Preview of GForge Next!

This is an exciting time for us at The GForge Group.  As we hinted in our preview of the upcoming GForge v6.4.0 release we have been working on a re-design of GForge and we’re happy to give you a glimpse of that work and give you limited, early access when the first version is ready.

To help set the table, we want to share our goals with this first release of GForge Next.

  • Provide a minimum viable product (MVP) to new users looking to host their project.  The current version of GForge has a number of rich, deep features and it would be unrealistic to launch them all at once completely redesigned (especially with no customer feedback).  The MVP will include:
    • User and project registration
    • A user’s profile page
    • A project’s summary page
    • Project chat room for collaboration
    • A single tracker for tracking enhancements, bugs and tasks
    • Working Git repository integrated with the tracker
    • A fully documented REST-ful API
  • Make the easy tasks easy.  Our current design has served us well for a long time but there are too many steps to accomplish simple tasks.  In the same vein, we need to make harder tasks easier.  Or goal is to reduce the reliance on documentation that our current system requires.
  • Collect feedback from early adopters on the redesigned system.  We plan on doing this by providing a convenient feedback icon on all redesigned pages as well as reaching out to our customers in a variety of ways (email, online meetings, etc)
  • Vet the decisions we’ve made on our technology stack.  For the geeks out there, we are using a mix of tools from our old stack and newer technologies:
    • Composer
    • Angular
    • Doctrine
    • PostgreSQL
    • PHPUnit
    • Jenkins
  • Add the beginnings of a true SaaS model.  Right now GForge is only available via download.  Moving forward we want to offer both SaaS and downloadable options.  This also means our SaaS implementation make new features and bug fixes immediately available through our automated build and release system.

Before we share the first screenshots of GForge Next, we want to invite all of you to sign-up for early access today. While early access will be limited, we do plan to open it up again as we approach beta.  Finally, we want to hear from you so please post questions below or feel free to send questions or feedback to feedback@gforgegroup.com.

Screenshots

“G” Mega-menu

Knowing how screen real estate is a premium, we wanted to provide a better way for users to move between projects and to quickly access common features.  This screenshot shows the “G” Mega-menu prototype which ditches persistent left and top navigation for a menu that is accessible by moving your mouse over the “G” in the header:

Screenshot 2014-10-03 10.32.27

 Project Summary

The project summer is a landing page and this is a first stab at it.  There will likely be significant changes however, this shows some of the things that are possible.

GForge_Next

 

The working prototype above is showing two simple graphs that are completely rendered in JavaScript complete with mouse-over animations and drill-down support.  The beauty about much of the work you see above is we have all that data currently, we

Git Support

We will be providing Git support in the initial release but, for now, we don’t support web-based browsing (it is coming).  However, we do want to show the main Git landing page:

GForge_Next

As you can see, we coach users through the process of not only learning Git but also how they can use the integration we provide between Git and the Tracker.  Full Git support is there so you will be able to follow the instructions on that page to do your clone as well as tie commits to tasks, we just haven’t released the browser-based navigation of your Git repository yet.

Browsing Tasks

GForge_Next

 Kanban

GForge_Next

This prototype shows how we were able to quickly render the Tracker into a Kanban format.  We have lofty goals for the Kanban but our initial goal is to provide drag-n-drop capability to move tasks between two statuses and to quickly add new tasks to the view.

We will be providing short, screenshot updates on a weekly basis here so please keep an eye out and in the meantime post any questions or comments you may have below.

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