Codaset.com: Github, but better

8 September 2009

Today I had the very pleasure of giving Codaset.com a try! Codaset is being developed by Joel Moss in Ruby on Rails and could be a real Github killer! When I asked Joel what Codaset was and how he come to his idea he answered this:

Codaset [...] was born out of my experiences with several tools and services.
  • I've used Trac for years, and admire its powerful issue management and milestone features.
  • I've used Github from the start, and love how social it makes open source software (as it should be).
  • I have fully embraced Git, and have no love for any other [...]. It makes for fast and efficient source control.
  • And I have used lots of other tools that help me in my day to day coding work.
  • Codaset is a tool that I created because I wanted the powerful issue and milestone management of Trac; with the social features of Github; mixed in with a heavy dose of Git [...] but I have so much more to include.

Sounds like a brilliant app to me? I was invited into the beta, and this is what I saw:

First of all, Codaset looks very slick. I’m no designer, but Codaset adds just enough visual sugar to make the app more usable, without distracting you. It just feels right.

When compared to Github.com there are similarities and differences. Let me focus on those difference, since in my view those make Codaset really cool:

As you create a new project you have the option of forking an existing repository. Not just a Codaset repository, no any git repository you have access to! I had no trouble creating a new project an importing my existing github project for example.

The next thing I noticed when setting up a project is the public and private settings. No surprises there, but there was a third option: semi-private. This option will make your project closed-source, but expose the other features like the issue tracker, wiki and blog. It’s not something an open-source developer would get excited about, but it is quite nice to have this option.

If you’re looking to add collaborators to your project, Codaset provides a nice role/permission based system for this. It allows you to give more fine-grained permissions to users, which is always a good thing.

Codaset has, as Joel Moss tells you, great similarities with Trac when it comes to tickets. First you’ll notice that you can define milestones in your project. To these milestones you can add tickets which in turn can have customized fields and states. Ticket-spam is battled with a built-in spam filter for tickets. The only thing missing is tags, but Joel tells me those are in the making.

Just like github.com, codaset provides web space for you and your project. Setting this up is quite easy. Besides web space, every project has a blog as well. Hopefully this blog can be used to automatically post news about new tags in your git repository etc.

Another nice touch is your personal dashboard. This dashboard show you your own and bookmarked projects and recent activity, but also an overview of open and assigned tickets for you. Really handy!

The best thing ever is Twitter integration (which I have to try out), but it promises to push project activity to twitter, which would be a great way to keep people informed about your project.

The only things I’m missing are tags for tickets and rubygem building/publishing. But, Joel Moss is still very hard at work, so I’m looking forward all the new great things he has to offer.

For now, check out Codaset.com (and blog) or sign-up for a beta invite. Also make sure to checkout Joel Moss’ blog.

I haven’t published any images or screenshots from Codaset in this post, because I’ve not yet asked Joel Moss for permission that.