Open Source Project Management Tools

I need to create some simple project schedules at work.  I used to have MS Project installed, but when I upgraded to Windows 7, my new SOE didn’t have MS Project.  So, I googled for open source project management tools.  I remember doing this years ago, and didn’t find anything compelling.  Now, there’s lots of options.  Which is the best?

I wanted a desktop app, so I excluded Redmine, and dotProject because they’re webapps, excluded Project.net because it needs Oracle which I don’t have, and excluded the *nix-only application TaskJuggler.

That still left me with a short list of three: GanttProject, OpenProj, and Open Workbench.

Open Workbench hasn’t open sourced their internal scheduling alorithms, and requires a commercial Clarity (CA) product to do collaboration.  Neither of those are killer problems for me, but they do linger in the back of your mind…  Anyway, it installed OK, launched OK, but looks overly complex.  I want to be productive out of the box, but couldn’t even work out how to create tasks and dependencies.  (I guess maybe I could have read the manual.  Who has time?)  Uninstalled.

GanttProject installed OK, launched OK, and looks promising.  I think it could be used, but minor bugs in the UI proved annoying.  Naming tasks was hard in the UI, and linking tasks to milestones was painful.  Uninstalled.

OpenProj installed OK, launched OK, and looks easy enough to use for my purposes.  There are a few UI niggles – e.g. I’d like to be able to reorder tasks more easily, maybe with drag and drop.  The download is going to be a couple of years old soon – Wikipedia tells me its development status is uncertain since Serena acquired it, and also tells me to watch out for bugs if I start to use some of the more advanced features…  But, it looks “good enough”, and I’m using it for now.

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