Ease of Trac

Posted by Brian Wed, 03 Mar 2010 23:16:26 GMT

I wanted to take the time to highlight how easy it is to hook into Trac. A couple of months ago I had never even looked at the Trac code base in any meaningful way, let alone wrote anything with it. That changed when we wanted some customizations done at work.

Our (now canceled) BPM initiative uses Teamworks as the engine. Unfortunately, Teamworks 6 offers no version control at all, which makes it very difficult to keep track of what you have changed for a particular release. To get around this we wanted to start listing these on Trac tickets in a way that would allow them to be aggregated into a list that could be used for deployment and to see who else was working with a particular item. To do this I created a macro that scrapes the individual items from text areas into a neatly formatted list. Using the Trac and Genshi APIs this was very easy. The only hurdle was my mediocre Python skills. I haven’t put this up on Trac-Hacks, but I may do so at some point. It’s still a little rough around the edges for general use.

Around this time I also discovered the batch modify plugin, which would make our release engineer’s life much easier. Unfortunately it was unmaintained and broken. I fixed it internally and then offered to officially take over the plugin. Once again most of the pain has been in my lack of Python experience, but Trac itself is very powerful. It’s amazing how little code is actually in the plugin. Kudos to the Trac team.

I may get some more hands on experience in the future as well. The batch modify plugin may be merged into Trac itself and I have a kanban board plugin that I have been working on a little in my spare time that would give an alternative view to query results.

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