MDG Development and Collaboration Process
Our development process is deeply rooted in open source methodologies, meaning it is primarily a distributed collaboration between a number of people to establish an efficient work environment. The MDG server is an instantiation of the technology used to run Mozdev.org. If you are not familiar with Mozdev, it is an open source project hosting and development server focused on the advancement of Mozilla technologies. Mozdev is a non-profit open source organization co-founded by Pete Collins in August of 2000. Most of the Mozdev Group Inc. engineering team are also core members of the Mozdev.org administrative team.
When we engage with clients, a new project is created on the MDG development server. Each project is an independent module that carries a web folder, mailing list, bugzilla issue tracking module, and cvs project source code repository. This new project space is administrated with user authentication so engineers and managers can access and collaborate remotely with our team of Mozilla engineers. All project data is stored in cvs so there is always a revision history of every transaction committed to the server.
In the cvs repository there is a special folder called "www" which is the project's http web space. Your project is accessed through a url "myproject.mozdevgroup.com". In the "www" folder we maintain engineering time sheets, weekly status reports, documentation, project specs, contracts, billing invoices, etc.
Another addition to the client project space is a dedicated mailing list. Most
project collaboration is done through the mailing list. The address for this
list is firstname.lastname@example.org so it is easy to use and remember. Mailing lists provide an invaluable way
to exchange ideas while maintaining a list archive for referencing.
Your actual project source code is also maintained in cvs and can be easily referenced through the web using cvsweb, a valuable open source tool for finding source revision history and referral.
All projects require a system of tracking issues and bugs. We use Bugzilla, which is a very popular bug tracking system developed by Mozilla.org. Buzillla is a staple of our development and an effective way to manage your project's development.
This process has evolved over many years in the open source community. It has been proven through time to be the most effective way to sustain productive project management and collaborative development in a distributed environment. Whenever there is more than a single developer working on a single project with a single computer, you are engaged in distributed collaborative development. We consider the fact that years of working, honing, and enhancing this environment through Mozdev.org, has proven to be a strong asset to the basic service we provide to all our clients.