I love open source software when it’s done correctly. Sometimes you get kludgey projects that don’t amount to much other than a bunch of really bad code… GanttProject is not one of those crappy projects. Holy crap I love this program. I wanted to get Microsoft Project to track some stuff but this does everything I want, and it’s open source and free! 80-20 rule…80% of people use 20% of the features of a feature-filled product, and GanttProject has exactly the key features I need.
It amazes me that people work on stuff like this in their spare time, just because they like it and want to build a good product. They don’t get paid for it; they don’t get press coverage; they likely don’t even hear from the thousands of people who will benefit from their work, but they do it anyway. I think this a fundamental truth about humans more so than about open source. We need to create and are proud of having accomplished something for its own sake. We take pride in our work, even if no one notices that we did it.
In any case, Gantt (http://www.ganttproject.biz). Use it instead of Microsoft Project if you just have basic things to track.