Meet the Gantt View Developer

Joe Brochu

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Why was Gantt View created?

In 2005, I was working as a project manager for a small company with an international client base. I wanted a tool to produce Gantt charts for scheduling installations, service visits, site visits, etc. without the complexity and cost of MS Project. I had recently switched to Firefox and Thunderbird, and found out about the Sunbird project, which was at version 0.2 when I started developing this app.

My education was in mechanical engineering, and in college my roommate did all of my C++ homework for me (I returned the favor with his physics homework). My previous coding experience was primarily VBA in MS Excel and Access, with only a small amount of HTML/JS web page development. So this was a long learning process - I knew it would be a complex project but I was eager to learn how to develop using the Mozilla platform. The customizability, extensibility, localizabililty, standardization, support network, and widespread adoption made it attractive then, and I think will continue to do so into the future.

So in between working long hours on projects all over the world, getting married, moving to Australia, battling my backyard, raising a rambunctious toddler, and starting a new job, I have continued to develop Gantt View to maintain compatibility with the ever changing versions of Thunderbird/Lightning. These days I use Gantt View primarily to schedule in some sleep.

What's next for Gantt View

I value my time highly, which is why I developed an app to manage it more easily. Contributions demonstrate that my time spent developing Gantt View is also valued by users. This encourages me to dedicate more time to this and related projects.

This app extends the built-in views, which means that each new release of Lightning often requires some significant testing and debugging due to changes in the core code base. I generally try to implement these as quickly as possible, and my code base is now stable enough to facilitate this more quickly than with previous versions. I am a Gantt View user too, and I need to have it working!

I envision the Gantt View extension remaining somewhat basic, but I plan to develop some separate add-ons to complement it with more advanced features such as budgeting and resource management.

Some features I would like to develop within the scope of the Gantt View extension are:

1. Ability to print the Gantt View

2. More User Prefs - Assignable mouse buttons, format/hide dates on event headers

3. Drag task progressbar to set % Complete - Probably with a modifier key or assignable to a mouse button. (note - event progress is determined by time elapsed)

4. "Draw" tool to create a new task/event just by dragging.
Clearer indication when an event/task is truncated beyond start or end of view. The other views have something like a "<->" to show that an event continues to the previous/next day.

5. Zoom Levels on time axis - each column could be an hour, day, week, month, year, etc.

6. More locales - localizers, please contact me!

Please contact me if you have any other suggestions. Contributors will receive top priority!

About the Developer

Developer Information
Name Joe Brochu
Location Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation Engineer
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 2 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Rated 4 out of 5 stars

Who is Joe Brochu?

Tino D is the official band of Gantt View! OK, so it's actually just my band, and it's been a few years since we played together (I've been spending all of my free time developing Gantt View instead, of course).

We have an album available for free download - so use Gantt View to schedule some free time to check it out.