Suggestion: use project management tools for roadmap and other project management

This is a follow-up of Where is the roadmap? and related to Suggestion to consider loomio for decision making

There are tools for project management out there, many self-hostable, and many are quite capable. I know we’re in the bootstrap phase, so maybe for now anything will do, but maybe we should start thinking about the short-term to long term.

Short term

Proposal 1: Github

Although I’m very pro opensource, the reality is that for now, the project is hosted on github. Github has projects. It is far from complete and normally I’d propose using Gitlab’s features if we used it, but alas…

Anyway, the way it works is that tasks are created with tags (tags have values e.g “Status: Doing”, “Roadmap: V1”) and put onto boards. The tasks can be converted into issues on repos or linked to in issues on multiple repos. Existing or new issues can also be added to projects within repos.

These are the different board layouts

Table layout

Board/kanban layout

Roadmap/gantt chart layout

This would allow having either roadmap projects and adding issues/tasks to the roadmap, or having all tasks in one project and using a roadmap tag (“Roadmap: v1”, “Roadmap: v2”, …). A separate project would allow adding a description in markdown, but if that isn’t necessary, a single project with everything in it and using tags could suffice.

Every SIG could get their own project and setup the boards how they like or agree to do things in a standardised manner - up to them.

Proposal 2: Self-hosted service

The only service I know of that allows having a roadmap/Gantt chart is OpenProject.

Having tested it before, my summary: OpenProject is a project management tool that does its job with a lot of configuration options, a host of features, a UI from the transition of web 1.0 to 2.0 (around 2010?), and a freemium opensource model. Many features are free, but some are paid for and they are not always the advanced features - the odd basic feature might suddenly end up paid.
There are plugins for different source-forges (Github & Gitlab), so a switch to Gitlab might involve less friction in the future, however no plugin exists for Forgejo and other forges. SSO, SAML, OpenID, and other authentication methods are implemented though.

And alternative could be Taiga or Wekan, which are however simple kanban boards. Should we prefer self-hosting, opensource, sovereignty, and be OK with using kanban boards for the short term, these could be viable options with minimal.
Taiga does support login with Github and Gitlab, giving it a leg up over WeKan.

Long Term

Either a sourceforge with project management (Gitlab?) or an external, self-hosted project management service might be something to aim for. But being in the bootstrapping phase, it might be too early to discuss this.

My humble opinion: github projects for now, unless the infrastructure team feels like hosting another service :slightly_smiling_face:


i’d recommend against GitHub projects, because we’re trying to avoid locking ourselves into GitHub. I’ve seen good things about Plane as an open-source Linear alternative. (i have no affiliation and i’ve never used it)


Didn’t know about plane! It also has a Gantt View. Very nice.

I mentioned this, I also mentioned that I was concerned about its 50-user limit on the community plan, after which you must start paying $5 per-user per-month. Aux couldn’t foot the $255/mo for a 51-user plane workspace. We would probably want to talk to the Plane team about getting that waived.

I think we are better of setting up a instance. And I have quite a bit of experience with this one. And nixos has pretty nice module for it.


I know people are want to avoid the GitHub lock-in, but i feel like GitHub kaban is a simple solution that would avoid creating yet another account, and it would be synced with the repository easily.

I’d also argue very much against using more proprietary, GitHub-specific things.

Looks pretty nice too, to be honest!

To give another data point, there’s also Plane, which is open-source and self-hostable. It’s also a complete project tool, so it might be a bit overshooting too. Although unfortunaly, no NixOS-modules exist for it yet.


We can just write a module to be honest. So this is hardly a deal breaker.


If there really is interest in spinning up a Plane instance for Aux, I’d certainly happy to help!
Looks like it’s a Django backend + Next.js frontend, so as you say, should be doable with reasonable afford.

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This is a very valid concern and perhaps should inform our requirements. Luckily Discourse is an identity provider (SSO). We use it successfully in another community I’m a part of and it works quite nicely. I hope we can pick something that can integrate with Discourse SSO.

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I was thinking of asking to include the requirement of syncing issues with sourceforges. However, it looks like only Plane can do so and they are still opensourcing the SDK. OpenProject supports linking PRs to “work packages”.

A question about both Plane and vikunja: is it possible to make projects public? Login-only projects would be troublesome IMO as they wouldn’t be visible to outsiders. Not everybody wants to create an account just see the roadmap or how things are progressing.


Yeah, that’s a valid point indeed!
FWIW, reading through Plane’s docs, at least for that it sounds like it’s possible to make projects public: Deploy (Although the name definitely is a bit confusing …)

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Maybe focalboard might be a good fit here?
Nevermind, it has a huuuge warning :<

Unless there’s an actively maintained fork, that might not work

Effective September 15th, 2023, Mattermost, Inc. staff are no longer reviewing or merging pull requests for either Focalboard or the Mattermost Boards plugin in this repository (mattermost/focalboard). We encourage the community to fork this repository for continued development and contributions.

Yeah, I literally just saw that :sweat_smile:

Is this a problem if we self-host it?

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That would be nice if possible

Just checked and yes this pricing is for self-hosted. How strange. There is also a $799 one time payment to fully unlock a single self-hosted instance. That’s… a lot. Not a fan of this pricing strategy :sweat_smile:

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Might be worth using my suggestion then since it has almost everything we need. And openid support and i think guest accounts (can’t confirm tho)

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I just spun up a quick instance of vikunja and can’t find a way to share projects publicly. Do you have a way?