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Railsconf Europe 2007 Roundup 2 (mingle)

September 24, 2007 by alex

Mingle is the new agile project management tool from thoughtworks studios. it’s not open source but it’s free for up to five users - sounds like a fair offer to me. for everyone who thinks differently - it’s written in ruby and deployed using jruby, but the class file decompiler is part of the jdk. i wonder how long they can actually make people pay for it. hello open source business models?

anyway, when thilo installed mingle from one of the cds given out to all conference attendees we first were a bit disappointed. after the installation you basically get a nice looking but totally empty screen leaving you with not much more than a big question mark over your head. we didn’t have much time then so that was it for mingle until i attended the corresponding session where things got a bit clearer: mingle is a completely customizable tool. the only thing that’s hard coded are users and cards/stories/tickets/you-name-it and that everything is a wiki page - the rest is up to you. the main features are these:

  • define your own attributes for your cards: you can add new attributes to your cards and in place edit all of them - auto complete shows you a list of values that have been entered into that field before
  • filter cards by any combination of attributes and save the filter, after which you can add it as a tab on the top
  • card transitions - create a set of transitions where a card with a specific state can be transitioned to another state, e.g. from status open to status accepted and assigned to a person. this enables the project team to map their work flows into mingle
  • create graphs and tables from the cards - multiple graph types are supported for easy tracking of iteration progress or number of bugs etc.
  • project templates - so you don't have to sit in front of a blank screen as we did

mingle looks like it could become a really cool tool. after all, trac is getting a bit boring after all these years(?) and we’ve actually stopped using its ticketing system, because it wasn’t easy enough to change it to our needs.

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