Bringing Things Together

Bug Watches

Posted by Greg on June 15, 2008

As a part-time bug triager, I’m always curious of the new tools out there that enable people to work better and more efficiently.  One such new project, which I think has some real potential, is Stephan Hermann‘s Leonov project.

Another thing which I just read in my news reader was the fact that Luca Nussbaum added a functionality to Debian’s package overview pages which lets maintainers see what version of the package is in Ubuntu and how many bugs are reported against it in Launchpad.  This seems like a great idea and could even be expanded upon for better results.

My thought process:

A. Launchpad’s ability to watch other bug trackers for the same bug greatly improves the ability of developers to find and fix bugs.

A.1. People really like that ability.

B. Launchpad is only able to do that in a one-way direction (it can’t tell the Debian BTS that it’s bug has been marked “Fix Committed”)

B.1. Putting all of the work on the dev’s/triagers to then go back upstream and report it for every bug is a laudable goal, but as we all know, time is precious for everyone.

C. The ability to get bug data from LP and use it for enabling productivity is there, albeit a little “hacky” (screen scrapping is never fun).

D. Wouldn’t it be cool if other Bug Trackers could watch LP in the same way it watches them?

It seems to me, from both Lucas’ and Stephan’s efforts that doing D is possible right now.  Yes, it would be a ton more easy if Lucas’ and Stephan’s concerns were addressed (text/XML export etc).

I know the Launchpad developers are working right now to implement support for reporting back to other bug trackers certain information but I’m not sure of its progress.

Some Blueprints which might be related but I can not read (they are private): Bugs Remote API and Remote Launchpad Python Library (if you know of any other blueprints or bugs with more information, post them in the comments, please).

Does anyone know of any other bug trackers which are actively working on or at least discussing the ability to grab data from LP (or other BTS)  about certain bugs?

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3 Responses to “Bug Watches”

  1. Graham said

    I know the Launchpad developers are working right now to implement support for reporting back to other bug trackers certain information but I’m not sure of its progress.

    Some Blueprints which might be related but I can not read (they are private): Bugs Remote API and Remote Launchpad Python Library (if you know of any other blueprints or bugs with more information, post them in the comments, please).

    Does anyone know of any other bug trackers which are actively working on or at least discussing the ability to grab data from LP (or other BTS) about certain bugs?

    I’m one of the developers working on this feature in Launchpad, so hopefully I can be helpful here.

    We’re working on support for two-way communication between Launchpad and other bugtrackers. We’ve already done a lot of work on the implementation of this for Trac (for example bug 158705 and others) and I’m working in this cycle on doing the same for Bugzilla.

    Both of these implementations would require a Trac or Bugzilla plugin that would add the APIs that Launchpad would use (well, for Bugzilla some of the work is covered by the existing 3.x XML-RPC APIs). AFAIK the plugins aren’t ready for release yet but hopefully they will be soon.

    The idea behind this work is that Launchpad can push things to remote trackers as well as pulling them. We want to be able to link bugs on the remote bugtrackers to the Launchpad bugs, so the bug watching goes both ways.

    There’s no reason my other bugtrackers couldn’t pull from Launchpad in the same way that Launchpad pulls from them, though as you say it’d be pretty hacky right now. However, as I’ve mentioned to Stephan, the Launchpad team is currently working on a set of comprehensive JSON-RPC APIs that will allow developers to do anything that can be done in the web interface programmatically, so once those are available this kind of functionality would be really simple to implement.

    Hope this helps :).

  2. James Westby said

    Hi Greg,

    The Debian BTS can mark bugs as forwarded to other bug trackers
    using the “forwarded” command, and then there is an external
    tool that runs against this and tracks the status in the remote
    bug tracker. It was recently updated to support launchpad, and
    so you can get this two-way behaviour going.

    However, I believe that debbugs only supports a single forwarded
    location, and so you can’t have the useful thing in launchpad
    of watching upstream, Debian, Fedora, Foresight, etc. all at the
    same time.

    I agree that this is one really good thing about launchpad, and
    so it would be great to see it in other places as well.

    Thanks,

    James

  3. Greg said

    @James:
    I guess I missed the forward command in the Debian BTS (I, unfortunately, haven’t been spending enough time in that tracker). Thanks for the heads-up.

    @Graham:
    That’s great to hear! I can’t wait for the new improvements.

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