I’ve been looking for a solid (and free) project management and software development platform for some time now. We started out with the free trial of Basecamp and quickly ran out of writeboards (basically wiki pages – you are only allowed two) and the site overall was a little clunky and did not have support for uploading any files and no software development support at all (such as bug-tracking tools). As it turns out, Basecamp no longer offers a free package – only a free 30-day trial.
We tried installing Trac with Subversion on Hung’s Dreamhost hosting plan, but ran into troubles. Subversion is a one-click install on Dreamhost and there is a user-contributed script to “easy-install” Trac, but they didn’t seem to work as well with each other as we had hoped. After toying around with it for some time to no avail, I hit up Google for “free trac subversion hosting” and found Assembla.
Assembla is great. 500 MB of space for Trac integrated with Subversion for free at the click of a button. There are additional tools for persistent chat, milestone management (although Trac also does this), uploading and viewing large format images, time tracking and more. The site seems a little buggy here and there (i.e. it is still asking me to verify my email address even though I have already done so; initially tickets in Trac did not work because a separate Tickets manager was enabled in Assembla – not sure why they are duplicating tools), but we resolved that and Trac is working just fine.
We just started using Assembla today, so we’ll see how things go. I’ll be sure to post any major updates on how using Assembla works out over the course of the summer.