Sunday, 2 September 2007

New Community Site

We upgraded our community site and have recently completed work on transferring the content from the webserver to the wiki. Please see our new wiki infrastructure.

We've also added friendly forums for use by the project, where you can discuss issues on the software, request features and so on. The forums also allow you to discuss the topics of quality in general with other professionals.

The scope of the project is slightly changing. It started out as a piece of software, but I think it would be interesting to make the project also a collector of information and host a large repository of consolidated knowledge on the topic of software quality.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Release 1.3.2

A new release is out for Project Dune. Mostly bugfixes, but some additional new functionality and redesign:
  • The issue edit screen has been totally redesigned
  • There are experimental atom 1.0 feeds for issue management and tracking
  • GWT libraries upgraded to 1.4.59
  • A new release notes report
Enjoy!

The release notes are here. The downloads are here.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Project Dune is revving up

The last release was accompanied by a request for help and interest from the community. I got quite a number of replies and I've added quite a few developers to the project. There are now 14 members in total and we have testers, programmers and consultants or mentors.

The efforts will be spread among multiple modules and also in the area of understanding the project and improving the main issue management module.

I'll keep everyone posted on other developments through this blog!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Release 1.3.1

Some comments came in after the last release. As I don't have Windows on any system here, the script failed for a number of new modules that were added. I have now used a virtual machine to verify the install scripts and things should be fine now.

Other enhancements to this release are XSS-attacks (there were 3 actual holes in reality, the others were not any issue), caching which is related to the latest 1.4 RC1 release and how GWT things were changed, a new report for timesheets and a couple of bugfixes overall.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Project Dune releases 1.3.0

I had to forcefully make some time free to get all the features and some bugs implemented to make the next release. This 1.3.0 release is quite a bit of a landmark release. The layout and color scheme should be much better and consistent.

Timesheet and Scrum task management have had a couple of updates and improvements to them. Someone at some point in time also requested an administration module so that it wasn't longer necessary to update everything directly through the database. This is also added now, but it will have to get more features and improvements in the future.

I spent a good deal to improve the inspections. Binary files didn't work. The inspection module has also been separated from the Dune core part. This allows people for example to customize things easier and allow for inspections without CR (Dune) integration (and a bit of work).

See the release notes for full information of the CR's resolved in this release:

http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?group_id=125151&release_id=531766

The DuneWrite module is still ongoing, but I focused on ironing out wrinkles on existing parts first. Now that this is out of the way and I seem to be getting some more time now, I think it's time to look at other things in the project. I have a holiday coming up, about a month, so you could expect a couple of more releases and updates then.

Enjoy the new release!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Project Dune releases 1.2.4

I've just released version 1.2.4 of Project Dune. This contains some bug fixes and an alpha version of the timesheet module.

The timesheet module allows you to keep track of time spent per day and report on the time spent in the reports. This is very useful if you are using Project Dune as a consultant. Note that we're looking how this can provide even better information using for example a link to financial systems (allocating an hourly rate to each identified hour).

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Project Dune releases version 1.2.3

I've just made a new release of Project Dune. It has a couple of bug fixes in there, but the main change was the way how we manage and generate the schema.

There are now schema creation scripts available for other databases like Oracle, DB2, MSSQL and so on, but we have not tested compatibility or proper functioning with those databases as I don't have access to those types of servers here.

The changes to the schema are necessary in order to make the project more flexible. I've been struggling to synchronize the SQL data with the SQL schema with the actual object model and the declarations. There were four points where things could easily go wrong besides the maintenance required on the actual database schema's.

The project now generates the schema automatically and this helps significantly. We're using hibernate annotations with Hibernate tools to make this job easier.

This release puts the project on track for future add-ons, like the timesheet, the document management module and less time lost on those boring synchronization steps. Hope you like the release and don't forget to look at the UPGRADING file before you start!

Monday, 26 March 2007

Project Dune, Release 1.2.2

A new release was made of Project Dune. This release adds connection pooling, reconnecting after broken connections, a null pointer fix, updates to documentation, better scrum report and internally, a separation of business logic and protocol-specific input handling.

This is nothing more of a maintenance release, but provides much better stability for users because of the connection fixes.

The development team will have the ability to extend Project Dune into the future due to the separation of business logic from the protocol-specific input handling. This paves the way for SOAP interfaces for example and also better choices to interface with Eclipse plugins, which is also in the planning for the future.

download here: http://www.sf.net/projects/pdune

Monday, 19 March 2007

Project Dune Release 1.2.1

Project Dune version 1.2.1 was released. This features an automated installer process and a couple of small new features.

The project is now getting ready for an overhaul on the server side and a battery of unit tests. This release is necessary mostly to make the installation process a lot easier for evaluation. There is also much better support for the Windows platform.

For a full overview of changes, please see the release notes.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Project progress

There are a couple of things brewing in the project right now:
  • The designer group at my company is going to look at a proper logo for the project and probably come up with a color palette for a better look and feel.
  • I'm scripting on IzPack, a Java installer that will allow much easier installation of the project.
  • The website is probably going to look totally different and much more professional. This also depends on the first point.
  • The forums will disappear and I'm going to push for the use of the mailing list as a resort for getting help. The forums are probably quite difficult to use.
  • I acquired the domain names www.projectdune.org and www.projectdune.net. Those will be used to route to the actual webserver in a couple of days, hopefully end of next week.
  • Bryan has laid down a framework for unit tests and we're getting ready to put in place a battery of unit tests for better future stability.
  • I have opened up donations for the project. Part of the contributions will be donated to Apache, SourceForge and the Open Source Initiative. Check it out on the main page and if you wish to contribute, consider making a donation through PayPal.
So, we're not sitting still, there is plenty being done. I think that probably by the end of this month, we'll have a much nicer release of the project that should be a piece of cake to install and evaluate.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Documentation and feedback

The documentation for the project has just been updated with some more actual information. The installation document has been improved for quite a bit. The migration document was missing a good deal of information about how the migration process really works. This has now been done.

There is not much feedback coming back from any downloaders or users. It is very important for the project to get any kind of feedback, even if it is negative. There are various ways you can interact:
  • Use the forums on the community site at: http://pdune.sourceforge.net
  • Use the contact forms on the community site
  • Send the project admin an email through his user on SourceForge
  • Use the forums on SourceForge (not monitored).
So, if you have any complaints, messages, remarks, comments or just want to thank us for delivering you Project Dune, you know where to find us!

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Release 1.2.0 complete

A new release of Project Dune was just made with tons of bugfixes and new features. It now includes migration utilities to migrate from Bugzilla or Mantis. Users can now search in Lucene indexes for users, customers or issues. The mail queue is now separated to get ready for the future. DuneScrum styling has been improved significantly. There is now a remember-me function available to be able to go straight to the main screen.

This weekend has been a testing weekend mostly. The new features were coded before and were not a large effort to complete.

What we have next on the agenda is finalize the latest outstanding feature requests and changes. There is a re-factoring on the agenda to split the business logic from the service layer, so that the logic can be reused for different interfaces like SOAP. This re-factoring should not affect the release for the rest.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Project Dune Projections

We are planning a new release of Project Dune to be released this week or the next, which will include a number of new features:
  • Remember Me feature across all current and future modules, which also serves as Single Sign On as long as your servers are in the same domain
  • Updated styling SCRUM project management
  • Indexed search functionality for users, customers and issues (using Lucene)
  • Users can subscribe to the changes of an issue
  • An asynchronous mail queue
  • Migration utility from Bugzilla or Mantis to Project Dune
  • Remember Me can use different cookies. So you can use it from different computers using the same login.
  • A couple of bug fixes.
Our projections for the future of Project Dune include, first, a timesheet. Internally we have to get unit tests developed and working, which is a significant amount of work. A refactoring effort will take place to separate code between server handling layer and business logic, so that we can re-use code better.

In terms of new features, we are planning a document management module. The document management module will help document writers in following a document workflow. Since Word or OpenOffice documents only contain a big blob of text + formatting, but no semantic separation of the meaning of text, it is difficult to automate things there. The document management module changes that. It will focus on fragmenting a document into re-usable parts and make them shareable with other documents.

A better example is that of a requirement, which can be considered a fragment. A rich text edit control allows the entry of the requirement. The requirement fragment refers to an issue in Dune. Any change that occurs after an issue has closed can be flagged with the developers that worked on that issue to verify the impact of the change in the requirement, for example. This helps the author with the fact that he does not have to chase up on people after he has made changes (or developers have to be advised *some things* were changed and need to pull in the changes themselves).

The timesheet module is just a basic timesheet in the beginning, but I am sure it will grow into something really special. A helper in booking your time against issues and the start of the day. The scenario for the timesheet will analyze when a user logs in the application, which will mark the start of the day. Navigations can be tracked by the timesheet system, so that the timesheet can make a suggestion of a possible timesheet, which will contain items that the user definitely worked on. This could be either a source code commit (which the system will become aware of), document edits (later on), issue changes and evaluations / navigation, journal edits, etc... So... the system will help to allocate a user's time in a day and hopefully automate the spreadsheet for them.

I plan later on to include a module for producing and managing estimates. This is where the real power comes into play. Through the estimate, it is possible to improve a company's performance and push it closer to the edges (reduce the risk zone) by analyzing for each project whether the buffer was used up and try to come to a helpful analysis to figure out risk-points for the company that have a large impact on product development. The idea is to collect figures of:
  • The initial ballpark estimate
  • The detailed estimates when more details are available
  • The estimates on individual tasks
  • Real consumption of effort and resources
And then produce reports that compare all of them together. The reason is to come to a finer idea about the capabilities of a company, the impact of risk analysis and the buffers that are required with uncertainty and more of this difficult project management stuff. All to come in ... well.. :) a couple of years :) or depending on people's willingness to help out.

After the next landmark release, I am looking forward to these new challenges and really get this project going in the community and world market. Hang on to your hats, it's gonna be a wild and interesting ride!

Gerard