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The Marathon List of Project Management & Collaboration Tools (Over 90 Tools)

December 13, 2009

Imagine days when we used to type documents on a typewriter, mail or fax hard copy of it, marking a CC and BCC to everyone in an actual carbon copy… all seems now a history except few places like court rooms still following the tradition … life has changed a lot since then, today information flows with the click of a button.

Compiled here some of the great collaboration tools I’ve come across which can really make office work easier and take the office collaboration to the next level.

Life Ray has everything you would need in an intranet environment, it lets you create communities around your office and then share knowledge streams across, which includes document sharing, blog, wiki, calendar, etc. You will have to download and install Life Ray into your own machine / server, but in case your are looking for something online and to kick start check out Google Apps and Social Wok, I love them both for its simplicity and no hassle online solution. Social Wok uses google’s free accounts to collaborate your documents and calendar, I loved the idea of getting instantly starting with it without downloading and installing anything … or even registering. Expect integration of Google Wave as well in social wok soon. There are other document sharing tools too, these are , OpenGoo,Google Docs and StixyStixy is the new one in the list, it looks incredibly cool … but looks like this is for the houses who wants to keep their culture kicking, i.e., creative & alive … I like it for its name. Also check out SmartsheetCentral Desktop, and CreativePro Office.

Drop Box is also the document sharing tool, but with the twist… easiest when you need to sync docs between office and home or even with friends and family. It’s downloadable tools is fantastic and it seamlessly do the job without wasting your time on asking you to click on any button to sync your documents between 2 computers. Also check out drop.io, it has dead simple rich web-presentation functionality. no registration, no downloads, no installs. You can upload your presentation files (documents, pictures, video, audio, and more) and can give live demo or walkthrough in seconds … it has a free conference call line and rich chat functionality. Also check out Scribd a very popular social document sharing service.

When it comes to project management, I have tried several tools, Out of all I liked Clocking It, specially for the reason it is hosted and free, Active Collab which is downloadable with a fee but looks worth it if you want the environment in your own machine, BaseCamp by 37Signals is one of the leader in such service. There are several others, you may want to try them out, 5pm, clarizen, comindworkprojectoffice, planningforce, Less Time Spent,  Klok, Collabtive, ProjectPier, dotproject, projectinsight, OnStage, deskaway, assembla, vcsonline, pmphq, nokahuna, liquidplanner, Thymer, TeamworkPM, Project360, NozbeEclipseGenius Project, Tenrox, Redminetargetprocess and for some strange reason I loved Todoist too, maybe because its very simple. For agile project management methodologies, check out agilebuddy, which goes to extra mile for Creating, Estimating, Planning and Tracking your software projects, and Mingle, which looks extremely good (though i have not had enough time to explore its agile PM functionalities).

For simple time tracking, have a look at LiveTimerfourteenDayz, and Klok.

If you need billing integrated, try Cashboard for billing and time tracking both, Simply Invoices which integrates with Basecamp, and easy to use Less Accounting.

I love 37Signals for its variety and its clean interfaces. Also check out ZohoOffice, who gives variety on online collaboration tools.

For those who use wireframing technique in their project management, iplotz has it all, from wireframing to project management to collaboration. In the similar genre, you also have mindmeister, excellent for those who love pencils instead of keyboards.

For sharing presentations, you may want to look at slideshareDimDim, and Vyew.

Twitter addict offices should try out yammer, exact replica of twitter for offices and much more.

If you have a team of developers looking to merge their codes remotely, check out SpringLoops and workspace.

A smallest organizer in our life is our to do lists … there are many tools available for this, to name few, TaDa ListsRemember the milk, which uses Google Gears to store your data offline,

Also check out Campfire which is an instant messaging solution for the teams working remotely.

If you are looking for a bug tracking software, check out flyspraywebissueseTraxisBugzillaTracMantis Bug TrackerBugNETThe Bug GenieIssue Tracker By ASP.NET,  16bugsJIRA(looks cool), FogBugs and Eventum built by the MySQL team. Also check out something very unique .. i.e., Notable, it helps your team collaborate through visual feedback on screenshots.

Apart from these I have also stumbled upon github, it is worth checking … it is a fast, efficient, distributed version control system ideal for the collaborative development of software.

Also check out AroundMe, an open source collaboration server which helps you create multiple collaborative group, webspace, community or social networking websites.

Hope this helps, pls add if you have come across something interesting in the same genre in the comment area!

Loving this HTML5 Canvas Experiment

December 10, 2009

HTML5 Canvas Experiment

HTML5 Canvas Experiment

Stumbled upon this awesome HTML5 Experiment, built on an opensource processing.js.

p.s .. keep your speakers on .. I loved the music.

p.p.s. geeks can check some books on processing.

High Performance Web Sites

December 4, 2009

Earlier I wrote an article about this book, this is like a mandatory book for those people dealing with building of the website. It talks about the front-end code optimization techniques (javascript minification etc.), to server settings(gzip compression etc.), to concepts such as content delivery networks. Check it out on Amazon or cb-India.com

PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects

December 4, 2009

If you are looking to get your hands on doing less programming and yet give as many as sophisticated features of the Web 2.0 … this is the book you might have been looking for.

Through this, you will learn using API’s / web services / REST / XML-RPC / XMLHttp etc. and use mashups, i.e. , using mix of two or more API’s … e.g.,  google maps, flickr, Amazon, YouTube, MSN Search, Yahoo!, Last.fm etc. You have a comprehensive resource for API’s and Mashup’s at programmableweb.com, all you need is a good book to guide you to kickstart yourself to the next level of the Applications … for those residing in India may easily order a cheaper Indian edition at cb-india.com

painting the web …

December 2, 2009

Last week i went to my favourite book shop in fort (mumbai) … Computer Bookshop cb-india.com, and picked up couple of books … what excited me is this new cool book titled ‘Painting The Web‘ by Shelley Powers.

If you are a front end developer (XHTML/CSS/Java Script) or a blogger interested in building your own theme / or even a heavy server side programmer (PHP/J2EE/.Net) geek and interested to know the tips and tricks of the new web 2.0 techniques, this book is just for you … it covers most of the things you would want to know about the new emerging dimensions of the web presentation layer including SVG.

Hi Environment! {entreprenureship ideas on green earth}

June 6, 2009

Environment has been an increasing concern for the generation “now”, and will be taken more seriously by generation “next”, though we all will have “good intentions towards our mother earth” it would make more sense is to make money while we are doing the “good cause”. Out here is a list of some trends / startups / initiatives, which are simple yet useful solutions to our complex mechanical world.

Rural Beekeeping has been catching lots of attention lately … out here we’ve got few initiatives initiated a unique trend called “rooftop beekeeping”. First one to check in the list is London based Fortnum & Mason where you can also buy honey online, followed by Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel and Paris-based Pullman Hotels & Resorts who use it for their own internal usage & to provide it to their customers. Pullman partnered with Bee My Friend recently on Earth Day.

Car Pooling saves us miles with smiles. There have been quite a few online initiatives to facilitate searching car pooling partner online, this includes, Zimride, Galp Energia’s Galpshare which allows users to specify their interests (music / sports / business etc.). Zipcar recently has partnered with Zimride to provide a car pooling system to college and university campuses and making it further easier by Facebook-based carpool matching system.

What alternative vehicle you use when you drop your car for servicing? Bicycling … is in trend back again … Noticing most of people opting for bicycle while leaving their car for servicing, Clive Brook, a Volvo dealership in Yorkshire, thought of an idea of offering bicycles instead of courtesy cars. Waitrose, a British supermarket chain, on the other hand picked up an age old method of delivering their goods on bicycle and cart. Watch out more on bicycle trends – convertible bicycle & stroller, Cargo bikes for greener business deliveries , Lightweight electric bike, bike sharing in North America by Bixi.

Too much advertising adds too much noise, but this one is different & refreshing, these advertisements are made by salted water and stencils and stays on earth for 5 odd minutes. Since it stays temporarily there is no need for permissions from the local authorities. This company, Curb, has been involved earlier in advertising which uses natural materials, check their other work on sand sculptures, turf cutting and snow tagging innovations.

When it comes to re-cycling, TerraCycle is a company which is worth noting. Started with a very unique idea of making eco-fertilizer from organic waste and worm poop, they struck a chord with The Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Target, which gave them a turnover of USD 6 million in sales for 2007, and I believe it is quite good for a four-year-old, 12 employee company.  Their other initiatives turning old wrappers into eco-chic bags and accessories, collecting non-recyclables at big boxes stores, and also worth noting, hair waste used to clean up oil spills

And we are not missing on energy here, compiled here we have initiatives such as, Google’s PowerMeter, smart thermostat by Ecobee, Open Source Car designed by Wiki, wind energy mapping tool, Vegawatt which focuses on the upside of grease turning restaurants’ waste oil into electricity and hot water, home security with energy monitoring.

Also worth noting about some green initiatives are  Communal Living, green home improvement, Green Groove which is a site that aims to help consumers create and stick to a plan to eliminate their unsustainable ways and embrace new greener habits, also Nagging service for dieters , A public incentive to stick to one’s goals, and similar to UK’s Green Homes Concierge, New York-based Green Irene aims to help consumers reduce their homes’ carbon footprint.

What more we have now grandmothers also contributing to people plan our living, Oxford recently recruited a team of Green Grannies to offer advice to the UK public about everything from how to darn socks to how to make delicious food from leftovers. Interesting, isn’t it?

That’s it for now folks … hope my compilation will help few people to make a difference to the world. :)

high performance web sites, the front-end techniques

April 29, 2009

Few years back from now, most of us were only focusing on backend techniques to improve performances; these were things to do with the application architect, database optimization, avoiding database round trips etc. However, a good architecture always include frontend techniques.

Compiled here are some tips and tricks from the book High Performance Websites by O’Reilly for the frontend developers / technical architects / server administrators to optimize the heavy load websites for the best performances.

HTTP Requests: The very first thing to know and to focus is the HTTP requests. It’s generally good to know how many http requests your home page is making, there is a wonderful tool in firefox to assess that which is called  firebug. Is there a way to reduce it? Is there a duplication? Can we avoid unnecessary data transfer? If your home page is of 80kb, and we manage to cache most of it on the client, the possibility is that it will take fractions of seconds when someone loads it next time, and what if we are receiving 1 million hits a day, the saving of data transfer will multiply million times.

HTTP is the very base of our web technology. Optimizing requests and controlling the data transfer at the frontend level can improve performance significantly.  There are many things we can do to avoid round trips to the server reducing the time significantly. To summarize the whole thing, here are some short summaries;

CSS developer / front-end developer’s guide

Frontend development tips are most simple ones, these are some practices which can help you eliminate latency happening due to your frontend code. these are simple things such as;

Do not use @import, as it causes blank white screen phenomenon.

CSS Expressions are not recommended, as it takes extra time to process.

CSS Sprite is similar to Image map but the advantage with CSS sprite is that only a portion of an image can be used, such as, we can split the icons and use it wherever in our page on menu etc. Check out  how it is done at CSS Sprites: Image Slicing’s Kiss of Death

Inline images are another way of reducing the number of HTTP requests sent by the client, these are images converted to text in base64 format and embedded into the html.  Read more here.

There are some other simple tips too, like always put your style sheet at top, put your Java Scripts at the bottom, try make JavaScript & CSS external, identifying and removing duplicate scripts, and compressing or minifying your JavaScript (also try JSMin, Dojo Compressor – ShrinkSafe).

Read more…