Art Imitates Life

More Art than you should ever need.

OpenGoo is an updated branch of activeCollab, the recently-gone-commercial Basecamp clone. I like what the developers have done with the tool. Basically, here is one way the app workflow can go:

  • Create a workspace (rather than activeCollab’s projects)
  • Add tasks, assigning each to a workspace
  • Assign tasks to users
  • Users assign tags to tasks

It’s pretty flexible, with the ability to further refine workspaces by grouping tasks under milestones. You can filter on the tags, so you can get a quick view of what’s delayed, what’s on target and what’s finished. You can set up multiple workspaces. You can add messages, documents, comments and sub tasks (a welcome addition), and most items can be linked to others. The system will kick out emails when a task is assigned, and there is an RSS feed of latest changes to which you can subscribe, so you can be kept up-to-date on the status of items from your RSS reader. There is the ability to upload images (again, which you could link to a task). That is a quick overview of the tool, and there is a lot I left out.

I think my favorite departure from activeCollab is the AJAXy interface. It’s not the AJAX that thrills me, but the intelligent way that they’ve brought all of the features out front. The abilty to filter the tags from any view, for instance, is a huge step forward in the usability of a powerful feature that activeCollab handled poorly. Tags, baby; they’re the future.

They do have some kinks to work out, and they openly admit that. Although a help pane is a click away, it displays nothing. The files exist in the installation; they just don’t appear. Sorting on columns seems to be planned, since greyed-out options exist, but they do nothing yet. Those and a few other issues aside, this is a fantastic job, and I’m glad to see it happen. Read more about the app, check out the demo, and see what these guys are up to.

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