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Thread: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

  1. #1

    Default OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Hi!

    I'm developing OpenDuty, an open source duty management system, and thought this might be of interest to school photography societies (or any club for that matter, that needs to assign members to events). Details at http://openduty.com

    Let me know what you think!

  2. #2
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    my first impression is that i can use google spreadsheets to do it hmm.

    perhaps u might want to think what would come in handy, that cannot be taken from spreadsheets? perhaps not just a duty system, but also coupled with a website for showcase, email etc etc. just a suggestion how u might want to develop further.

    though tbh, 90% of the stuff in sch happens last minute. more often than not photo societies dun have a list of events yearly given to them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Thanks for the interest!

    I would think the key difference between an collaborative spreadsheet and the system lies in:

    1) Correlation - A spreadsheet is based on the idea of a table, so it would be pretty difficult to join members and the events they are assigned to via assignments without repeating information. OpenDuty caters for this and generates an unique view on-the-fly for each event and member. E.g. A member can browse to their page and see all events they have done in the past and their upcoming assignments.

    2) Features - OpenDuty currently adopts a workflow that allows members to sign up for events and these assignments are not confirmed till a staff member approves it. It also does identity management by only allowing the involved member (and of course, staff) to sign himself up for an event. Email notifications and reminders are on their way too. There's simply so much more you can do with a custom-designed system over a generic spreadsheet.

    OpenDuty is designed as a duty management system, so it would be inappropriate to involve too much unrelated features. But feel free to build upon it and incorporate it into your website.

    I built the system upon the background I have in school photographic societies which typically receives event information at least 1 week prior, which is sufficient time to get members to sign up for them. Either way, even if all events are last-minute, inputting them into a system like OpenDuty will allow members to keep track of their portfolio and club administrators to monitor the events taken up.

    Keep the suggestions coming! I hope it's a project which will be useful for many :P

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    With spread sheet I can also do sort quite easily. For events management I can use FB events. I can even use Outlook Calendar. And you do not even have a calendar view, nor a event workday/event view. Nor do you have a rules engine.

    This is a good start. But you really need to beef it up a lot more in functionality, feature set and usability before it becomes more useful than a spread sheet or outlook.

  5. #5

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    I'm currently an IT consultant in a local IT firm. My 2 cents worth for you are as follows:

    If you are trying to learn Django, by all means, built the system to your delight. It's good exercise to build up a skill set.
    If you are trying to deploy a system to suit your needs and get up to speed fast, tweak an existing system. Joomla will be a good start for you
    Your needs are pretty general, and I am pretty sure you can find a suitable framework extension to start with in Joomla

    Quote Originally Posted by sctan View Post
    Hi!

    I'm developing OpenDuty, an open source duty management system, and thought this might be of interest to school photography societies (or any club for that matter, that needs to assign members to events). Details at http://openduty.com

    Let me know what you think!
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
    www.flickr.com/photos/davidktw

  6. #6

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    With spread sheet I can also do sort quite easily. For events management I can use FB events. I can even use Outlook Calendar. And you do not even have a calendar view, nor a event workday/event view. Nor do you have a rules engine.

    This is a good start. But you really need to beef it up a lot more in functionality, feature set and usability before it becomes more useful than a spread sheet or outlook.
    Thanks for the feedback!

    I'm sure you would agree that having multiple spreadsheets with repeated data and needing to perform a pivot table lookup (which will disrupt the view of concurrent users in the case of Google Docs) is not exactly an elegant solution. E.g. What if I have changed my mobile number? Do I have to go to every single event I've signed up for to change it too?

    Of course, it also gives us the flexibility of implementing features that we simply can't otherwise have in spreadsheets as brought up in the previous reply, which I believe you acknowledged.

    Correct me if I'm mistaken: By FB events, you mean for event organizers rather than photographers since I can't imagine how troublesome it would be to create an event page for every single request for event coverage received. And when referring to Outlook Calendar (or any of its online alternatives), you are referring to personal calendars rather than a centralized event list for a club. I don't see a need for a workday view (and definitely not a rule engine) for each member at the moment since event assignments per member are normally sparse in a school photographic society (at most once a week).

    However, it does spark an inspiration on how this can be modified to suit full-time photographers who work collectively in a large company, where events taken up are distributed among photographers. If you are interested in this use, feel free to drop me a mail and we can work out a solution

    To clarify, OpenDuty is targeted at school media support societies specifically and precisely. All features that will be worked on are those that will directly concern this target group in order to keep the project clean. But feel free to fork the project on GitHub and add your own functionalities We think OpenDuty is ready for use but there will certainly be features added constantly via an agile development model so watch this space!

  7. #7

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    I'm currently an IT consultant in a local IT firm. My 2 cents worth for you are as follows:

    If you are trying to learn Django, by all means, built the system to your delight. It's good exercise to build up a skill set.
    If you are trying to deploy a system to suit your needs and get up to speed fast, tweak an existing system. Joomla will be a good start for you
    Your needs are pretty general, and I am pretty sure you can find a suitable framework extension to start with in Joomla
    Thanks for the recommendation. However, I've tried many CMS solutions over the years (from PT work) and I'm pretty sure none offers the exact specification needed for a duty management system. If modified, it would simply be too messy and high maintenance since you are having more unnecessary parts that can go wrong.

    IMHO It's the systems that are lean, mean and does one thing well - that's useful. But I guess it really depends on your needs. OpenDuty is right for mine

  8. #8
    Member weiteck's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    no system is perfect. there's also the "human factors" to consider.
    for ur club, i think u guys have meeting then allocate tasks ya?

    anyway, the most important is the "User(s)".
    if your club is using ur software now, then what is the feedback?
    other than creating program with unique function to fill the gap that others don't have.
    u have to understand HCI (Human-Computer Interface/interaction)
    what is the user's experience?

    example-
    Technologies-wise, Apple's products might not be the best, but their ease of use (also plus marketing bullS###)
    make them well-liked

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Quote Originally Posted by sctan View Post
    Thanks for the feedback!

    I'm sure you would agree that having multiple spreadsheets with repeated data and needing to perform a pivot table lookup (which will disrupt the view of concurrent users in the case of Google Docs) is not exactly an elegant solution. E.g. What if I have changed my mobile number? Do I have to go to every single event I've signed up for to change it too?

    Of course, it also gives us the flexibility of implementing features that we simply can't otherwise have in spreadsheets as brought up in the previous reply, which I believe you acknowledged.

    Correct me if I'm mistaken: By FB events, you mean for event organizers rather than photographers since I can't imagine how troublesome it would be to create an event page for every single request for event coverage received. And when referring to Outlook Calendar (or any of its online alternatives), you are referring to personal calendars rather than a centralized event list for a club. I don't see a need for a workday view (and definitely not a rule engine) for each member at the moment since event assignments per member are normally sparse in a school photographic society (at most once a week).

    However, it does spark an inspiration on how this can be modified to suit full-time photographers who work collectively in a large company, where events taken up are distributed among photographers. If you are interested in this use, feel free to drop me a mail and we can work out a solution

    To clarify, OpenDuty is targeted at school media support societies specifically and precisely. All features that will be worked on are those that will directly concern this target group in order to keep the project clean. But feel free to fork the project on GitHub and add your own functionalities We think OpenDuty is ready for use but there will certainly be features added constantly via an agile development model so watch this space!
    I think you have not explored spreadsheets fully to understand the capabilities already available to spreadsheet users. Lookups are quite easily done in Spreadsheets. There is no need to store repeated data. You can even create forms in spreadsheets to update or add data.

    Also, if you want to do a workflow system for users as well as event organizers and schedule/project managers, a calendar will be great. Users can just open up a monthly, weekly or even daily calendar to get a overview of what events they are supposed to cover. From there click on the event and drill down to the details. If you say there is no need for such functionality due to the simple need of your target users, then that simplicity can be managed better with a simple spread sheet as well. Outlook or any meeting or scheduling software can also do what your solution can do.

    I came from IT background as well, and have designed, worked on and delivered business solutions to clients over the years. What you offered is a good starting point as a personal project but the functionality are spartan at best. I hope this feedback helps you to re-evaluate your current software, so maybe you can launch a more viable version of the software in the future. Take a look at what is already available out there in the opensource world as well. I just did a 2 min search on Sourceforge and found something that can do what you wanted better and faster and with more functionality (see http://sourceforge.net/projects/todoyu/. Don't reinvent the wheel.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 13th September 2011 at 01:08 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    It's often no system will suit your particular needs, I am in the mist of a proposal on personal terms to implement a lesson booking system with credits system couple with online payment. These many years with an IT firm doing projects for numerous Enterprises even overseas. I can strictly tell you, "lean and mean and one thing well" is on the right end of a exponential graph. If projects are done this way, you are out of the market before you can even deploy the system. I'm not sure how you measure up against "If modified, it would simply be too messy and high maintenance since you are having more unnecessary parts that can go wrong.", but strictly speaking, it's a matter of experience and skills. No offense for I'm not bragging that my skills are good or not, but I have learnt something over these years "Don't reinvent the wheel".

    Nonetheless, all these said, it is your system to design, so obviously it's your choice to take. After all how much effort you put in is up to you. If you ask me about performance, I rather pay for the extra hardware, than to ram up the exponential graphs of "cost versus accuracy" in engineering terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by sctan View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. However, I've tried many CMS solutions over the years (from PT work) and I'm pretty sure none offers the exact specification needed for a duty management system. If modified, it would simply be too messy and high maintenance since you are having more unnecessary parts that can go wrong.

    IMHO It's the systems that are lean, mean and does one thing well - that's useful. But I guess it really depends on your needs. OpenDuty is right for mine
    Last edited by David Kwok; 15th September 2011 at 05:06 AM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Woo! I wrote the response before I read your reply "Don't reinvent the wheel." Great minds think alike huh..
    You are quite right indeed on the spreadsheet. It is very powerful indeed if TS bother to see how much excel can offer. One can even indulge in VB to perform complicated operations should it's required.

    As I review the requirements again, I see perhaps just MS Assess with forms may also perform partial job. But to have the workflow involved might require something more niche. But the fact TS wants to re-implement subscribers and sign up logic is a total waste of time (not unless it's an exercise).

    There again. What can I say...

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    I think you have not explored spreadsheets fully to understand the capabilities already available to spreadsheet users. Lookups are quite easily done in Spreadsheets. There is no need to store repeated data. You can even create forms in spreadsheets to update or add data.

    Also, if you want to do a workflow system for users as well as event organizers and schedule/project managers, a calendar will be great. Users can just open up a monthly, weekly or even daily calendar to get a overview of what events they are supposed to cover. From there click on the event and drill down to the details. If you say there is no need for such functionality due to the simple need of your target users, then that simplicity can be managed better with a simple spread sheet as well. Outlook or any meeting or scheduling software can also do what your solution can do.

    I came from IT background as well, and have designed, worked on and delivered business solutions to clients over the years. What you offered is a good starting point as a personal project but the functionality are spartan at best. I hope this feedback helps you to re-evaluate your current software, so maybe you can launch a more viable version of the software in the future. Take a look at what is already available out there in the opensource world as well. I just did a 2 min search on Sourceforge and found something that can do what you wanted better and faster and with more functionality (see http://sourceforge.net/projects/todoyu/. Don't reinvent the wheel.
    Last edited by David Kwok; 15th September 2011 at 05:00 AM.
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
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  12. #12
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    Woo! I wrote the response before I read your reply "Don't reinvent the wheel." Great minds think alike huh..
    You are quite right indeed on the spreadsheet. It is very powerful indeed if TS bother to see how much excel can offer. One can even indulge in VB to perform complicated operations should it's required.

    As I review the requirements again, I see perhaps just MS Assess with forms may also perform partial job. But to have the workflow involved might require something more niche. But the fact TS wants to re-implement subscribers and sign up logic is a total waste of time (not unless it's an exercise).

    There again. What can I say...
    LOL, when I started my IT career, was the time where most business apps were written on C++ and/or VBA (yes, it was that long ago, I am a dinosaur). Back then every business manager thought Excel and VBA was the best thing since sliced bread. And the internet was so new back then, yahoo was like a 5 man shop still, running out of David and Jerry's apartment right after they got kicked out of Stanford for hosting yahoo on Stanford servers. LOL.

    I am no longer technical btw... old already. cannot keep up with young capable fellas like yourself. :P
    Last edited by daredevil123; 15th September 2011 at 05:40 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Oh don't be 谦虚, I am quite sure you are still 宝刀未老. Just need attend some courses, read some ebooks, polish up and you are on your way to start Internet 2.
    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    LOL, when I started my IT career, was the time where most business apps were written on C++ and/or VBA (yes, it was that long ago, I am a dinosaur). Back then every business manager thought Excel and VBA was the best thing since sliced bread. And the internet was so new back then, yahoo was like a 5 man shop still, running out of David and Jerry's apartment right after they got kicked out of Stanford for hosting yahoo on Stanford servers. LOL.I am no longer technical btw... old already. cannot keep up with young capable fellas like yourself. :P
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
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  14. #14
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenDuty: An open source duty management system

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    Oh don't be 谦虚, I am quite sure you are still 宝刀未老. Just need attend some courses, read some ebooks, polish up and you are on your way to start Internet 2.
    Hahahaa... no longer doing tech work bro. Have moved on. Once in a while handle some PM stuffs, or mobile apps stuff... But most of the time just manage staff only.

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