Those of you who have been paying attention since we became Ginever Entertainment may have noticed that the JIRA bug tracker went offline as part of the changeover and never came back up. This happened because the new business isn't licensed to use JIRA, and the cost of a JIRA license is absurdly enormous. We would have to pay more per year to Atlassian than we're actually going to earn - ouch! (How people manage to afford this stuff I have no idea.) Since then we've been using public Bitbucket issue trackers, and they are really horrible. Looking into other alternatives didn't help, because they suck just as badly too.
In the end I decided we needed our own in-house solution to this problem (you probably guessed this by now!) so I've spent the last month or so working really hard to code something which doesn't break the bank and doesn't suck. The end result is the Ginever Project Manager or GPM - a permanent replacement to JIRA which brings together everything about our projects in one handy place.
Like with the wiki integration, GPM is fully integrated with the main website, sharing the login session and the site's main skin, so your browsing between GPM and other site pages should feel cohesive and seamless. This was a really important aspect for me to get right, and I'm hoping that if we integrate more services into the website in future we can continue to follow this design to make things feel like they belong together.
So how do you access it? Well, if you check in the header of the site, you'll see a new Projects tab. This is the entry point to GPM and under this tab you should see all our latest major projects listed underneath. Click on one of those and you'll be taken to that project's main page. Alternatively, you can click the tab header to get a full list of all projects.
On the main page for each project you'll find a helpful description explaining all the fine details, such as what the project is about and who is working on it. You'll also find the new issue tracker - all of the old JIRA issues have been painstakingly imported, so the history of our projects has been properly preserved Finally, you'll see that the project pages now also contain their respective dev blogs - the blogs have moved there from elsewhere on the site and feel nice and snug in their new place.
The long term plan is to move all of the legacy projects into GPM too - and for the project pages to be extended further to include downloads and other helpful content. Essentially, this new system will take all of the important aspects of each project and bring them together into a single location. If you want to access anything to do with a specific project, you just head over to that project's main page and go from there. In time, I hope to have our history and our future brought together into a single place on the site, and all under the website's main banner and style.
I'm really happy with this new section of the website, and I think it helps to steer the site more in the direction of commercial development and support, which is really where we're heading anyway.
Please let me know what you think of the new bug tracking service and be sure to give me feedback so that I can improve it!