I have done SEO work in my the past, and think that if one follows some pretty simple and straight forward plans of site construction, good content will be indexed well and lead to your site being found. With some previous versions of this website, when The Design Mission was actively recruiting new customers and freelance work, we were able to get some keywords and keyword combinations (things like “osCommerce” and “Joomla and osCommerce” for example) into the top five search results for Google. A future post or two may well focus on those past SEO efforts and what we did for clients, but this post is intended to be about a tool for analyzing not only how people are finding your website, but more importantly what they are doing on it once they get there; Google Analytics.
Need a great tool for bug reports? Want something that will help facilitate your quality assurance process? Mantis is simple open source tool that fits this bill quite nicely.
Mantis is both a wonderful tool, and at times a source of frustration for me. It’s very helpful in guiding reporters of issues during a quality assurance period. I like the tools ability to help get issues reported fully so that developers can understand fully what the issue is and how it can be recreated – assuming that the reporter has indeed completed the bug report form completely and accurately. If this is done correctly, this tool is great.
- User levels with different permissions
- File uploads for screenshots or other
- An intuitive interface with custom search refinements
- Email notifications
- Login / password protected management
- Public and private projects may be created
- An easy installation
It can’t stop people from submitting reports that are duplicates or incomplete, but it does do a good job of guiding all users to a well documented bug report.
We’ve long been a strong support of wikis. (Especially DokuWiki — look for a future blog post on this great open source tool in the future.) Wikis are great tools for being able to quickly add test, a link hierarchy, images and links to documents by even non-technical people. Most also provide a version control system. Perhaps their biggest strength is in the ease of searching for terms and usage.
All of that being said, a hybrid of this great tool is TiddlyWiki. Described as a “wiki on a stick”, or a reusable, non-linear personal web notebook, these little single page wikis have a lot of potential as documentation tools and more. For several months after first discovering them, I used MonkeyGTD (MonkeyPirateTiddlyWiki+GTD) which has a “Getting Things Done” organization to it. Having just had training in the GTD method, it was my search for a tool to use with my new understanding of GTD that led to the discovery of TiddlyWikis. If you’d like to sample all kinds of different TiddlyWikis, go to TiddlySpot.com.
What I like most about this single page tool is the speed that it runs. No need for anything but a web browser and a place to store your file. Very slick.