14 February 2011
I’ve recently started using Teambox both for my own projects and those at Apture. It is a great, lightweight tool for planning and tracking projects. It shows things in an “activity feed” which feels right at home for those of us that use Twitter and other similar things.
The only flaw I could find is that Teambox itself had no way to let you know things were happening in your projects. Your only options are to react when people specifically add you to an item (which alerts you via email) or refresh the activity feeds constantly.
Since Teambox has an API I wrote an extension to Chrome which would let me know whenever anything new appeared in my activity feed. It uses the webkit notifications which display Growl-like popups on my Mac. Shortly after I got it working, the rest of the Apture team installed it. With our rapid pace, being informed I have new items to look at is important. I don’t necessarily need to act on them immediately, but I need to know that when I have a moment I should catch up with the state of the team. And now, I don’t need to waste a page refresh to do it. The plugin also allows me to review new items in the extension popup so I only actually need to navigate to Teambox when I need to act on something.
The extension is far from done, but I think it’s useful even in its current form. Check it out on the Chrome Extension Gallery and let me know what you think. You can watch progress and eventually get documentation at the Teambox Chrome Notifier project page. The code is available on GitHub.