I got an e-mail this week from the Program Manager over at FogCreek. They are getting tantalizingly close to releasing the much anticipated 7.0 release of their excellent FogBugz bug and feature tracking software, and extended an invitation to me to participate in alpha testing program for the new version.
It is possible that my name came up because I have been a strong proponent of the tool and at the same time constant nag about the temerity of calling it a “Software Project Management Tool” when arguably its biggest weakness was the lack of strong workflow features. However, from the subtext of the message, I think it is more likely they are more interested in encouraging me to build some custom plug-ins (more on this in a minute) to have in their “app store” at launch and thought I’d be a likely taker because I had built a somewhat popular mod that adds a table of contents for a Fogbugz Wiki.
So what’s it look like?
I’ve promised not to let the cat out of the bag, but I’ll shake it a little and let you hear a the meows…
So far I am definitely impressed. Unlike the FB6 release which seemed to focus mainly on giving the developers a chance to play with AJAX and bolting on a time-sheet system, FB7 clearly shows that the guys at Fog Creek finally got the message and this release is far more customer driven. While I can’t comment on specific features, I will say that FB7 will be a must-upgrade for any shop that has been trying as unsuccessfully as I have to force fit Agile into FB6.
Call For Plug-In Ideas
The other thing I have been cleared to discuss is that the new version has a plug-in API, which should provide much needed respite from having to hack ASP classic files to tweak the system and then worry that the next patch will overwrite your mods. Some of the plug-ins they already have in the works are pretty awesome. Many of the things that immediately came to mind for testing out the new plug-in API had either been added to the software in FB7 or already had a plug-in in progress. Still, I’d like to give it a shot just to get familiar with the new API. This brings me to the point of this post. I need ideas!
I know you haven’t seen the new version yet, so I expect a lot of suggestions that won’t fly. However, I am hoping for some fresh ideas from Fogbugz users. Please use the comments feature on this post to send them my way!