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Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2008 09:57:43 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.15+20070412 (2007-04-11)

Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden>:
> > There's emacs-bug to be hacked.  And one of our listmembers has
> > already noted that the Debian tracker can be driven by email.
> What is "emacs-bug"?  I think I'm missing some context somewhere.

Perhaps I have the name wrong, but I believe there is an Emacs mode
specifically for generating bug reports to be mailed in.  I think
I used it once.
> The best (proprietary) bug tracker I ever used had fields only for things
> like person creating the entry, status (open/fixed/rejected), customer,
> severity, urgency.  Then it had free text areas for describing the bug.

That's about where the Wesnoth and Ubuntu trackers are.  The Wesnoth one 
does have a "platform" field for specifying your OS, but that's
reasonable given that we do both Mac and Windows ports.

> Fair response.  ;-)  But the base system has to be one that allows
> appropriate access.

This is *not difficult*.  There's not even any need to postulate other than 
HTTP access to do it, because we have w3m.

If all else fails, we write a mode that uses w3m to presents a bug-entry or
query form and then does a transaction with the bug-tracker CGI.  I'll
bet either you or I could throw that together in a few hours' work.

> I wasn't very clear, there.  Of course users need web forms, and they
> will manipulate the database directly.  But why can't we have VCS
> updating, too?  This will allow RMS and others to work offline, a very
> desirable thing.

A VCS-based solution would be more complicated than necessary. Easier
just to write a w3m-based client that pulls a copy of the entire bug 
database out of the tracker.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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