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Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker

From: Bastien
Subject: Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2008 21:39:11 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/23.0.0 (gnu/linux)

Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:

>> The good thing about bug-tracker web forms from a developer point of
>> view isn't really that they're web, it's that they're *forms*. You can
>> channel your users into identifying the platform they're running on,
>> the preceived bug severity, and half a dozen other search keys.
> If they're pure web, I doubt they'll be accepted by the hackers here,
> who're accustomed to Emacs-quality interfaces.  Whatever we decide on
> must be usable from a normal Emacs buffer.

I'm surprised nobody mentionned org.el in this discussion yet.

>From Org's manual:

  Org-mode is a mode for keeping notes, maintaining TODO lists, and
  doing project planning with a fast and effective plain-text system.

Instead of switching to a full-blown bug tracking system, I think we
could first try to improve the way information is currently stored in
emacs/etc/TODO or emacs/etc/PROBLEMS or related files[1].

For now, these two files use outline-mode.  Since org-mode is really
"outline-mode made (more) useful", the upgrade is straightforward.

Here's how Org would help:

1. Org can be used as a *database*, since each item can be associated
   with pairs of property-value.  Org provides very useful features to
   _visualize_ properties (info "(org)Column View") and to _search_ for
   items with specific properties (info "(org)Property searches").

2. Org can easily cooperate with email based development.  Linking to an
   email is just one keystroke away, should this link show the email via
   rmail, Gnus, or a webpage on Gmane.  `report-emacs-bug' is structured
   enough to be easily converted into an Org entry.

3. org-mode is an Emacs mode, hence I suspect many Emacs developpers
   around there will love it (more than any bug tracking system...)

4. You can export Org files to HTML, letting everybody read them through
   a web browser.

5. Org files are plain text files, hence they are fully searchable.

My point here is that using Org would gradually improve the way people
work together without breaking anything in the current system.


[1]  Of course, having better TODO and PROBLEMS files does not help when
     it comes to let users send bug reports.  But making things easier
     for the developers and making things easiers for the users are two
     distincts issues, which may be addressed with distinct tools.


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