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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 23:32:04 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/23.0.0 (gnu/linux)

Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> writes:

> Bastien <address@hidden> writes:
>> Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> writes:
>>> The advantages of a living database over a static text file are too
>>> large to enumerate.
>> org-mode does pretty well in handling text files *dynamically* from
>> within Emacs.
> [snip]
> Sorry, but org-mode is no match for a proper bug system. 

Just quoting myself:

  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.

I think that using org-mode can help Emacs developers to make a more
effective use of the Emacs TODO file.  This sounds like a reasonable
(i.e. incremental, Emacs-based) proposal in the context of this long
discussion about productivity enhancement.

> Do you expect end users filling well-structured bug reports on a plain
> text file?

No.  I expect users will continue sending bug reports thru emails, then
people filtering these reports and feed an Org database.  If the reports
are well-formatted enought, this filtering could also be automated, just
as it will be with a normal bug tracker.

> How do you perform complex queries?

Org lets you perform any search/query you want.

> What to do with closed bugs? 

You put the item in a close state.  Usually by associating the entry
with the DONE to-do keyword.

> What happens when the file grows to several dozen megabytes? 

The TODO file distributed with Emacs could contains only the main
issues, while the full TODO could live elsewhere.

> How do you store attached files?  What to do with test cases that
> includes text in arbitrary encodings? 

As I said, having a better TODO file would not replace the mailing list
as a primary tool. It would just help with filtering the issues, knowing
about their status, who's in charge, etc.  

> How do you integrate e-mail traffic on emacs-devel and emacs-*-bugs
> into the text file without hammering the VCS with thousands of commits
> per month just for storing discussions and other activity about bugs?

Have a separate TODO file.

> Will org-mode notify a maintainer when a bug is assigned to him?

A cron job could go through the TODO.org file, gather issues that
someone is in charge of, and send the headlines to him.

But my point is not that org-mode can be used as a bug tracker.  It is
that you can use org-mode to improve the way the TODO file is currently
used.  Actually, using org to improve the TODO file as an internal tool
and using whatever bug tracker you want for users are not exclusive.  

But I won't insist too much on this, there is enough passion in this
thread :)


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