Savannah Trackers, Open Issues, debbugs

There are the Savannah trackers. Nobody really likes them.

There is a proposal to add/move to It can be operated by email, Debian people (developers and users) already know how to use it.

There are the Open Issues pages. This is basically just free-form text enriched by some tags for grouping, editable via the web and through Git commit. tschwinge added this to the set, and/but mostly is the sole user of it, even though casually there are a few other people contributing, and surely these pages do show up in web searches. A more traditional system (like the Savannah trackers or the new debbugs) do have their advantages, too, so perhaps there's a niche for both these and the Open Issues.

IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2011-08-31:

<tschwinge> So.  Savannah trackers vs. Open Issues vs. debbugs.  Any input?
<youpi> I like *both* open issues and debbugs
<youpi> open issues is good for exposing things that people may encounter
  in other situations
<youpi> while debbugs is useful to actually work on a bug
<tschwinge> youpi: The advantage of debbugs being the email interface and
  the well-known procedure, or something else?
<youpi> email interface, which nicely flows into a mailing list
<youpi> the savannah bug updates suffer from the additional layout
<tschwinge> How does one decide what to put in a debbug and what in an Open
  Issue page?
<youpi> I'd say it's not exclusive at all
<youpi> like, a bug on a specific case can start as debbug, and as we
  discover it's more general and will not be fixed immediately, get an open
  issue page
<youpi> and conversely, when we know some shortcoming, start with an open
  issue, and if some bugs are submitted which are actually due to it,
<tschwinge> OK.
<youpi> (some general short coming I mean, like SIGINFO)
<tschwinge> And we would keep the current stuff in the trackers, and let
  these ``get empty'' gradually (it'll be years...) ;-) or migrate the
  remaining issues?
<tschwinge> What we can do is inhibiting the creation of new issues in the
<youpi> I'd say move
<youpi> else they will be forgotten
<tschwinge> Hrm.
<antrik> actually, I considered creating a track-like plugin for ikiwiki,
  as both the popularity of trac and the usefulness of open_issues show
  that something wiki-like is actually more useful than a rigid traditional
  bugtracker. but I'm not really willing to do the work, which is why I
  didn't propose it before :-)
<antrik> err... trac-like
<youpi> yes, the wiki part is really useful to keep a good summary of the
<tschwinge> antrik: Same for me.  I always hoped that someone would do
  it...  :-)
<antrik> hehe
<tschwinge> antrik: But, as you surely know, this email parsing business is
  just too ugly to do realiable, etc.
<antrik> youpi: my point is that adding a few additional bits (like a
  comfortable tagging functionality, and some mail interface) could turn
  into a full-blown tracker unifying the advantages of both... but as I
  said, I'm not really willing to do the work :-)
<youpi> additional to open_issue you mean?
<youpi> yes, but like you say :)
<antrik> tschwinge: hm... seems to work well enough it debbugs
<youpi> debbugs just piles things
<youpi> and has a few commands
<youpi> you'd still need the web interface to edit the wiki part for
<antrik> of course. that wouldn't change at all
<antrik> (except for adding a tagging GUI perhaps)
<antrik> (debbugs of course is not the only mail-operable bugtracking
  system... there are a number of others -- and I heard rumors even
  bugzilla grew a mail interface now...)
<youpi> antrik: a .mdwn diff should however be sent to the bug for
<youpi> atm, what happens sometimes is somebody saying something here on
  #hurd, tschwinge turning that into an open_issue, and it does not show up
  on the mailing list
<tschwinge> debbugs surely has the advantage that it is available (nearly)
  right now.
<mattl> RT (request tracker) and ikiwiki play quite nicely together.
<tschwinge> mattl: You'Re using that at GNU/FSF/somewhere, right?
<mattl> you can close tickets from the wiki, and RT has a good command line
  interface, email interface and web interface.
<mattl> tschwinge: yeah, we use RT and ikiwiki.
<mattl> RT for all FSF communications, and ikiwiki for internal organising.
<mattl> RT is not the easiest thing to set up, but works pretty well once
  it's running.

IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2011-10-19:

<antrik> tschwinge: BTW, what happened to the plan of killing help-hurd?
<antrik> (and possibly some other lists)
<tschwinge> antrik: That plan got stalled, obviously.  ;-)
<tschwinge> antrik: Now, I had proposed to use hurd-dev for development,
  and turn bug-hurd into a debbugs bug reportling list.  That proposal has
  not heard any supportive/unsupportive votes yet.
<tschwinge> hurd-devel.  That's the name.
<tschwinge> And turn off hurd-devel-readers.  And turn off help-hurd.
<tschwinge> And web-hurd.
<tschwinge> Keep l4-hurd.
<antrik> yeah, I haven't replied regarding bug-hurd vs. hurd-devel, as I'm
  not quite sure myself
<antrik> on one hand, a dedicated bug list can be convenient; on the other
  hand, this kind of splits always causes unnecessary overhead IMHO
<antrik> also, hurd-devel would obviously be *only* for development, so in
  this scenario we actually would *need* to keep something like help-hurd
  as well...
<antrik> I think I'd prefer the non-exclusive mode for debbugs... would
  have to check again how it works exactly though :-)
<tschwinge> antrik: I quite liked that exclusive mode for it automatically
  archives discussions grouped by threads for easy reference.
<tschwinge> antrik: And, the very most of bug-hurd emails are ``issues'' of
  some sort: bug report, patch (that needs to be tracked until it is
  applied, etc.
<antrik> tschwinge: exclusive mode would just mean that people would take
  most of these discussion elsewhere, and the bug list would only be used
  when someone explicitly wants something tracked as a bug...
<antrik> ideally, the bug tracker should only track things if explicitly
  CCed. ideally, it should be possible to forward mails that have been
  posted without CC, so they can be tracked retroactively...
<tschwinge> antrik: Why do you think that people would take discussions
<antrik> because most people don't consider it useful to put every random
  question or remark in an issue tracker
<antrik> IMHO it should be easy to turn messages into tickets/followups;
  but it should not happen automatically
<tschwinge> What if people wouldn't even notice that their issues is kept
  in a tracker, too?
<draculus> It might send a notification of some sort?
<antrik> I once posted to a list with RT in exclusive mode, and quite
  frankly, I considered it rather strange to get a ticket created for my
  message :-)
<antrik> tschwinge: that would only be useful if you always close tickets
  for irrelevant or finished discussions, mark duplicates etc. -- and this
  would have to happen silently, without noise for most other people
  following the list...
<antrik> tschwinge: are you sure you want to do that?... :-)
<tschwinge> Yes.
<tschwinge> Because that way we don't lose so much stuff as we currently
<antrik> well, the decision is up to you in that case...
<tschwinge> In fact, probably less than manually archiving the content, as
  I'm doing now, partially.
<tschwinge> antrik: Well, I'm just out for getting some comments.
<antrik> it would further reduce our bus factor though :-(
<tschwinge> That already is low enough that it doesn't matter anymore...
<tschwinge> antrik: So, to sum up, you'd use non-exclusive mode, but are
  not actively opposed to exclusive mode as long as it doesn't too much
  disturbe any procedures you're currently using?
<antrik> well, if it happens mostly in the background, I don't see why
  anyone should be opposed...
<antrik> just make sure people posting to the list don't get a "ticket
  created" message in response :-)
<antrik> it would make it harder though for people to explicitly track
  issue they are interested in I fear
<antrik> when using non-exclusive mode, and people explicitly CC things to
  the tracker, which sends a notice about a ticket being created, everyone
  sees that and can act accordingly. if everything happens in the
  background, few people would even think about it...
<antrik> so non-exclusive mode probably needs more effort to keep in order;
  but it would be more useful too...
<tschwinge> Well, but with exclusive mode, people don't lose anything
  compared to the current state, do they?
<antrik> tschwinge: probably not compared to the current state... but
  possibly compared to a well-used non-exclusive mode :-)

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