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