GForge v19.1 Released!

Role-based ACLs for Git
GForge supports role-based ACLs for Git and SVN

We’re happy to announce our second GForge release for 2019 is available! v19.1 adds a number of new features and comes with a number of bug fixes.

Download GForge v19.1 Now!

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

Highlights in GForge v19.1

Role-based ACLs for Subversion (SVN) and Git – GForge now supports role-based access controls for both Subversion (SVN) and Git. This means you can control what areas in your repository users have access to based on their role in the project. In SVN this means you can limit a roles access to certain paths in your SVN repository (e.g. write access to anything in /branches and read-only access to /trunk). For Git this works similarly where GForge allows you specify which specific branches a user has access to.

Code Reviews in Subversion (SVN) – Beginning with GForge v18.0, you could perform code reviews in Git just fine. GForge now supports the same functionality using SVN.

Embedded Video Support – You can now embed online videos in many places in GForge including tickets, wiki entries, project homepages, etc. This support is included anywhere where the GForge WYSISYG editor is used.

Commit Integrity – When it comes to commits GForge tries to stay out of your way. One example is you can associate a commit to any ticket that is part of a project you belong to but the ticket doesn’t have to reside in the same project. While that can be handy, in some cases you need deeper control so in this release we’ve added two features ensuring commit integrity:

    1. There is a new configuration option that will tell GForge to enforce the committer is currently assigned to the ticket associated with the commit.
    2. Another new configuration option will tell GForge to enforce the repository being committed to is the same project the associated ticket is part of.

The v19.1 ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.

Just a reminder for customers still running GForge Advanced Server (v6.4.5 and prior) we are planning on officially dropping support in October of 2020. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade paths.

Download GForge v19.1 Now!

The Lasting Impact of OSS Communities

Before I jump into the meat of this post, I want to point out that I was stumped on exactly where to publish this. I mean, discussing how PHP and open source software has helped me certainly doesn’t belong on a corporate website, right? The more I reflected, the more I was convinced it belonged here. We don’t market GForge as a “PHP company” but it is and my ties to the company are as strong as my history with the PHP Community (phpc). So here we are and off we go…

So Ben Ramsey hit my twitter feed with his response to this post:

To Ben’s point, I haven’t been active in the phpc since I came to work on GForge a decade ago and to get mentioned in this list of people, all of whom I respect, felt good. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my path and the impact that PHP and OSS had in hopes others see the real value in those relationships.

To help set the tone here was my actual response to Ben:

My relationship with PHP started around 1999 when it was still in its infancy, back when Zend was a new company, when MySQL didn’t support foreign keys and when installing Linux was relatively painful.  Back then the internet was all dial-up and I had a mini-tower PC running a version of Slackware that I literally peeled out of the back of a book on Slackware. In those days I was kidless and had just started my career and I wanted to learn as much as I could about things like Linux, Apache, networking and DNS. Being a software guy, it was a natural decision to try and setup my own website.

This day and age, all of that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I mean it’s been a long time since I touched bare metal and if I need a blog, well, there are websites for that. Yet still, that decision set me on a path that I would have found unbelievable back then.

With the server setup I wanted to find an open source CMS solution and stumbled on Geeklog. Geeklog is an open source, LAMP-based CMS and at the time was lead by Jason Whittenburg. I’ve learned that open source projects are really about relationships and it wasn’t long after meeting Jason that he had me making contributions to the project before eventually handing me the project a few years later. During the next decade or so I had the chance to learn how to run an open source project and, just as important, I learned how to leverage my work professionally. How exactly?

Probably the most frivolous was I started and sold an outdoors-based community website running Geeklog. This proved to me that I could build something a company valued enough to buy it but more importantly it proved that PHP was maturing and was nearly ready for primetime.

Fast forward to 2003, I took a position in State government to help lead software development. Everything our team built was in Java and IBM DB2.  Development was slow, you couldn’t run both Java & DB2 on workstation hardware back then which meant the development feedback loop was painfully slow. Thankfully I had bosses that “got it” and by about 2005 we deployed our first LAMP-based system to production. As much as I’d like to take credit for the change, Facebook’s launch put PHP into the spotlight. It was then that I recall seeing legitimate jobs for PHP’ers and software consulting firms that could find us PHP resources to augment our team. Around the same time PHP conferences started popping up not only giving the phpc a voice but allowing someone like me, in Iowa, the chance to meet many of the great people who have influenced me over the years.

While all that was going on with my work in State government, we were constantly improving our software delivery processes and tools. We went from VisualAge for Java and ClearCase to a workstation running CVS and Bugzilla to buying GForge. Back then, GForge just made the shift to a commercial-only license but we got the source code, mostly PHP, and over the years we provided a number of patches back. All of this lead to the opportunity for me to buy GForge. That opportunity was a classic case of “luck favors the prepared” but I can say my experience with Linux, OSS and the phpc made this possible.

The takeaway I want to leave you with is simple. The value of the any community is in the relationships you form. Strong relationships in the phpc can help you with more than Building Better Software. Those relationships can open up future opportunities both professionally and personally.  So while I haven’t been active in the phpc, it is still a part of who I am, a part of this company and this serves a reminder that I need to rekindle some of those relationships. To that end, I’d love to hear from others like me to tell their stories and encourage others in the PHP and Open Source communities.

 

The Loveless Start Up – IPO Trough

I happened upon a short LinkedIn post by a gentleman named Josh Jones that caught my eye. The title says it all: “We spend too much time celebrating ‘Start Ups”, not enough celebrating ‘Keep Goings'”.

Look, I’m not here to sprinkle any hate on the dreams of Start Ups out there but the what resonated with me is his assertion we don’t celebrate the ‘Keep Goings’ enough. As I read his piece, I couldn’t help but picture an inverted bell curve of “Hype” where the ‘Keep Goings’ were bookended by start-ups and publicly traded companies:

 

 

 

 

 

Hater’s gonna hate, right? I perpetually operate with a chip on my shoulder as we at GForge hustle everyday to eat a bigger piece of pie in our market by competing against the likes of Github, Gitlab and Atlassian. Josh’s article resonated with me because the Glamor around Start Ups (who are, by their very nature in debt) and the Hype generated by big, publicly traded companies with lots of resources drowns out the successes and accomplishments of companies like ours. The ‘Keep Doings’.

On a more personal note, and at the risk of unveiling some of my own professional insecurities, Josh’s point on the emotional toll is spot on:

“…it is a dark, lonely, stressful, tough road to go down at times, there is no-one who has gone out on a mission and stuck at it for years that has not been into the darkness that is on the road to your dreams.”

I want to leave you all with just three thoughts:

    1. I’m painfully aware that being drowned out by the Hype generated by Start Ups and big, publicly traded companies is in part a fault I have to own. The GForge brand isn’t where it should be and the accountability sits with me. I only say this to be clear I’m not simply whining about what they are doing right.
    2. If you are a consumer of B2B solutions and services I ask you consider critically if going with a flashy Start Up, however well funded they are, is better than a proven solution from a company with a solid history and track record. Similarly don’t fall into the “people don’t get fired from buying Microsoft” line that I’ve heard more times than I can count. That’s not a good reason for going big.
    3. More importantly, I want to hear from the other ‘Keep Doings’. I know there are more of us out there and reading Josh’s piece really gave me perspective and some calm knowing there are a lot more of us out there hustling Every. Single. Day. Come out of the shadows, tell your story and share similar experiences you have had.

 

GForge v19.0 Released!

We’re happy to announce our first GForge release for 2019 is available! v19.0 adds a number of new features and comes with a number of bug fixes.

Download GForge v19.0 Now!

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

Highlights in GForge v19.0

Sprint Retrospectives – For Agile and Scrum teams GForge already lets you create, track and manage the burndown of your sprints. In 19.0 can now assess and reflect on sprints with Sprint Retrospectives. Retrospectives include a report of key metrics and then allow you to provide a narrative to identify what worked well, what challenges you had and come up with actions and ideas going forward.

Tickets: Related Items – A challenge for all teams is reducing duplicated work. When creating new tickets, GForge will now identify related items allowing you to quickly determine if you are working on a problem that has already been identified and possibly fixed. GForge can show its own related tickets as well as possible matches on StackOverflow.

Offline Installation/Upgrades – If you need to install or upgrade GForge in a secure location in your network on a host that doesn’t have outbound internet connectivity GForge now supports offline installations and upgrades.

Moderated LDAP/SSO Accounts – You can now configure GForge to send new accounts registered via LDAP/SSO to a queue where they await formal approval by a GForge Administrator.

Organization – For customers with large project portfolios you can now organize your project into organizations. Organizations also provide the organization a place where they can collaborate across projects inside the organization.

  • The v19.0 ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.
  • The GForgeNext FAQ will answer most of your questions but don’t hesitate to send additional questions.
  • Just a reminder for customers still running GForge Advanced Server (v6.4.5 and prior) we are planning on officially dropping support in October of 2020. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade paths.

Download GForge v19.0 Now!

GForge and Open Source Software

Old School OSS

I can recall the low beam of light from a CRT monitor that was hooked up to a 333MHz Intel Pentium II computer that provided just the right amount of hum from its tower to compliment the loud clicks I was orchestrating from my cheap IBM keyboard. I was sitting on an equally cheap, metal folding chair positioned perfectly in front of a card table that hosted the monitor. That was the scene as I made my first open source contribution, using Slackware 3.x.

Today, I can replay all the different ways open source software shaped my professional career and the vision and value systems we hold here as we reinvent and reintroduce GForge.  Admittedly, many familiar with GForge know it more from its roots at SourceForge.net and its impact on open source software back in the 1990s. A lot has changed and open source software has continued to thrive beyond its original, organic roots to claim a rightful place in organizations of all sizes.

Today’s OSS

There is no industry immune from the influence of open source software. Cloud computing, DevOps, fintech, medicine, banking and governments at all levels are deploying some level of open source software but what gets lost in the fray is their true relationship with open source software.  There could be more, but I see three distinct relationships an organization can have with open source software.

  • Consumers – These organizations simply consume open source software. This could be viewed negatively but having led an open source project I can attest that there is a tremendous amount of pride seeing people use software you helped build.
  • Contributors – While they also consume, these organizations also make contributions back to open source projects in the form of bug reports and possibly small patches. Finding bugs is hard work that open source projects appreciate and nothing feels better when someone using code you helped build finds and submits the fix.
  • Collaborators – The organizations I respect most not only contribute but they actively collaborate on open source software. These are the organizations that understand that OSS is more than just source code, they are communities with vision that sustain real, long-standing relationships that cross industries, geography, religion, politics and socio-economics. I can’t begin to enumerate the number of great people that have influenced me professionally and personally as a result of open source collaboration.

GForge and OSS

Ok, I can hear you asking “Where is this going and why write all this when GForge is a commercial offering?”  As an organization GForge sits in that “Contributors” relationship with open source. While that’s not bad, we do have aspirations to improve our relationship and we have chosen to apply the principles we’ve learned from open source in how we engage in business. Specifically:

  • You get our source code – While GForge is a commercial product we ship the source code for our entire codebase minus the bits that do the license key checking. Also, GForge is free for up to 5 users and is free to open source organizations.
  • We value transparency – Providing our source code can be viewed as a risk but for our customers it allows them to do a deeper inspection of our features, code quality and they can perform their own, independent security audits.
  • Security vulnerabilities are good – Sadly, my name is associated with some pretty nasty vulnerabilities and there are only four appropriate things to do when that happens: 1) swallow your pride 2) thank and give the reporter official credit 3) find, fix and announce the vulnerability quickly 4) learn from the mistake.
  • Better customer relationships – We make it possible for customers to access our codebase via Git. This not only makes customizations possible it makes those changes maintainable over time while still take advantage of our new features and bug fixes.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in – We are a vendor so you probably think vendor lock-in is good, right? I’ve been on both sides of this table and by providing our source code, by using an open source database (PostreSQL) and providing a slick REST-ful API we are conveying to our customers and prospects that we know they have choices and our open approach is the foundation for the relationships we build with our customers.

GForge Going Forward

Last month we reintroduced GForge with our first release of what we dubbed “GForge Next”. Our goal was to make GForge Comprehensive, Simple and Elegant by paying down over a decade of technical debt that positions us to focus innovation.  GForge has a long history with open source software that we plan to expand on and if the above values resonate with you, we invite you to explore what we’ve learned in 20 years of helping teams Build Better Software.

Learn More about GForge Take a Tour

Download GForge or Host a Project with us

 

GForge v18.1 Released!

Just a little over a month ago we ushered a completely revamped GForge platform dubbed GForgeNext and today we are happy to announce the release of v18.1.  Please remember we have changed our version numbering to reflect the year and the number of the release. Since this is the second release of 2018 this version coincides to v18.1 which should help customers quickly know how many versions behind they may be.

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

The biggest change in 18.1 is the addition of SVN commit hooks. This means that all customers using both Git and SVN can safely upgrade to this version. For our remaining customers still using CVS we will be adding that support in v19.0 due out the first quarter of next year.

  • The v18.1 ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.
  • The GForgeNext FAQ will answer most of your questions but don’t hesitate to send additional questions.
  • We are still encouraging customers to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade process. If we don’t hear form you we will be reaching out to all our customers over the coming week.

Download GForge v18.1 Now!

GForgeNext Released!

Yes, it’s been a long time coming and nobody is happier than we are to formally announce the release of GForgeNext!

For those new to GForge, GForgeNext gives you all the tools you need to build and collaborate on software. In keeping with our motto of making collaboration Simple, Comprehensive and Elegant – GForgeNext leverages Docker so it installs in seconds, includes all the tools you need to build better software and it all comes with a user experience you will enjoy! For those not interested in running their own instance of GForge, you can opt for our new SaaS offering!

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

For existing customers this release is significant because GForgeNext is as different as it is similar to GForge AS. You still get all the features of GForge AS but everything has been rethought and redesigned. In order to upgrade to GForgeNext, existing customers will have to upgrade to GForge AS v6.4.4 and then the upgrade will handle the rest! To help we have put together a few resources:

  • The GForgeNet ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.
  • The GForgeNext FAQ will answer most of your questions but don’t hesitate to send additional questions.
  • Beginning immediately we are encouraging customers to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade process. If we don’t hear form you we will be reaching out to all our customers over the coming week.

Download GForgeNext Now!