Unfuddling.

Recently I began using a service known as Unfuddle to manage a little personal software development project I have underway.

According to Unfuddle.com:

“Unfuddle is a secure, hosted project management solution for software development teams.”

This is a succinct and accurate description of what the service offers, however in conversation I tend to describe Unfuddle as:

Trac & Subversion that you don’t have to set-up & manage yourself.”

Much like Trac, Unfuddle offers a wiki with file attachments, ticket/issue tracking with version control integration, milestone tracking & basic scheduling, source repository browser, and commit/change-set explorer.  All the basic tools for managing work in a small to medium sized software development project.

Some things that Unfuddle offers, that Trac (out of the box) does not, include Git SCM support, email activity notifications and unified user authorization/access control administration.  Ie, your Unfuddle website log-in is the same as your Subversion/Git log-in and as an administrator you have fairly fine grained control over what each user can do at the Unfuddle website and via SCM.

Each account at Unfuddle gets their own subdomain. For example mine is deeperdesign.unfuddle.com. Within that domain you can create a number of different projects & users, with users having potentially different access to different projects. The number of projects and users you can have in your account is determined by your subscription level. Free Unfuddle accounts are limited to 1 project and two users. For $9 a month you can have 10 users and 4 active projects. Likewise the amount of storage space your account has varies based on your subscription level.

So far I’ve been very happy with Unfuddle’s performance and price. Sure I could save some money by setting up my own instances of Trac & Subversion on an existing hosting account, like DreamHost.com. But that involves time & work. Time I’d rather spend “getting things done“.

There are really only two things to complain about with Unfuddle.

  1. Storage space – Although you’re unlikely to exceed your accounts allocated space unless you store lots of binary assets in source control, the allocations at each account level seem fairly paltry considering today’s terabyte hard drives and “cloud” storage services like Amazon EBS. Hopefully with Unfuddle’s recent migration away from Rackspace to Amazon EC2 they will be able to take advantage of the cheaper storage solutions and pass those savings and space gains on to their customers.
  2. No “public” access – All access to Unfuddle is for “cathedral” developers. It would be nice, for example, to be able to expose certain parts of the ticket/issue tracking system or wiki to “public” users. For user bug reports and other such things. Though perhaps services such as Uservoice are better suited to that role.

If you have a need of an easy to use online software development project management solution I can highly recommend Unfuddle.com.

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