inessential by Brent Simmons

Bug Tracking Thoughts

Here’s what I’m thinking about today: a Web-based bug tracking system that’s easy to use and easy to set up. The systems I’ve seen are too complicated. I want something simple that has just what’s needed to do the job and no more.

It may be that such a thing exists and I just don’t know about it, of course.

The ideal system (for me) is implemented with PHP and MySQL, since that’s what I have access to. It’s template-based. It’s membership architecture is open so that it can be extended to be used with an existing membership system on an existing site.

Most importantly its interface should be attractive and easy. The idea is that people who use my software should want to report bugs and make feature requests via the system. I figure most people just want to report bugs pretty much the same way they do in email—just type something and click a button to send it. A big intimidating form is not cool.

As an admin I have to want to use it. I don’t want to spend a bunch of time classifying bugs; I want it to maintain itself. For me it should be much like a discussion group: I just want to reply to bug reports.

However, there should be some minimum attributes. Which product, for instance, is important. Type of bug is important. I might like to be able to set priorities. (Maybe. That might be too much.)

It would have to be searchable, of course. And a desktop client (which communicates via XML-RPC, naturally) would be nice.