

I am not really sure how many trac tickets I should create...   It could easily be 60.

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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2009, 07:00:39 PM »

I'm still thinking about it as well. Been rather busy lately, but I still plan to take care of creating the graphical assets tickets for the techdemo. Will keep you updated for how many tickets I went in the end.
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Q_x
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 10:06:27 PM »

If it as robust and tidy as it looks at first sight - just go for it and open some tickets Smiley We can always not use it for tasks it's not good with, leaving discussing fresh proposals or sth. for irc/forums.
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