I am Joannes Vermorel, founder at Lokad. I am also an engineer from the Corps des Mines who initially graduated from the ENS.

I have been passionate about computer science, software matters and data mining for almost two decades. (RSS - ATOM)

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Migrating from OnTime to Trac, a short review

I have been a long time user of the project tracker OnTime provided by Axosoft. Yet, at Lokad, we have just migrated to Trac, a open source project tracker.

Although OnTime is a good product, there are quite a few elements definitively in favor a Trac

  • low ceremony: Trac has no advanced workflow, no 10 fields bug entry forms, no team reporting dashboard - but it just works. When it comes to web app, less is more. If you can pinpoint a bug in one sentence, then filling a 6 steps bug replication form is just a waste of time.

  • pretty URLs: that one is very often neglected by ASP.NET developers. It's really nice to be able to copy a URL such as into a mail, a wiki or even to bookmark it. Then, every single view in Trac has its own URL ready to be shared. In this respect, I have felt that the AJAX upgrade of OnTime, one year ago, was a downgrade from the usability viewpoint, because with AJAX, you loose both URLs and the ability to hit "back" on your web browser.

  • emphasing usability and not coolness: when I select an item on Trac, I get the complete view of the item in a simple webpage. Agreed, the page design not super elegant, but since scrolling up and down is a mechanical feature of my mouse, and it happens to be really efficient - especially compared to the tiny AJAX tabs of OnTime.

  • SVN integration: Trac let you browse the SVN source and associate SVN commits can be associated to Trac tickets. That one feature is a killer.

Disclaimer: OnTime is probably meant to be used through the Visual Studio add-in, yet, for some reason, I never managed to convince myself of actually installing the add-in, and I did stick to the hosted edition of OnTime. Thus, the comparison might be entirely fair.

Reader Comments (5)

[...] Vermorel has posted on migrating from the Axosoft OnTime bug tracker to the open source issue tracker Trac. Here are [...]

If you need a .net solution with these characteristics then you should check out SharpForge.

September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBokkie

Were you able to find a way to migrate all of the data in your OnTime database into Trac? Thanks! Mike

November 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rustici

Mike, I did not even try to automate the migration. I just did it by hand.

November 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjoannes

you said... "... When it comes to web app, more is less....."
I think you mean LESS is MORE..


June 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzak
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