How Trello is *not* different

Joel Spolsky, a figure lot of us look up to, made a very interesting post about Trello and how it is different.

Note – Before reading any further, you should know I am the creator of Review19, a tool quite similar to Trello.

I loved Spolsky’s post, except the title. Trello didn’t seem different at all. Going by a lot of Spolsky’s parameters, Review19 and Trello are very similar.

Here’s trying to shed more light on my claim:

Hosted Only

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Both Review19 and Trello are hosted only solutions, at least as of now. You cannot buy a license and install privately on your servers.

Continuous Delivery

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Just like Google Chrome — which still maintains versions — but is released / delivered continuously for all intents and purposes both Review19 and Trello share this development / delivery model.

Inexhaustive Testing

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Joel’s team at Fog Creek, by choice, don’t exhaustively test Trello before each release. Review19 is being development and maintained by a single individual, i.e. me, it’s not really possible to exhaustively test Review19 either. Sorry about that!

Work in public

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Trello works in public by offering a public status board. Review19 puts itself out their through a public mailing list and roadmap. Volunteers are added to a private status board.

Get big fast

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Trello aims to get 100 million users. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t want that for Review19 either. ;-)

Free

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Plugin architecture

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

The merits of such an architecture are obvious. Review19 uses client and server side JavaScript modules for achieving such an architecture. I’m not sure how Trello does it but we have no reason to doubt Joel’s remark.

Node.js

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

MongoDB

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

Web Sockets

Review19 – Yes
Trello – Yes

How Review19 is different

Horizontal

Review19 – No
Trello – Yes

Trello is for everybody. Review19 is for distributed or colocated web, creative and software teams. Spolsky notes the benefits of being vertical, I agree.

Spolsky wants Trello to be horizontal, I can understand. I did consider making Review19 horizontal but chose against it.

Video conferencing

Review19 – Yes
Trello – No

Review19′s target audience — web, creative and software teams — are often distributed around the world. Offering an in-browser, video conferencing option is a critical feature for Review19.

CoffeeScript

Review19 – No
Trello – Yes

No thanks, I see far too many benefits of staying with JavaScript at least as of now.

APIs top priority?

Review19 – I wish!
Trello – Yes

I wish! I’m only a single guy working full-time on multiple projects to earn my living. Review19 will have APIs, at some point of time!