Nik Kantar

Sunday, December 10, 2023
3 min read

Nik’s Issue Tracker

I’m building myself an issue tracker and would like to try documenting the process a little bit.

For years I’ve had some number of software projects actively in flight. That number has continuously increased and decreased, but has overall grown with several long-term supported ones.

On the flip side, life has only gotten busier, and I tend to have less time on the whole to devote to programming outside of work. This, in turn, has made it increasingly more difficult to make meaningful progress on anything substantial, as I find myself filling the occasional two-hour block with low hanging fruit. It’s also been getting exponentially worse lately as I somehow keep coming up with new project ideas to support the ones I’m already working on.

A big part of my problem is lack of good understanding of what I’m actually trying to work on—both which projects and which tasks within them. I’ve tried a handful of issue trackers, but nothing’s really been all that great of a fit, especially as I really like the idea of keeping GitHub issues the source of truth, at least for the open source stuff.

So I’m building my own, obviously.

I’ve currently dubbed it OctoRows, and it’s quite similar to GitHub Projects and Codetree, but without some of the deal breaking limitations.

The idea behind it isn’t particularly groundbreaking:

I’ve started prototyping the thing using Django, HTMX, and Tailwind CSS, and it’s been fun so far. Django has always been a joy to work with, but the other two tools are new to me. HTMX honestly kicks butt for someone who doesn’t really want to write a ton of frontend JavaScript, and Tailwind is making it a lot easier to build a UI prototype than futzing around with CSS would be for me.

Here’s a GIF of a very hardcoded demo:

Animated GIF of a table-like UI resembling GitHub projects with some repos, issues, and PRs, and the author clicking on a “hide” icon causing them to disappear

I don’t fully know where this is headed, but I like it so far, and will continue to work on it. If it makes sense, I might launch it for public use, and/or open source it eventually, but for now it’s my own playground and emerging tool.

What do you think? Is this something you’d consider using? If so, would you consider paying for it, and how much? Any features that would be deal makers for you? I’d love some feedback, so please shoot me an email!

Tags: projects

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