My search for a simple issue tracking system that runs on PHPSubmitted by Earok on Sat, 06/18/2011 - 00:00
Long story short, I failed. But I found something that works better.
About a week ago I started hunting for a simple issue tracking system that runs on the LAMP stack. The main reason was to help manage the enhancements and bugs for my various gamedev and web projects. These were my requirements:
- That it is simple and lightweight. Usuability, especially when issuing and managing lots of tickets is paramount.
- That it is slick. I used to use Drupal derived Open Atrium, but I found it took too long switching between pages to bother with.
- That it is multiuser. The ability to restrict access to projects (especially to the general public) is an absolute necessity.
- And most importantly, it runs on my cheap, shared hosting Linux environment.
I announced my intentions on Twitter, and immediately got a response from a friend that a simple issue tracker doesn't exist for any stack.
And I found that he was largely correct. Although I like BugTracker.Net a lot and that would have been perfect, the '.Net' part made it unusable. Various others I looked at, though they ran on the LAMP stack were unsuitable for shared environments. I almost settled on FlySpray or Mantis, but found FlySpray's administration was far too clumsy and Mantis was far too overloaded with data.
There were some commercial hosted solutions, like 16 bugs that might have been fine, except that I didn't want to have to pay a reoccuring cost. I find it somewhat ironic that some commercial software products get their value by having less features than the open source equivilent.
Dwelling on it further, I think part of the problem is 'simple issue tracker' is an oxymoron. Instead of looking for a simple issue tracker, I should have been looking for an advanced task manager. TaskFreak! was what I settled on. It's dead easy to define projects, define tasks, assign those tasks to people, add additional info and mark them as complete when they're done. It's also very, very smooth, thanks in part to AJAXy goodness.
Granted, TaskFreak is a bit clumsy in some places and is missing some stuff I'd really like - such as Email notifications, Milestones, and File Uploads - but it more than fits the bill for my requirements.