I’m going to be pushing a software project I’ve been working on out into the open source world sometime in the near future, so I’ve been considering what I want to use to keep track of the software’s development. I initially started by creating a RubyForge project for it, because the tool is written in Ruby and that’s just what you do with Ruby projects, but I’ve also been thinking about Trac and Launchpad.
To help in this decision-making process, I’ve crafted a table.
|Software||Hosted?||VCS Integration||Site Content Management?||Mailing Lists?||Customizable?|
|RubyForge||Yes||CVS, Subversion||Yes, static content||Yes||Content yes, project page no|
|Trac||No||CVS, Subversion||Yes, wiki||No||Yes|
|Launchpad||Yes||Bazaar (CVS and Subversion through the importer)||No||No||No|
RubyForge is great, and there’s a lot to be said for hosting this project somewhere other than Duke or on my sluggish TextDrive shared hosting account. But I’d like some sort of site content management beyond just SFTP to the site and manage static HTML files in a document root. There’s an optional wiki, but it’s UseMod… bleh. It would also be nice to have integrated mailing lists.
I think Trac has the best feature set overall, and is used by many high-profile and highly respected projects, so I can be reasonably certain that it’ll do what I need. The only major drawback is that I’d have to maintain it on a server myself, though this does have some benefits in the customization department. I’m not worried about its lack of mailing list management, either; I could always use GoogleGroups, or simply install Mailman or set up a Sympa virtual host in Duke’s Sympa site.
I’m not even sure why I’m considering Launchpad, to be honest, other than due to my positive experiences with it as an Ubuntu Linux user. It doesn’t really seem to offer any of the features I’m after other than being hosted and managed by someone else, and it doesn’t even directly integrate with the VCS software I’ve been using and which works well with the IDE I’ve been rather enjoying. That doesn’t exactly make it sound like a winner to me, for this project.