1 New Site Under Development
We're turning on this new site as of February 2007, but there is still some information that is incomplete here. If you don't find what you are looking for, please go to the old site via this link: OldDocoSite
2 Finding the Documentation
On the left hand side of the site there is a list of menus / documentation sections. Scroll down - you'll see links to the various quicklookups (categories), FAQs, Installation Manual, User Manuals, Administration Manual, Permissions Manual, Add on Modules and so on.
3 What is dotProject
Project Management is about the structuring of a series of tasks and the schedule associated with those tasks, to achieve an outcome. The nature of those tasks and the schedules and any associated functions (such as project planning, contract negotiation, risk management, cost management and so on) will depend greatly on the nature of the projects that you can management.
dotProject aims to provide the project manager with a tool to manage tasks, schedules, communication and sharing. But beware, dotProject will not be all things to all project managers - you may find that other FOSS tools are more appropriate to your particular requirements. You will need to do some investigation and testing to find the product that best suits your requirements.
4 What is It Used For
dotProject is used in a huge range of applications and environments, from small offices, single people trying to manage their own workload, companies, government departments, not for profit organisations, schools and so on.
dotProject is used to manage the day to day activities of project progression. The difference between project management and, for example, help desk, is that help desk functions are about interrupt driven, unplanned / unexpected tasks. dotProject is for managing a defined workload, with a defined resource base who are co-operating to deliver a project.
5 What is the Correct form of the Name
Well anything as long as you're talking about us nicely, but ultimately we use:
as the standard layout (lowercase dot / uppercase P / lowercase roject). We also use dP for abbreviation purposes.
6 Why call it dotProject
dotProject was originally named by dotmarketing.org in 2000, when the product was commenced by them. Their aim was to produce a state of the art project management tool and it remains the same with the current development team.
The original theme (classic theme - still available) flagged dotProject as an open source alternative to Microsoft products as well as other expensive, commercial applications.
Right from the start, dotProject had, as it's core aims, a number of simple requirements:
- Clean, simple and consistent user interface;
- project management focus - not another CMS, groupware environment or all things to all people collaboration tool, but a project management environment;
- Open source / open access / free usage.
And right up until the current day, these aims remain the core aim of the current administration team.
Sure, we still have some functionality that is required, but over the years, dotProject has undergone some formidable updates, additions and code changes and we fully intend to keep that activity up, with the ongoing support of our user community.
7 Who is behind it
The current development team is a group of volunteers based all over the world.
There are also individual members of the development team who provide paid for / specialised services outside those available from within the community - you can see who they are via our Dev Team and Supporters below.
Members of the development team are invited to join the group by the administrators (who often act on the recommendation of other dev tem members).
The development team are people that we take great pleasure in recommending and in working with. Interested in getting an invite? Please read Dev Team Invitations.
8 Why Do you Do all This for Free
All of the above?
Probably mostly for the love of it, and because it solves a problem that we've all had. Some dev team members came to dotProject to solve a problem in our own daily lives - managing work / private commitments. Some members came to the group to provide some real life experience as part of studies, others just like the challenge.
The other overriding motivation is to return something to the open source community. We are the grateful beneficiaries of a number of other projects efforts (openoffice.org / postnuke / drupal / testlink / mantis / b2evolution / and on the list goes), and by contributing to our own project we hope that we are helping others in the bigger community.
Ultimately there is nothing keeping any of us here except a desire to return. We really appreciate it when members of the user community understand that, and we take a very dim view of people demanding / pushing / being unpleasant as a result of that. Nobody, including users, is under any obligation to hang around here.
8.1 Sponsors and Supporters
We do have some supporters that we've very very grateful for.
http://www.bigbluehat.com have hosted of all our websites in the past, for free - thank you to the team at Big Blue Hat without whom we'd have really struggled to survive. Please go to http://www.bigbluehat.com to check out their hosting packages.
8.2 Why Can't I Have....
Many many many many times we hear from people about what it is that dotProject doesn't do. We're well aware of the shortcomings, dotProject is nothing but a work in progress for all of us. We are constantly adding new features and functionality, but remember that as a volunteer team, we're never going to be as quick as a paid product as we all have to earn a living elsewhere. If you really want dotProject to do xxxx then consider sponsoring the development via http://marketplace.dotproject.net - (dotProject Marketplace explains more about that) OR supply the code back to the community as a whole OR start talking about your needs on the forums. One of the best things about discussing it on the forums is that many others have developed custom code, some of which might fit your needs. Alternatively, if you find a few others looking for similar functionality, you might be able to contribute to the development together.
Please don't just whine at us because it doesn't do it (or worst still abuse us which is starting to happen with increasingly and disconcerting frequency) - we know what it doesn't do and as much as we'd like to make it do that, it's sometimes just not possible to do / be everything to everyone.
9 Why Are there Now TWO Documentation Sites
Contrary to popular belief we're not just doing this to annoy people, we're not just playing around. We've been undertaking a major rewrite of the documentation site, which, upon reflection, we decided also required a change in supporting package. We opted for MediaWiki because we wanted a commonly used wiki and it came down to Mediawiki and Docuwiki when we analysed the functionality and performance that we were after. Mediawiki ultimately seemed a better choice because of the level of support and active add on community. As per usual, if you disagree please feel free to do so, to yourself. The decision's now been made.
We have now made this site the default documentation site (http://docs.dotproject.net) The old site is still available and there is a link to it at the top of this page. That will remain in place as we're still transferring information from there. The reason we have now turned on the new site is that we reached that midway point where some information was still not here, but there was updated / new details here that should be made available. Once we've finished the total transfer then we'll remove the link from this site. The old site will hang around for a while because of the number of links on the support forums, although at some point we'll do a general redirection to here. We're also still planning on moving the whole site to the dotproject hosting servers but not until the bulk transfer has completed as we don't want to send our usage / bandwidth costs through the ceiling yet! --KarenC 15:40, 31 October 2006 (EST)