Project management

Sam Couter sam at
Fri Nov 15 15:43:31 EST 2002

Paul Bryan <pa_bryan at> wrote:
> I'm just trying to figure out the best way to manage and document my work and 
> was considering using cvs to manage all my code and documentation. I'll 
> probably be writing plain text doco at the moment until I learn a bit more 
> about SGML or TeX. I also need to sort out some project management (nothing 
> too onerous otherwise the management will outweight the project(s) itself).

Version Control and Configuration Management:

I've used CVS for version control in the past, and have recently been
looking at Subversion. Other version control systems exist, each of
which solve most of the code management problems you're likely to
encounter. This part of project management is pretty well covered.


I prefer in-line documentation whenever possible, using Javadoc style
comments or similar mechanisms such as Doxygen. Perl's POD is better
than nothing. Keep in mind that I only write technical documentation. I
don't believe in-line documentation would be all that useful for user
documentation, design documentation, etc.

Avoid "literate" programming. It wants to generate the code from the
documentation instead of the other way around.

For documentation that isn't directly code related, I haven't really
seen a suitable solution. Using TeX or DocBook or whatever is difficult
when many people are working on the documentation. It also requires a
bit of expertise, so managers and people writing technical documentation
might baulk at it. The biggest advantage of a documentation format that
is generated from text source is that it can also go into
CVS/Subversion/whatever. TeX or DocBook is the best solution I've found,
but it's still hard sometimes.

A Wiki is hard to keep well organised, but useful for brainstorming type
collaboration, and it's piss-easy to use.

I've never seen a good use for Word except for burning daylight,
increasing blood pressure and testing backup recovery processes.

As for project management... I've seen about a billion different
systems, none of which satisfied me. MS Project is a good Gantt chart
drawing tool, but don't use it for anything else. Keystone, Double Choco
Latte, Bugzilla and similar systems are useful for tracking bugs,
feature requests and other tasks. They're all very different though
(read: annoying in different ways) , so you'll have to keep trying every
one you can find until you find one that you can put up with.

> Also, I've got some ideas for project management and version control 
> software, but has anyone had any experience with case tools on linux? If so, 
> any recommendations?

I've always used a whiteboard for collborative design, and distilled the
information from that into some useful electronic form.

The only CASE tool that I've heard of is Rational Rose. I believe there
is a Linux version, but it's not a cheap program.
Sam "Eddie" Couter  |  mailto:sam at
Debian Developer    |  mailto:eddie at
                    |  jabber:sam at
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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