Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

New fogbugz release

1 min read

We use fogbugz internally for our forums and internal issue tracking. If you send us an email or a question it usually ends up in fogbugz. Issue tracking software is invaluable for staying ontop of all the inquiries, questions, issues and PDFs we get sent as well as all the ideas we have internally and the mundane tasks which all make-up running a software business. Fogbugz is developed by Fogcreek software, founded by the ‘legendary’ Joel Spolsky of joelonsoftware fame.

There are quite a few issue tracking tools out there (both free and commercial) but we have always liked the mix of features in fogbugz. It is has lots of the features we need without bloat and its quick and intutitive.  It is also stable and self-contained – the only software we want to be developing, supporting and debugging is our PDF library.We also like the design ideas used in it – for example any issue can only be assigned to one single person; once it becomes everyone’s problem it is nobody’s issue.

We always look forward to a new release with a mixture of emotions. On the one hand there is the anticipation of new features and fixes mixed with the worry that they might have spoiled the product with bugs useless features and bloat. Especially as a piece of software reaches version 7 – surely it cannot be missing anything really worthwhile.

Well the good news is that Fogbugz 7.0 is an evolutionary update which manages to add some really neat features without spoiling the product. Indeed one of it’s new features’ is that it is less cluttered than previous versions and the display in more configurable to remove what you do not need. It looks slicker as well while being still the same product.

There are 2 features that really stand out for me. One is the ability to add tags to a description field (such as bug windows foobar.java) so that you can then find related items on multiple search and build up your own tagging structure.

The second is the ability to have subcases – cases that are linked to other cases. We find this invaluable because we often get queries with multiple questions or an ongoing query leads to new questions. With subclasses, you can link these together, and even have subclasses of subclasses. It is all very elegant and implemented so well we did not even have to bother reading the documentation – it is just obvious.

We will post some more thoughts as we carry on using the software but we are pretty impressed so far. If you want to try the software ,  and you are not one of of our competitors ;-), fogcreek offers a free trial (45 days unlimited access ) to see what it can do  at http://www.fogcreek.com/fogbugz/.

Let us know if you agree about Fogbugz.

Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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