As a follow-up to my post about free hosted integrated solution for bugtracking and version-control, I’d like to introduce a great tool I accidentally found and then installed – Case Tracker.
It’s a free desktop application which allows you to easily view a list of current bugs, gives you a way to “start working” on the bug – so the time you actually spend on fixing the bug or implementing the feature is carefully calculated. So it’s basically a time-tracking application for a fogbugz – it takes the list of bugs
To start working, you need to enter your fogbugz username, password and the URL where you have it installed:
Case Tracker supports both FogBugz On-demand and hosted versions – it simulates all required POST requests as if you’re working with Fogbugz through your browser. As soon as you entered correct username and password, it will show you the list of active bugs:
However, by default it shows bugs assigned to anybody, which may be not always desirable. To address this issue, Case Tracker provides a search filter (funnel on the right-hand side of the pause button). For example, I need only those bugs that are assigned to me, so I add
assignedto:"Vitaly Sharovatov" as a search filter:
Then I press “Go” and get my list populated with only those bugs that I need! Awesome!
For more detailed instructions on the allowed syntax read this.
What’s really great in Case Tracker – it can automatically stop measuring time when you’re away from keyboard for a certain period of time:
However, Case Tracker doesn’t allow creating new cases – it opens your fogbugz URL in your default browser so you can enter new case there. But Case Tracker is not a replacement for Fogbugz UI – it’s goal is to simplify time tracking.
So the general flow is:
- you choose a bug from a drop-down list
- if the estimate hasn’t been set for this bug, Case Tracker prompts you to enter the estimate (using the same syntax rules as in Fogbugz in the browser)
- the work is started and time is measured – if you’re afk or just press pause button, it stops measuring the time
- when you’re finished – you commit the bug and mark it resolved either by specifying status:resolved in svn comments or using Case Tracker – I prefer to specify it in a submit comment – just got used to it.
So if you use fogbugz – this tool is definitely worth trying!
This week seems to be really interesting! At least it started so.
First of all, I’m starting a slight redesign + complete rebuild of CSS/HTML of our company website. I finally got time to make the HTML semantic and craft a proper CSS/JS. It will be fully cross-browser (trident, gecko, webkit and presto – all implementations with significant market share) and usable. You’ll see.
Tomorrow I’m attending OSPConf about ITIL and other interesting stuff, will create a separate blog post about this.
I’ve also started a couple of hobby projects that I don’t want to publish at the moment, but hopefully will finish them by the end of June. Fogbugz and beanstalk work fine, it’s really great that it’s online, I can switch from work PC to my laptop and just continue working.
Being a fan of all computerised stuff, I was thinking of getting an iRobot Roomba – nice vacuum cleaner robot. It’s going to be of a great help, but again I’m surprised by price difference – in USA roomba 530 costs $300, and in Saint Petersburg – $600. Sorry guys, 100% margin is too much.
I’m getting more and more news about widgets and gadgets, seems that HTML/CSS/JS will be a truly cross-platform environment for building web-service oriented software. In one of the future blog posts I’ll cover this in more detail.
I purchased custom CSS for my blog, so will have to devote an hour or two to modify journalist theme (the one my blog’s currently using) and make it look cleaner. It looks fine on netfront on my PSP, but could look better on S60 webkit.
Blogging gets more and more interesting! Damn, I’ve got 11 unfinished reasonably small blog posts (less than 10 Kbytes) and 4 quite big (more than 50 Kbytes). I should do my time-management better.
Hope things keep being that interesting! :) Have a good week, world!
Once I tried Fogbugz bug tracking on-demand service and was amazed how cool it was and how easy it was to use it – no problems with installing and managing anything – just register and start working. And it’s not only a bug tracking software, but a full-fledged project management solution, and as the support cost is zero, it’s almost invaluable for small projects or your own start-up. It’s free for 2 users only, which is more than enough if you’re running a hobby project, but if you have a budget, you can easily afford $25 for each additional user.
But in proper development you also need source code management system (SCM). And Fogbugz allows for great level of integration with all popular SCM systems. But if you choose Fogbugz on-demand to avoid support costs of running it locally, does it sound logical to install SCM locally? Definitely not.
And here comes beanstalk – great hosted hassle-free version control service. It’s free for 3 users and a repository of up to 100Mbytes, and you can easily upgrade at any time. In most cases, free version should suit your hobby project or start up. Beanstalk runs subversion SCM which is almost a de-facto standard in project development and has client software for all platforms.
But the best thing in Beanstalk for me is that it provides integration with Fogbugz on-demand!
So you can have bug tracking/PM and version control software at no cost! It is just a dream for a hobby project or a small start-up.
The installation process is dead easy:
- register at fogbugz.com for on-demand service and get yourproject.fogbugz.com address
- register at beanstalkapp.com for a free account and get yourproject.beanstalkapp.com address and login there. You will be prompted to set your first repository. I assume that you’re just starting and don’t have SCM system yet, so just zip your working directory (where all your project files are) and upload it. Your first repository will be created.
- go to your repository setup → integration → fogbugz. All you need to do is follow the instructions – but basically they will just need your fogbugz URL (yourproject.fogbugz.com) and username with password.
- choose your subversion client, download it and install. All you’ll have to configure in the client is a repository URL (it will look something like this: http://yourproject.svn.beanstalkapp.com/myfirstrepo/) and your username/password (usually username is the email you entered when registering). That’s it, you can delete all files from the working directory on your computer (do a backup before deleting!) and check-out files from your repository there. I use tortoiseSVN so I just stopped IIS, removed everything from my c:\inetpub\testproject directory, right-clicked on it and chose “Check-out” from TortoiseSVN menu. In a minute I had all my files fetched from beanstalk repository. I started IIS and had my test project up and running, but now with full source control!
- in Fogbugz – set “Source Control URL for logs” and “Source Control URL for diffs”. To do this, you need to go to your fogbugz account, to Settings → site → Main. Grab your repository URL from beanstalk, add “browse/^FILE” to it and set it as “Source Control URL for logs”. It should look something like that: http://yourProject.beanstalkapp.com/yourRepository/browse/^FILE
And “Source Control URL for diffs” will be http://yourProject.beanstalkapp.com/yourRepositroy/diff/path/^FILE?from=^R2&to=^R1
Voila! Everything should be working.
So the workflow will be like that:
- If you have a bug or a feature request, you enter it to Fogbugz, it will get a number assigned.
- When you (or someone else) start working on a bug, you just edit your code and then commit it. When committing, you can add tags to a commit message. For example, if you do a commit with the following message:
fixed IE5.5 lack of .toFixed() support
Beanstalk will go to FogBugz, find bug #34, add the message to it and mark the bug as resolved. See here for more commit tags.
- Then in Fogbugz bug#34 you will see that it’s been just resolved and you will be able to check what files were changed and look at the diff of the changes.
So that’s it, you’ve got your bug tracking and version control software set up and integrated. It’s working online so support cost is zero, and it’s completely free :)
P.S. What’s also great about Beanstalk is that it supports twitter integration – so if you have an open-source project, your users can follow it on twitter and see what you’re committing! It also supports web-hooks API so integration is limited to your fantasy only :)
P.P.S. The only thing that’s left is database versioning control – we need something like RoR migrations, but that’s a topic for another post :)