donjon at

June 26th, 2008

Yeah, donjon beta 1 is running at, you can and should give it a try. Fell free to explore, change things, we will restore the backup to the original state in a week.

Now, finally, what is it?

Our first goal is to make an agile project management web app. Why? We are not happy with the apps we have been using. They clearly are clueless regarding usability, and the pricing is unreasonable – not to mention the drug dealer selling model. The one that has a very decent UI is just not flexible. Also, I’m not a total fan of SaaS model, so I’d rather host my and my clients projects and important data.

While designing the core I decided to go towards a more extensible, pluggable model. That makes things way more complicated, but pays off in the end. The core allows you to plug modules and extensions. Just like in Windsor, they can hook and extend functionality. Currently we have three modules:

- Core: manages Components and Releases
- Issue Tracking: manages issues, depends on Core
- Discussion: allows you to have online discussions with your peers and clients.


We have just started a Scrum module, which is planned for version 1.1, though.

Nothing stop you from creating your own module that makes sense for you scenario/company.


Yep, fields, workflows, everything!

What is cool?

There are two features I like the most:

Searching, which was clearly inspired on Mac OS’ Spotlight, was proved really handy.


And the list view. There, you can click on any column to start narrowing the results, save the view, edit directly on the table and fire the workflow (if you are a project member), a real time saver!


Categories: donjon | Top Of Page | 21 Comments » |

21 Responses to “donjon at”

Krzysztof Koźmic Says:

I knew it ;)

Jurado Says:

How can I login? Is there some “Sign up” link somewhere?

Eric Nicholson Says:

Is this an Open Source project or a commercial project? I’d be really interested in seeing some of the code.

Either way it looks really nice for an initial beta. Good work!

hammett Says:

This is a commercial product.

Donjon - Agile Project Management Web Application : { null != Steve } Says:
Jozef Sevcik Says:

Looks interesting, when we can expect some info about pricing/editions/limitations ?

Casey Says:

Some early problems:

1) The selected tab is nearly invisible on my LCD – so you only see which is selected as it isn’t blue

2) CLicking hamilton verissimo link gave me:
Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

3) Clicking “Issues” tab took an *age* to do anything – for 20+ seconds I thought the page was blank – this is a classic Ajax issue … firstly it shouldn’t take this long, secondly put a “Searching/Loading” counter while the user waits. Clicking any other links that go to a DB are similarly painfully slow.

4) Rolling over an Issue in the list brings up a New link in the bottom left of the link, which I then move to try and click – this isn’t a great user experience … the hand+row highlight gives the visual indicator needed … the “VIEW” link is just distracting

5) Clicking on an issue takes me to a single page for the issue, but the only way to get back to the list I just had is the back button, very unfriendly

I appreciate it is only a beta, so I hope the feedback is helpful.

hammett Says:

@Josef, hopefully soon.

@casey, thanks for the feedback. About #4, it’s not a link, it’s just a hint about what would happen if you click that row. that was inspired on dabbledb.

We’re experiencing some problems with IIS 6…

Casey Says:


Cheers – hope it helps … the feedback hint is counter inuitive … I would suggest removing it, changing the cursor to a hand and highlighting the row in a brighter color … only a suggestion mind … but it annoyed me more than once …

Another small problem I saw … if you have to use the back button after selecting a single item (not something I like personally) … you then lose whatever filters/sort you applied on the list previously … ahh the joys of Ajax :)

hammett Says:

Casey, what browser? I used a history manager, so the filters are in the URL, therefore you shouldn’t lose it. How can I reproduce this?

Steve Wagner Says:

Did you have any plan to give free licenses to the OSS community?

hammett Says:

Steve, please contact donjon at

Ignacio Says:

Nice work! It seems to be a great product. Congrats!

Pascal Says:

Wow, Hamilton! That’s really what I call great effective use of Ajax. This is a very intuitive user interface. Mucho respect for this great work, which we see far too little, IMHO!

So looking at the functionality, I’m guessing your going for the “full frontal attack” on well established tools like Jira? I think it’s a crowded marketplace for these type of issue management / SD lifecycle management tools, but there is always room for high quality products. However, for Donjon to become really a competative player, there is obviously still a lot of work to do. I’m guessing we can can expect somewhat less dedication to Castle development and more to Donjon? Could you tell us a bit about your priorities and planning?

hammett Says:

@Pascal, definitely. I’ve switched priorities long time ago. It’s a David/Golias thing, we’re going to face some well established players in this market, but I do believe we have the better product.

Bart Says:

Great stuff Hammet! This definitely has a lot of potential.
I am pretty interested in how this is architected, and me not alone I guess ;)
I suppose you have used your usual stack to build this. It would be great if you could share some high level architecture concepts. I am particularly interested in how you designed the “Add field” feature. For a client we are building such a feature now, and we are using Nhibernate dynamic component to do that, but we are keeping our eyes open to other solutions.

Alessandro Riolo Says:

I gave a cursory look to Donjon, and I really appreciated that. It may well become Castle Project’s killer application, at last.
As I have been looking forwards to this day since long (, I am really happy you decided to pursue this avenue.
Hope you will be able to create a corporation out of it ;)

Alessandro Riolo Says:

A question: “agile project management web app” means Donjon will provide a continuous integration module? If that is the case, I do strongly advice you to implement the delayed commit feature, a la TeamCity.

hammett Says:

I plan to provide a cruisecontrol integration, nothing like TeamCity…

José Carvalho Says:

This tool is similar to Mingle (, right?

hammett Says:

yes, they are one of our competitors.

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