[plt-dev] Re: launchpad instead of gnats?

From: Sam TH (samth at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Dec 10 18:00:11 EST 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
> On Dec 10, Sam TH wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
>> > On Dec 10, Sam TH wrote:
>> >> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 5:08 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
>> >> > On Dec 10, Sam TH wrote:
>> >> >> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 4:59 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
>> >> >> > On Dec 10, Eli Barzilay wrote:
>> >> >> >> Questions to consider:
>> >> >> >> [...]
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> > And more:
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> > * Is it possible to submit a bug in other ways than the web
>> >> >> >  interface.  (An email interface will do.)
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Yes.  See here:
>> >> >> https://help.launchpad.net/Bugs/EmailInterface
>> >> >
>> >> > I don't have time to read all of these in detail now, but this:
>> >> >
>> >> >  Launchpad only accepts email that is GPG signed.
>> >> >
>> >> > doesn't look good.
>> >>
>> >> Why not?  It's not that hard to have a key that DrScheme uses to
>> >> sign generated bug reports.  Did you expect them to allow arbitrary
>> >> people to email them without any authentication?
>> >>
>> >> They also have a (beta) web interface described here:
>> >> https://help.launchpad.net/API
>> >
>> > * Is it common to distribute an application with a "private" key?
>> I don't know.  Ubuntu has an automated bug reporter called `apport'
>> that you could look at.
> You remember me saying that someone will need to do some work?  That's
> part of it.  (And I thought that you were volunteering to do that.)

Of course it will be some work, although hopefully not all done by one
person.  And I didn't volunteer any more than anyone else did.

>> However, the larger question is, do we want to have a modern bug
>> tracker that will make it easier for people to contribute to the
>> project and for developers to manage their bugs, or do we want to
>> have core members of the group continue to spend their time on web
>> application administration in Perl?
> Just to put things in perspective, the current system requires very
> little administration work, and switching to launchpad sounds like a
> sizeable effort.  If I were you (aka the person who volunteers to do
> all of this), then I'd be extremely careful in estimating the kind of
> work involved.
>> If it's the former, we should consider our options, and decide among
>> them, rather than just listing potential problems.
> As the person who will do all of this work, listing potential problems
> is something that you should appreciate -- since these are all things
> that you'll need to deal with.
> (For example, if launchpad doesn't do nag emails, and if "management"
> considers them important enough as it has in the past, then you will
> need to write the code that somehow extracts that information and
> produces these emails.  Pointing at the lack of that functionality
> should therefore be helpful in your decision on entering such a
> commitment; something that is much better to do now rather than when
> it's too late.)

Obviously pointing out pros and cons is important, but we have to
decide on the larger issues first.  Are we happy with Gnats as bug
tracking software?  Do we want to maintain the bug tracking system
ourselves?  What features are necessary for bug tracking software?

Personally, I'm not happy with Gnats, and I don't think we should
spend the energy of core members of the group maintaining bug tracking
software.  I think Robby agrees with this position as well, but if it
isn't widely shared, obviously we shouldn't change.  If we decide we
do want to change, we should consider our options, and make the right
decision at that point.   That might or might not be Launchpad, but
that's the right point to think about the specific details.
sam th
samth at ccs.neu.edu

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