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Unboxing Workspace
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, May 22, 2009

What’s in the box? With any new thing, unboxing is the moment that anticipation meets realization. It’s a moment so loved that hundreds of people actually photo-document the experience and share it on Flickr.

Usually when we think about unboxing, we think about new laptops, cameras, and heck even cupcake unboxing can be worth sharing. Web services don’t have same unboxing experience as physical objects, so getting a handle on what a new one is all about takes a bit more exploration, and to help with that we thought a post about what you get out of the box with Workspace is in order.

When you sign up for Workspace and create a project, you get a number of tools that we know you’ll recognize as essential to good development practices:

  • issue and bug tracking
  • source code hosting and revision control
  • project blog
  • project wiki
  • discussion forum

Not too shabby, but the more you dig in, the more you start to find:

  • automatic backup of your code
  • customizable permissions, with privacy settings to make open-source projects open or to keep private projects under wraps
  • project management features that support both Waterfall and Agile development methodologies

It’s not uncommon to find teams using several different tools to provide that same spread of functionality, and each one of those tools needs to be installed, configured and maintained. And don’t forget about your backups (you are doing backups, right?). If you want a smooth workflow between those tools, you’ll be spending some time and head-scratching to get them playing together. This is one spot where Workspace really shines; the entire stack of infrastructure tools has been integrated into one tidy package:

  • Source code hosting on secure servers "in the cloud"
  • Subversion (SVN) for revision control
  • A tracking system for bugs, feature requests, support issues, or whatever else needs tracking
  • Wikis, blogs, and forums for your projects

All in one tab of one browser window. When you set up your first project in Workspace, you’ve done all that in just a few minutes. That’s a lot of items to check off on a senior developer or project manager’s to-do list.

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3 comments for Unboxing Workspace
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Our startup just moved on workspaces for our bug db and wiki, and it's pretty nifty (Will move code after git support is added).

However the site feels very slow to us. Each page refresh takes 5-10 seconds. We're based in india, if that's any difference.

Contact me at aaditya at sood dot net dot in if you want more details (Your bugdb doesn't seem to have a component for workspaces yet)

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@aadis
We are certainly working on some of the performance issues as they become apparent during this beta phase. As systems need to scale, there is always of course more you can try and squeak out of the system.

Just a little background information, we are currently hosting these systems in EC2 on the east coast of the US. Several hops from your location, but we know that there are actual server side performance issues that we are currently addressing.

We do have a support forum hosted by Workspace itself. You can find it at https://workspace.activestate.com/projects/support.

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You can file bugs in the Support project on Workspace:

http://workspace.activestate.com/projects/support/newticket

Regarding Git support:

http://www.openkomodo.com/blogs/troyt/wheres-git