Phil's Musings notes from a peripatetic programmer

Introducing a Serverless Issue board for GitHub repositories and organizations!

At different projects use different ticket trackers because different people have different likes and preferences. We use Trello, Pivotal, GitHub Issues, and Wunderlist. But one thing that is common across all of our open source projects is GitHub.

As we’ve grown and as our projects have started to overlap we’ve realized there is value in having a common place to look and see what’s going on in all of the projects.


gh-board does all the things we need and more. If it doesn’t do something, submit a Pull Request and it will!

Other ticket trackers

Any ticket tracker presents additional friction to use with GitHub:

  • it’s hidden behind a login
    • (when a ticket is linked in our IM client we don’t get a nice preview)
  • the logins are different so @mentioning people is annoying
  • you have to remember a different type of markup language
  • you have to remember to link everything twice
    • so people looking at the ticket can get to the code and vice-versa
  • you have to update the tracker when the Pull Request status changes (created, review, tested, merged, etc)
  • they don’t show the state of Pull Requests so you then have to click to see what the Pull Request status is
  • URL’s are difficult to share because frequently the state of the page is not in the URL
    • ie which milestones, columns, or other filter criteria are being used

As a developer/tester/UX: you’d still have to check multiple places to stay on top of everything (or hope that your email client doesn’t explode!)

GitHub isn’t perfect either

But GitHub Issues is not without its limitations:

  • Issues are per-repository (we have 100 repositories)
  • Milestones are per-repository
  • Labels are per-repository
  • It is difficult to add additional metadata to a ticket
  • There is no easy way to have kanban-style columns

How is this different from other GitHub-based trackers?

It has a few features that other ticket trackers lack (like huboard or waffleio):

  • open source & free!
  • you can run it anywhere!
    • you can still use vanilla GitHub (nothing to import/export and no vendor lock-in)
  • real-time collaborative editing of Issues
  • shows the state of related Issues/Pull Requests
  • shows CI status and merge conflict status
  • has charts (burndown, gantt, etc)
  • keeps track of multiple repositories from different organizations
  • and productivity-enhancing Easter Eggs!


CI Status and Merge Conflict

  • CI Status shows up as a green check mark or a red x on the top-right corner of a card
  • Merge conflicts are shown with a yellow warning and have a diagonal striped background

image image image

Real-time Collaborative Editing


Issue Images

If an Issue or Pull Request contains an image then it will be shown in the Issue


Easter Eggs

Plus, it comes with productivity-enhancing easter eggs you can unlock!



Since it stores all the open and closed tickets locally, we can generate all the fancy charts that other ticket trackers generate.

  • Burnup chart: it clearly shows when new work is added to a Milestone
  • Gantt chart: shows when milestones are due and colors the bar based on the status of all the Issues


How does it work?


  • uses octokat.js and polls the GitHub API for changes
  • uses the 1st repository in the list to find the column labels and milestones
    • columns are defined as labels of the form ## - Column Title or you can specify a regular expression
  • stores all the Issues and Pull Requests in the browser (thanks to IndexedDB)
    • think of it like git clone but for Issues & Pull Requests
  • searches the IndexedDB to find related issues