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Re: The bug tracker...again

From: Karl Fogel
Subject: Re: The bug tracker...again
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 16:05:10 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Deniz Dogan <address@hidden> writes:
>On 2011-08-20 01:12, Richard Stallman wrote:
>Has anything changed since the last (major) discussion about the bug
>tracker that Emacs uses?
>For reference:

I don't know, but this statement by Richard...

  "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." [1]

...might be inaccurate or incomplete.

I'm not sure if Richard meant email per se, or merely that bug-reporting
must be possible from within Emacs, i.e., without switching to a
separate web-browsing program.

If that's the *real* requirement, then any bug tracker with a decent
network API would probably work, because we could teach Emacs to speak
that API for reporting new bugs.  Then M-x report-emacs-bug could do two

  a) It could mention a URL where the user could report the bug using
     some separate web browser program, if she wants to, *or*

  b) If the user wants to stay in Emacs, then Emacs could encourage a
     high-quality bug report by offering a form-like interface (as Eric
     mentions is important [2]), instead of a lightly-structured email.

Note that all of the above is about *initially reporting* the bug.

There's also the question of interacting with *existing* bug reports via
email, after they're filed.  This is something a number of modern bug
trackers support.  But the UI for interacting with an existing bug
report by email is a very different question from the UI for initially
filing the report.  Using an email stream to receive news of, and react
to, updates to existing bug reports is not so hard.  Whereas prompting
our users to enter *new* bug reports via email is kind of silly.

Anyway, there's no reason the one has to infect the other.

So I don't know exactly what Richard was asserting, but my guess is if
Emacs offered a form for filing new reports -- and form-based *or*
email-based interaction with existing reports -- that'd meet his needs.
(If he really meant everything must be by email, I'd be curious what the
justification is, and would suspect that he has not thought through his
use case carefully.)

I've had good experiences with Redmine as a bug tracker, by the way.  I
think it offers all the features described above.  I do not have time to
help with any migration, however.


[1] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2008-01/msg00364.html
[2] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2008-01/msg00269.html

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