Last weekend we sponsored our second HackISU Hackathon in Ames, Iowa. HackISU is run, in part, by both Major League Hacking and HackISU, a student ran organization. The GForge Group sponsored a prize for “The Best Use of the GForgeNEXT API” and out of all the teams at this fall’s HackISU two demonstrated great projects!
Runner-up: GitHub Migration
The team of Gregory “Charlie” Steenhagen, Justin Wheeler, Nathan Karasch and Jonny Krysh were this semester’s runner-ups. At the end of the Hackathon they managed to migrate a single project out of GitHub including the Git repository and issues into a GForgeNEXT project.
Winners: GForgeNEXT Chat Commands
The winners for this semester: Mehul Shinde, Dig Vijay Kumar Yarlagadda, Chris Matthews and Brendan O’Conner implemented a way to execute user-created commands that could be ran in GForgeNEXT’s chat rooms. They demonstrated commands that searched StackOverflow, ran Google searches that both showed up in the GForgeNEXT chat room. They also managed to do simple tasks like create new tickets, update existing tickets and list users assigned to a project.
While both teams demonstrated great ideas our winners edged out the win two ways:
They exercised more of the GForgeNEXT API including use of the user, tracker, project and discussion resources.
GForgeNEXT’s Chat doesn’t implement a way for user’s executed homegrown scripts yet. This means the execution of any commands isn’t natively supported by our API and the workaround they came up to this limitation was fanastic. Their engine would poll a given chat room looking for commands (beginning with “/”) and if the command existed it would execute the associated script. The amount of problem solving that went into dealing with this limitation was impressive.
Overall this semester’s HackISU event was the best we’ve been a part of and we look forward being a part of future event’s. We’ll conclude with the photo below of our winners who all earned $750 each:
This weekend The GForge Group will, again, be sponsoring HackISU this weekend up in Ames. This is a great opportunity for young developers and engineers to have fun and gain experience working with technology. For our part, we are awarding $750 per team member (up to $3,000) to the team that makes the best use of the GForgeNext API. This is similar to our award from last year but unlike last year we trying to encourage creativity by not giving specific ideas on how to use our API (nor how you might integrate it with other APIs).
This is a big year for GForge Group — we have redesigned our flagship product, GForge As, and are relaunching it as GForgeNEXT. This Spring we announced that NEXT is now available in free, private beta. Behind the scenes our team of developers has been working many long hours to bring this new product to market. Over the rest of the summer, we will be posting a blog series entitled “Meet the GForge Team.” In this series will be spotlighting each member of our team, their backgrounds, roles, and unique perspectives, so you can get to know the faces behind the software at GForge.
Summer is in full swing and it’s apropos to kick off this summer series by highlighting our interns.
Kyle Goranson Intern, GForge Group
Where do/did you go to college? Coe College
What is/was your major?
Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics
When did you learn to code?
My first formal coding experience (also my first reasonable language) was my computer science 1 class in my Sophomore year of college in which I learned on C++. But my first coding experience was creating programs on my TI-84 calculator in high school, which I figured out myself, and looking back, programming in TI-basic was absolutely horrible.
What is your favorite project you have developed?
I’m going to have to go with a group project that spanned a full semester which was building a class registration system in C#. But it’s not the main part of the assignment that makes it my favorite. My group was fairly far ahead so I decided that our registration system would be better if it had a retro arcade hidden within it. So I wrote Pong, Snake, Space Invaders, and Pac Man. All of which I made as close to the original as possible. To get to the arcade, on our login screen you needed to enter your username and then enter the konami code instead of your password.
What are you doing at GForge?
I am primarily working on developing an Android app for GForgeNEXT, and I am also expanding test coverage.
What attracted you to work for GForge?
I worked with Michael Tutty during HackISU where I was building an app that was integrated with the GForgeNEXT REST API. I really enjoyed the interactions I had with him.
What is your typical day like at GForge?
The first thing I do is check to make sure my queue is up to date and then join the standup. When the standup is done, I will move on to working on whatever I have for the day. When I run into issues I will ask a question in chat and this will sometimes turn into a hangout where we figure out the problem. Somewhere in there I will take a break for lunch.
What is your dream job?
That is a good question. I have no idea. Definitely something involving programming though.
When you’re not working where can you usually be found where? Doing what?
I can usually be found at my computer even when I’m not working. I will often be playing an online game with friends, the most common of which is League of Legends.
We are happy to announce that the GForgeNEXT Beta Program now supports Spanish. This announcement reaffirms our investment in Central and South America by offering the following benefits:
Reduce project cost by eliminating the problems associated with unclear objectives.
Improve customer satisfaction by using tools that improve the quality of your software.
Eliminate communication gaps that often lead to lost time and money.
Participants in the GForgeNEXT beta program get these benefits:
Create and manage multiple projects
Easily change between English and Spanish
Maintain version control using Git, and view source code, commits and diffs online
Assign and track project tasks
Collaborate with the rest of your team your project’s chat room
Integrate GForgeNEXT with third party software using our [link]REST API[/link]
Manage todo lists across multiple projects
Improve GForgeNEXT by submitting your ideas directly to our product development team.
Organizations that are accepted into the Beta Program can use GForgeNEXT for free until it comes out of beta, after which Beta Program participants will qualify for discounted pricing. Are you interested? Sign-up now otherwise you can send questions to email@example.com
Estamos orgullos de anunciar que la versión Beta de GforgeNEXT ha incorporado soporte para el idioma español. Este anuncio reafirma nuestro compromiso con América Central y Sudamérica ofreciendo los siguientes beneficios:
Reducción de los costos de su proyecto eliminando los problemas asociados con objetivos poco claros.
Aumento de la satisfacción de sus clientes utilizando herramientas que mejoran la calidad de su software.
Eliminación de brechas en la comunicación que a menudo llevan a pérdidas de tiempo y dinero.
Los participantes del programa Beta de GforgeNEXT obtendrán los siguientes beneficios:
Crear y administrar múltiples proyectos
Seguir la evolución de su código fuente utilizando Git. También podrá visualizar su código fuente online, sus commits y las diferencias entre commits.
Asignar y mantener un registro de las tareas de su proyecto.
Colaborar con el resto de su equipo en el salón de chat de su proyecto.
Administrar su lista de tareas personal a través de varios proyectos.
Cambiar fácilmente el idioma (Actualmente inglés y español).
Colaborar en el mejoramiento de GforgeNEXT enviando ideas y sugerencias directamente a nuestro equipo de desarrollo.
Las organizaciones que se incorporen al programa Beta podrán utilizar GforgeNEXT sin costo hasta el lanzamiento de la primer versión estable, pudiendo acceder a importantes descuentos una vez finalizada la etapa beta.
Last week we rolled out a preview of Git support for GForgeNEXT and we are excited to share the first few working screenshots. Before that, let’s run down the set of Git features supported in GForgeNext:
Access Git via HTTPS or SSH
Associate tickets to Git commits via commit messages.
Change the status of tickets via commit messages.
Web-based browsing of a Git repository.
Browse commits and view both in-line and side-by-side diffs.
Before we get to the screenshots of the Git related pages in GForgeNext, we invite you to participate in the GForgeNext Beta Program. Finally, please read on if you are interested in additional Git related features on our development road map.
If you like what you see above, check out these additional Git featured planned for GForgeNext:
Merge Requests – Request and perform peer code reviews right in GForge complete with annotations.
Better Diffs – Select two different commits and view the diff (inline and side-by-side).
Chat Integration – Chat will render Git commit hashes pasted into chat giving the user a summary of the commit (e.g. who, when, number of files, number of inserts/deletions) as well as allowing the user to click the commit hash to open up the Git diff viewer.
Again, if you would like to begin working with the features we already you can sign up for the GForgeNext Beta Program.
Project Snapshots – We’ve a number of issues around project export and import. If you need to move GForge projects between instances you’ll have to upgrade to 6.4.2.
LDAP/Active Directory – We now allow mixed mode authentication which allows users to login via LDAP/Active Directory or the database. This is a great option for organizations that have internal users in LDAP and external stakeholders they want to give access to (via database accounts). We have also provided a new script that will associate existing database accounts to their LDAP/Active Directory equivalents.
Syntax Highlighting – Web-based browsing of repositories now supports syntax highlighting.
Last week we announced that we’ll be sponsoring HackISU this weekend up in Ames. This is a great opportunity for young developers and engineers to have fun and gain experience working with technology. For our part, we are awarding $3,000 to the team that makes the best use of the GForgeNext API which we also recently discussed. Ahead of this weekend’s event, we wanted to share a couple of ideas for teams looking to use our API.
Mobile is king these days and because we’ve been spending so much time working towards getting GForgeNext out of beta we haven’t had a chance to tackle anything related to mobile. There’s a couple of fairly straightforward ideas in the space worth considering:
A mobile application that works with GForgeNext tickets.
A messaging application that brings the existing GForgeNext chat functionality to mobile device.
We should have prefaced that these are just two ideas and both are specific to mobile but you may be able to come up with your own ideas after you look at the GForgeNext API documentation. Feel free to let your imagination roam. So dive into these two ideas a bit more.
Working with Tickets
At the core of GForgeNext is the ability to work with tickets. Tickets can represent just about anything but in IT they are used to manage a workload. For example, we use GForgeNext internally as a place to plan which features and bug fixes will go into our releases and then to assign that work out. Taking this a step further, GForgeNext also lets individuals manage their own todo list. Basically as work (often across multiple projects) is assigned to someone, they can add that work to their own todo list in priority order. Here are a few screenshots from GForgeNext showing the existing functionality:
So basically we are looking for similar functionality from a mobile application. To help we think these features would be great:
Authentication (logging into GForgeNext)
Viewing your list of projects
Switching between projects
Viewing tickets for a specific project
Adding a new ticket
Updating an existing ticket
Searching for a ticket (regardless of project) by ID.
If that much can be accomplished then here are ideas for extra credit:
View your todo list
Edit your todo list (move in/out of list, change order tickets within queue)
Again, these are just features we came up with but we definitely encourage teams to consider other features they might find useful.
Chat in GForgeNext is a critical feature because it allows project teams to collaborate on their work. We are often asked the question, “Why would I want yet another messaging application cluttering up my workstation or mobile phone?”. Indeed, there are a lot of ways to collaborate on projects like email, SMS, instant messenger, IRC. However, the utility of GForge Chat is rooted in the fact is it completely integrated with your projects. Before I get into those specifics here is the chat window in GForgeNext:
This shows how chat will work in GForgeNext. The left shows that whenever you are viewing a page specific to a project you will see the embedded chat window. Eventually you will be able to pop the chat panel out into its own window into something that looks like the image on the right (which is our standalone chat in our current product).
In GForgeNext, because every project gets its own chat room we can leverage features that won’t exist using other messaging applications. For example as activity is happening on a project, it is streamed into the chat room (e.g. user joining chat, an updated ticket, a new wiki page being created). Additionally when discussing tickets in chat you can create auto links to ticket by using #-notation (e.g. typing in #1234 into chat would be rendered in chat as a link to ticket #1234).
With that in mind, here are a few features we’d like to see in a messaging application:
Viewing your list of chat rooms (projects)
Switching between chat rooms
View the messages in a chat room (including project activity)
Viewing users in the chat room
Submitting a new message
Auto linking to tickets using #-notation
Auto completing @-notation of users to mention them (see yellow messages in screenshots above)
That’s a pretty aggressive list of features but some extra credit ideas might be:
Deleting one of your own messages
Push notifications of messages you are @-mentioned in.
Uploading an image
We know you aren’t new to messaging applications so, again, we really encourage you to only use the ideas above as a starting point and we definitely welcome other ideas you can come up with.
Heading into Friday
This is a lot to digest but we really do want teams that use our API to hit the ground running so please definitely read up on the API, feel free to register for a beta account by submitting your email on https://next.gforge.com and if you have any questions before this weekend’s HackISU event send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org