Issue tracking systems – part 2

A while back I blogged about setting up an issue tracking system for Knights. There were two systems I seriously considered: JIRA and Trac. I found that my server didn’t have enough RAM to run JIRA so I was going to use Trac instead.

Since then there has been a slight change of plan. The folks at Atlassian (the makers of JIRA) have informed me that they offer free JIRA hosting for open source projects. This is very cool as it solves my hosting issues and also is much easier to set up than Trac (as they basically set it up for you!). Also I am more familiar with JIRA than Trac (as I use JIRA at work). For these reasons I have decided to give JIRA a try.

So there is currently a Knights JIRA installation running at This is open to the public so feel free to have a play with it and let me know what you think. So far I have added one or two issues but otherwise haven’t really used it yet — I’m relying on you guys to fill it up with the things you want done in future releases 🙂

JIRA is quite easy to use, but here are some quick instructions in case you need them:

  • To view issues, click on Browse Projects and then click Knights. You will be presented with lists of components and versions. Since I haven’t set up any components or versions yet, just click on No Component and you will be taken to a list of all open issues. You can then click any issue to get details of it.
  • To search you can either type something into the Quick Search box (top right) or you can do a more detailed search by clicking on Find Issues. In the latter case you will have a panel on the left of your screen which allows you to filter issues by type, priority, text search etc, or any combination of these.
  • To comment on an issue, first browse or search for the issue you want (see above) and then click the Comment link on the left hand side. You need to create an account before you can post comments (see below).
  • To report a bug or request a new feature, click on Create New Issue and follow the instructions. You need to create an account to do this (see below).

Note that currently I am running an evaluation copy of JIRA which is limited to five user accounts (one of them being me). These will be available on a first come first served basis. In the meantime I will have to submit an application to Atlassian to be given full access for my open source project. Once this is done (and assuming they accept the application) we will get full access and the limit on the number of users will be removed. This process apparently takes about 2 weeks. (If they don’t accept the application, then plan B is to switch to Trac. Should this happen I will copy all issues from JIRA into Trac so don’t worry about losing any data.)

Anyway, please try it out and let me know what you think.

Knights 012 released

A new version of Knights has been released. Get it from the download page.

This is the first stable release to include multiplayer support. The main purpose of the release is to fix (most of) the bugs that were found during the beta test and also to add one or two new things (for example the in-game player list).

The online server has been upgraded and the beta server has now been taken offline.

If you downloaded the multiplayer beta, please don’t use it any more as it will not work properly with the new server. Instead download the latest version.

Many thanks to everyone who helped out with the multiplayer testing.


This week’s progress

Just a quick update. Work on the next version of Knights has been going well. Today I finished off the in-game player list and tidied up a few other things. I also made some changes to the in-game screen layout recently; you can see a screenshot in this forum post.

There is only one more thing left to do before the next release and that’s to fix the LAN game mode so that it works with multiplayer (currently it’s still limited to two players). I’ll try and get that done next weekend, and then we’ll have a release!

After that I’ll see about getting the Trac set up. (I haven’t forgotten the Trac, I just wanted to get the work for the next release done first.) In the meantime, if you want to submit bug reports etc. then the forum is always available, or just leave a comment here.

Issue tracking systems

I think it would be good if Knights had a public issue tracking system, this would be useful for keeping track of bug reports (of which there have been a few following the recent multiplayer beta) as well as feature requests.

I’ve spent a bit of time looking at the different bug tracking systems out there (and there are a lot of them), but eventually I think I’ve decided on using Trac. This is an open source system that seems quite popular and has most (if not all) features that would be needed for a project like Knights.

Of the alternatives, I liked Flyspray and Redmine, which are both very simple and easy to use, but they seem a bit limited in terms of features (imho) compared to Trac. I also considered JIRA which is what I use at work (and it’s free for open source projects to use); JIRA is a very nice system, but unfortunately it’s an enormous Java application which my server doesn’t really have enough RAM to be able to run properly, and anyway it is probably overkill for a small project like Knights.

In other news, I have now got most of the bugs from the multiplayer test fixed, and have been working on getting observer mode working in multiplayer games as well (so you can change who you are observing by using left/right arrow keys). I also want to get a player list and end of game statistics set up before releasing a “stable” multiplayer version.

After that I think the next priority would be making the game simpler for newbies. I think there are a lot of people who try the game out once or twice, can’t work out how to play, and then never come back (I sometimes see people like this on the server). Sadly people do not read manuals these days. Some sort of tutorial mode is probably the answer here.