Project Management

Goldberg - turn-key user auth & CMS for Rails

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One of Rails' most commonly mentioned faults is the lack of a turn-key user authentication & content management system as part of the standard install. While a good point, there are a number of open-source projects that have stepped up to the plate to fill this gap. After looking around for some time I've found one which I suspect I'll be using often: Goldberg. Though not the most feature rich, Goldberg does the basics well - user authentication, user access controls, a basic CMS for handling static pages, which is all wrapped up in an easily extensible structure. Well worth trying out.

Redmine - excellent RoR-based project management tool

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I've just been converted to a tool called Redmine, a combination of the ubiquitous Trac and something like ActiveCollab. Able to work directly with Subversion code repositories, Redmine gives you support for multiple projects, per-project tasks, content management (blog, news, document management, wiki), both a calendar and GANTT chart to view progress, a very comprehensive user management system that can even authenticate against LDAP (i.e. Active Directory, NetWare, et al), and as always is an open-source application so you can improve/extend the code as you see fit. I'm trying it out at work but it looks like something I'm going to start using for all of my project management. Awesome stuff!

New Information Architecture book is awesome

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I picked up a review copy (review forthcoming) of O'Reilly's new Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd edition, and so far it is a simply inspiring book. I'm only fifty-ish into its almost 500 pages but I've already started to brainstorm ideas for a huge improvement to the website at work, which I intend starting shortly after the holidays. Of all of the tech books I've read this is so far one of the best from a general knowledge point of view - the lessons to be learned in this book aren't just for web development, they're for anyone creating any sort of software. While I'm far from finishing it I already would have to count it as a must-read for anyone developing websites, both internal and public-facing, you won't be disappointed!

Project managment software for the rest of us

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A really awesome find this evening. I've always been on the lookout for good project management tool. I've wanted something that was web-based (so that I could access it from anywhere), open-source (so that I had full control over the code if needed), easy to use, and able to cope with both my personal projects along with any consulting work I pick up along the way. There are some definitely great programs available, for example 37Signals' Backpack, BSAG's Tracks, etc, but most of them suffer in one way or another, particularly Backpack which is a hosted application so you can't control its inner workings. In the end I found a program called activeCollab which is very heavily based on Backpack but is open source, so you host and manage it yourself. The current version works well for what I need and the update coming in a few weeks adds many improvements, mainly being able to add comments to anything and a rewritten file system to simplify uploading and managing attachments. Worth trying out.

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