WebIssues

WebIssues Client

Overview

WebIssues is an open source, multi-platform system for issue tracking and team collaboration. It can be used to store, share and track issues with various attributes, comments and file attachments. The system is easy to install and use but has many capabilities and is highly customizable.

You can find more information at webissues.mimec.org.

History

I started creating a prototype version of WebIssues in 2005 as my master's thesis. The main goal was to create a simple team collaboration system consisting of a client written in Qt and server written in PHP. Although the issue types and attributes could not be easily modified after installing the server, the result was quite good and the main idea and architecture of the system remained almost unchanged since then.

In 2006 I decided to continue working on this project and create a version that could be publicly released. At that time there was no open source edition of Qt for Windows (except for an unofficial port which had many bugs) and I was using Linux as my main and only operating system, so I decided to integrate the client with KDE and drop support for Windows. After a year of development the program had all basic features implemented, including filters and the issue history view, and slowly started gaining some popularity in the open source community.

At that time work on KDE 4 had started and I had to decide if I want to stick to KDE 3 and then port to KDE 4 or first switch to Qt 4 (on which KDE 4 was based anyway). Although plain Qt lacked some features which I liked in KDE (for example the KXMLGUI architecture which made me write the XmlUi component for Qt), I quickly realized that it was a good decision, especially that Windows was now officially supported for open source projects and because of my job I started using it more often than Linux.

The transition took longer than I expected but I also took the opportunity to clean up the code and make various improvements. Another important decision was to start releasing beta versions of this program, as this allowed me to introduce more complex features while keeping a frequent release schedule. With the introduction of watches, notifications and the three-pane interface the application became quite mature.

Although sometimes I had to stop working on WebIssues and start doing something else for a while just to stay sane, the growing popularity and numerous feature request from the community always made me return to this project. At some point it became obvious that I cannot keep adding new features without redesigning some of the core architecture. Also I knew that although the desktop client was one of the main strengths of WebIssues, creating even a basic web client would be very important to gain new users. I've been thinking about WebIssues 1.0 for a few years and finally in March 2009 I decided that it's "now or never".

The biggest argument against taking this challenge was simply the huge amount of time that had to be committed to this and I already had very little time because of my work. So the idea was to gather a big development team, share the work and focus on design and management. It quickly turned out that it's not easy to get people involved. However I decided to finish what I started, without sacrificing quality or functionality, and with some help, I was able to complete version 1.0 and release it in December 2011.