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Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker

From: Bill Wohler
Subject: Re: Why Emacs needs a modern bug tracker
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 23:00:48 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Yavor Doganov <address@hidden> writes:

> I guess that the most reasonable course of action is:  Those that
> promote the idea of a bug tracking system make a research of all
> available solutions (debbugs, Trac with the email support plugin,
> GNATS, the GCC Bugzilla, etc.) and prepare a comparison list with
> advantages/disatvantages, so that Emacs developers can discuss based
> on it and eventually decide which BTS is the most appropriate one.


Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> If we are to use a bug tracker, it must allow people to do everything
> thru email if they wish to, and must make that mode convenient.

<Messages regarding debbugs omitted>

> It sounds like a plausible candidate.  Whether it is really ok in practice
> depends on the details of what using it is like.

I think you'd really like debbugs (Debian BTS), Richard, for the same
reasons I love it (as a user). It's completely driven via email and
has few knobs and whistles.

Documentation about debbugs and a simple reporting form can be found


As a user, I submit bugs from Emacs using `M-x debian-bug' (written by
Peter Galbraith, a Debian maintainer and a Emacs committer as well).
Like report-emacs-bug, it fills in the necessary pseudo-headers and
environment information. Unlike report-emacs-bug, it also provides
completion for the package or pseudo-package (which would also be
useful within Emacs) and menu items to manipulate the pseudo-headers
(Severity, Tags, etc.) and to view other bugs for the same package.
Instead of submitting a new bug, I might see that a bug has already
been posted and can add new information to it, simply by replying to
the message.

At that point the dialog is completely performed in email, and the
best part, I get email when the bug is closed so I'll know when to
look for the fix.

The metadata for the bug are controlled by the developer with
pseudo-headers in an email. Peter, are there other Emacs tools to
manipulate control messages?

> That sounds ok, so far.  Can you show me what a couple of these
> messages look like?

A list of all bugs in the Emacs package:


A bug report that goes from start to finish and shows pseudo-headers.


Martin Geisler <address@hidden> writes:

> People how know the bug tracker better can probably also comment on
> whether or not it can be used outside Debian at all, or if it is too
> heavily tied to the Debian infrastructure to be useful elsewhere.

It seems so since it appears as a package (the tarball is available
from the following link):


Peter, can you speak to that?

p.s. This thread can be referenced via


Bill Wohler <address@hidden>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/  GnuPG ID:610BD9AD

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