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:
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.
Docman – We made a few updates to Docman in 6.4.1 including the ability to mass upload documents by uploading a single, compressed file (.zip, .tar, .tgz, .etc). You can also quickly restore a prior version of a file to the newest version while retaining the complete version history. Finally we’ve added better logging, particularly when files and folders are deleted so administrators can identify what was deleted and who deleted them.
Tracker – Project administrators can now manually add and remove user or user groups from monitoring a Tracker or Tracker Items. Also any custom tracker fields can now be added to the “Quick Filter” when browsing Tracker Items.
Project Templates – Before 6.4.1 you could configure GForge to auto approve projects. We’ve now added a better level of control by allowing site administrators to configure which project templates require projects to be explicitly approved or which templates can employ the use of auto approve.
Debian – We now support Debian “Jessie” in addition to the latest versions of CentOS and RedHat Enterprise Linux
Discussions – Images added to discussions in the “forum” view are now rendered in-line just as they are in “chat” view.
SSO & LDAP– We’ve streamlined the user experience for customers using SSO and LDAP
The Gory Details
GForge v6.4.1 includes a number of bug fixes and security updates. For the full details of this release, please have a look at the Complete GForge v6.4.1 ChangeLog
Sprints – GForge now ships with support for Sprints. Agile shops can create sprints, manage tracker items within Sprints and track the progress of sprints via the burndown charts provided. We’ve also updated the Tracker Query editor to support sprints.
Trove Improvements – We’ve completed revamped the user interface for managing projects within your trove and added some powerful administration features.
Project Templates – Project Templates are now a part of the Trove. This allows larger organizations to divide their project templates in some meaningful way (e.g. by department)
Tracker Workflow – When setting up workflow GForge will now give each workflow status a visual indicator to the administrator letting them know which transitions they have setup up workflow rules for.
Added Support for CentOS 7 and RHEL 7.
DebianSupport– We now support Debian Wheezy
modauthgforge – We enabled modauthgforge and use it by default when using SVN or Git over HTTP(S) which is a huge performance improvement.
pg-pool Support – If you have a separate server for the GForge database we now support pg-pool which implement connection pooling. This will be a big performance improvement for customers using this sort of configuration.
Post-commit Filters – We now provide the same interface we offer for managing pre-commit filters for managing post-commit filters.
Today we are happy to announce the immediate availability of GForge Advanced Server v6.3.1. This is primarily a bugfix release and the highlights include fixes for the Support Tracker feature and some minor security enhancements.
Today we are happy to announce the immediate availability of GForge Advanced Server v6.3.0. This release is a major release with a few bug and security fixes included. Important: With this release we are dropping support for the entire 5.x series. If you are running a 5.x version of GForge you will need to make plans to upgrade immediately. We are fielding support questions and even doing assisted upgrades for our customers. If you need assistance please read all about the GForge upgrade process and if you need help please send a support request. Now, let’s cover the exciting updates included in v.6.3.0:
We continue to add features important to Agile and Scrum development shops such as:
User Stories – We’ve added a new User Stories Tracker to v6.3.0. Define stories by role, give story points and then track their progress.
Burndown Charts – Enhance the power of GForge Trackers by embedding Burndown charts on your project’s homepage. Burn down charts can be built from any Tracker query you can think of.
Your software projects can leverage the power of GForge Trackers to provide support to your customers and stakeholders. Support tickets include all the same basic Tracker features but this release includes special updates.
Create new support tickets (or Tracker items) via email.
Respond to suppport and Tracker items via email.
Support and Tracker Item updates via email that have attachments will have the file(s) attached to the corresponding ticket or Tracker item.
Support and all other Trackers can have reminders configured to let assignees and submitters know when a support ticket or Tracker Item is waiting on them.
Support and all other Trackers can be configured to automatically close an item that has sat with the submitter for some predetermined amount of time (in hours).
Customer Groups can be configured with a Tracker so that the customer or stakeholder only see Tracker items that they or others in their group have created.
Assignees can now change the who the submitter of a Tracker item was. This is particularly useful if you provide support via telephone.
You can now sort Tracker Items based on who the Tracker item is waiting input from (not to be confused with the assignee).
Worth mentioning, we love this feature so much that we have migrated from our old support system to use GForge Trackers. Customers should have received an email about this migration which included seamless migration of our customer accounts so the same username and password can be used. You should continue access our support page at https://gforgegroup.com/support/
In addition to the new User Stories and Support Trackers, we’ve made a couple of other notable updates:
Hide Intrinsic Fields – We have made it possible to hide some instrinsic fields (e.g. % complete, duration, etc) on Trackers. This basically turns GForge Tracker into a general purpose forms engine making it useful for surveys and questionnaires.
Export Tracker Queries – The Tracker item browse page now allows you to download search results into CVS, XML and XLS.
Notable Miscellaneous Improvements
There are also a few other improvements that warrant a quick mention:
Extended Commit Messages – Prior to v6.3.0 you could associate a commit in CVS, Subversion and Git using [#XXXX] notation. Now you can report time or even change the status of a tracker item via a commit using an extended notation [#XXXX, next-status, hours]. So, for example a commit with “[#1234, pull-request, 1.5] – Some message” would change tracker item 1234 by changing the status to pull-request, it will add 1.5 hours to the time tracking tab and it would associate the code changes to the Tracker item.
Project Disk Quotas – Our first iteration of disk quotas allows GForge Administrators to set the quota limit for specific projects or even specify a sane default for all newly created projects. We also include a simple disk quota report for tracker purposes. Please note the quota enforcement is not present and will be a part of our next release.
Project Reviews and Ratings – Are you running an open source project or some other community based GForge site? You can now let users rate and comment on projects.
Chat Improvements – In v6.2.0 you could enter [#XXXX] in a chat room to render a summary view of a specific Tracker Item. This release allows you to also use #XXXX which will render a link to Tracker item XXXX with mouse-over text that displays the summary of the Tracker item.
Project Invitations – Project administrators can now invite users to their project. This works for users with or without an existing GForge account.
Dead Projects – We now include a new Dead Projects Report allowing GForge Administrators to identify and clean up any unused or dead projects.
Project Emails – Project administrators can now send an email to all team members right from their GForge Project. We will store all sent messages for historical purposes.
We are happy to announce The GForge Group entered their first-ever private/public partnership with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Specifically, an agreement has been reached to establish a special mentorship program with Computer Science and Software Engineering students at Rose-Hulman’s campus in Terre Haute, Ind.
During the school year, Rose-Hulman students will be divided into teams of four or five. Each group will be tasked with implementing a new feature in The GForge Group’s product: GForge Advanced Server. The program is designed to provide undergraduate students with real-world engineering experience.
According to Rose-Hulman Assistant Professor Chandan Rupakheti, the mentorship program, developed jointly by GForge Group President Tony Bibbs, is an incredible opportunity for software engineering students who wish to immerse themselves in “real-world” problems.
“This partnership opens up a new avenue of collaboration between academia and industry. We are extremely excited to launch this special 10-week mentorship program. It has been carefully designed for students to build software components that potentially can be rolled into the product line of an industry leader like GForge,” stated Rupakheti.
Tony Bibbs, GForge Group’s top executive, reinforced the importance of providing hands-on experience to Rose-Hulman’s students. “Every year, the job market competition increases and it’s critical for students to gain in-depth experience in product development. For example, they need to apply agile software principles, be the best in writing and testing source code and performing peer code reviews.”
Bibbs went on to say, “Through this mentorship program, the students will learn how to effectively collaborate using tools like the GForge Advanced Server. After all, we know poor project management and collaboration result in software projects that fail.”