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I am quite familiar with and love using git, among other reasons due to its distributed nature. Now I'd like to set up some similarly distributed (FOSS) Project Management software with features similar to what Redmine offers, such as

  • Issue & time tracking, milestones
  • Gantt charts, calendar
  • git integration, maybe some automatic linking of commits and issues
  • Wiki (preferably with Mathjax support)
  • Forum, news, notifications
  • Multiple Projects

However, I am looking for a solution that does not require a permanently accesible server, i.e. like in git, each user should have their own copy which can be easily synchronized with others. However it should be possible to not have a copy of every Project on every machine. Since trac uses multiple instances for multiple projects anyway, I was considering using that, but I neither know how well it adapts to simply giting the database itself (which would be be easiest way to handle the distribution due to git being used anyway), nor does it include all of Redmine's feature.

After checking http://www.wikimatrix.org for Wikis with integrated tracking system and RCS support, and filtering out seemingly stale project, the choices basically boil down to Foswiki, TWiki and Ikiwiki. The latter doesn't seem to offer as many usability features, and in the TWiki vs Foswiki issue I tend to the latter. Finally, there is Fossil, which starts from the other end by attempting to replace git entirely and tracking itself. I am however not too comfortable with the thought of replacing git, and Fossil's non-SCM features don't seem to be as developed.

Are there crucial features of Project Management software like Redmine that Foswiki does not provide even with all the extensions available?

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I'd argue no, distributed project management apps just don't make sense -- the fundamental point of project management apps is to generate hivemind by having everything for everyone in so that pretty much means you are looking at something centralized by definition.

Now, some sort of project management tool with an offline mode so your people can access and perhaps even update things when off the grid might be worthwhile. Then again, the slice of the world where one cannot get internet access is getting pretty small for most intents and purposes.

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  • I get your point and agree that a centralized server is necessary, but just like with DVCS it makes sense to not break the workflow when that server is temporarily not reachable. Even if users have a 100% reliable internet connection, the server may fail (Murphy's law, you know...). And to check something in the company wiki while traveling, obtaining Wi-Fi access and connecting to the VPN somehow seems an unnecessary burden to me. Sep 27, 2012 at 7:50
  • DCVS is a different beast. You are really talking about a knowegebase with offline access which is vastly different. Not sure how much of a market there is for it -- is it less trouble than finding said wifi (or using your own 3g/4g connection)? Sep 27, 2012 at 11:13
  • In a not too abstract sense, source code is also just a knowledgebase. It happens to be the blueprint for (a revision of) the software itself, while a bug report (ideally) is the blueprint to reproduce unintended behavior in that revision. And once the system is set up (if done well, users won't even notice they obtained a distributed knowledgebase (DKB) until their connection failed) it is easier than having to obtain internet access. Especially while you're e.g. flying or chunneling, or during a widespread power outage. Sep 27, 2012 at 12:49
  • There is a big difference between an app capable of going offline and a truly distributed system like DCVS. In the former case, there is a single master database and an app that can handle being occasionally connected. Think email. In the latter case you see every node in the system as a master. Like git or hg. Now, I will grant that most people use github like a master synchronization store but you can still see lots of the effects of the distributed platform. I'd start with pull requests. Oct 2, 2012 at 12:42

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