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Easy project administration with Unfuddle

I don't come out often to sing praises for any product, I'd say I even tend to complain more than anything. That said, sometimes I come across a product that strikes all the right chords.

Recently I started using Unfuddle and ...just Wow! What a delightful experience. I can't say I was exactly surprised because I had heard really good things about it from a few people. Still, it's great to try it and confirm that same impression.

Unfuddle is clearly a product that was built with a lot of love and by people that understand the problem that needs to be solved.

Migrating a project - the Repository

I started moving one of my projects to Unfuddle. I started creating a new project and, with help from their support team, I moved my SVN repository (with the complete log history) into the project's repository.

The repository browser offers all you'd expect from a 1st class product. You can easily navigate the repository tree and go back an forth in the revisions trail. You can see what was changed in each commit, see the file by file diffs, and post notifications whenever a commit happens (great way to trigger your CI process.)

Managing the project

Right now I'm in the process of moving the list of bugs and planned features into the ticketing system. In Unfuddle I can plan milestones and version numbers for my project and associated tickets to them, which will let me see how far the project is from each milestone right in the project's dashboard.

Unfuddle reminds me of Trac, with the important difference that I don't need to go through the pain of getting it up an running and that configuring your project (or as many projects as you want) is much simpler.

One important thing for me in any product like this is the ability to create and maintain documents. This is provided through the Notebooks feature, which allows us to create collections of pages with basic formatting. If you need something much richer, like a diagram, or include an existing Word document, you can attach files to a notebook. A real file repository is probably a feature that could make Unfuddle even better.

Other nice things

I love how Unfuddle allows us to use Markdown or Textile to format pretty much everything that is important, like ticket descriptions and notebook text.

Unfuddle also supports git. I haven't been using git yet, but it's good to know that I'll probably not need to go looking for another service if I choose to migrate to git.

Very important disclaimer

Although I could probably get by with just the free plan in Unfuddle, I received a complimentary subscription to their Compact plan. The only important differences for my use cases would be the number of notebook pages and the ability to attach files.


Posted 03-08-2009 3:12 AM by sergiopereira
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Comments

Zdeslav Vojkovic wrote re: Easy project administration with Unfuddle
on 03-09-2009 5:58 AM

At my company, we recently installed Redmine (www.redmine.org) which supports all of the features you mention, and the experience has been great so far.

I prefer to install such tools on a virtual machine, and the problem of setting up stuff is easily solved by downloading a stack from www.bitnami.org (they haves packages for Redmine, Trac, and numerous other tools).

sergiopereira wrote re: Easy project administration with Unfuddle
on 03-09-2009 9:00 PM

@Zdeslav, BitNami is nice indeed but it's not for everyone. My interest in a solution like Unfuddle is to avoid maintaining that server myself. For this personal project (and possibly for some small companies) it's really nice to have the repository available 24/7 from anywhere without having to keep my own server.

I have not yet tried Redmine. It looks good enough.

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