Central Issue Tracking

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Central Issue Tracking

ddauer
Hello,

while trying to do some release planning in Karlsruhe, we found that we're using way to many separate issue trackers and that these trackers are just not as easy to work with compared to a bug tracking system.

We propose to use MantisBT, which I can set up on our servers in Karlsruhe. Please look at the features and demo on mantisbt.org and tell us if you have any concerns until Friday. Github has a Mantis "service hook", so no functionality compared to the current issue tracking will be lost.

Best,

David
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
On 01/19/2011 08:33 AM, ddauer [via Power TAC Developers] wrote:

> Hello,
>
> while trying to do some release planning in Karlsruhe, we found that
> we're using way to many separate issue trackers and that these trackers
> are just not as easy to work with compared to a bug tracking system.
>
> We propose to use MantisBT, which I can set up on our servers in
> Karlsruhe. Please look at the features and demo on mantisbt.org
> <http://mantisbt.org> and tell us if you have any concerns until Friday.
> Github has a Mantis "service hook", so no functionality compared to the
> current issue tracking will be lost.

I have used Mantis, trac, Jira, Bugzilla, github, and a number of older
bug-tracking systems. I'm not a fan of Mantis, but it is simpler and
easier to use than Jira or Bugzilla. Of the systems I'm familiar with, I
strongly prefer trac to Mantis. However, you have not made a compelling
case for a switch that could be fairly disruptive. The reason there are
so many issue trackers running at github is that we have not bothered to
disable all but one of them. However, I really don't see a problem,
since I cannot find any issues in any of them other than
powertac/powertac-server. This is a problem that's solvable with a
little configuration, documentation, and discipline; it does not need a
new tool.

You say that we would not lose any functionality with a switch to
MantisBT, but I can see several areas in which we WOULD lose important
functionality. The obvious ones are wiki integration and the automatic
linking of commits to issues, with the ability to close issues with
commit messages. Perhaps the most important one is integrated
authentication. Are you proposing to install an instance of MantisBT at
KIT using github for authentication? It sounds to me like you would be
making my job harder when new people want to join the project.

Other features we would lose:
- tagging and voting
- simple, unrestricted prioritization

This is the second time we've spent time on this discussion. To me, it's
a pointless distraction at a time when we should be focused on getting
the server running.

Cheers -

John
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

Carsten Block
Administrator
Hi John and everybody,

we started discussing issue tracking again only while discussing who we can efficiently do release planning and issue assignment / tracking across all the different plugins.

We basically want to have bi-weekly releases (or more abstract a release schedule with fixed time boxing and flexible task assignment) and we are looking for a good way to automatically produce a kind of "management dashboard" overview page that resembles something like http://trac.edgewall.org/roadmap or even http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/tour/agile-development.jsp

Any ideas on how to achieve that best without adding new tools or migrating again to other tools would be greatly appreciated!

Carsten






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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
On 01/19/2011 10:32 AM, Carsten Block [via Power TAC Developers] wrote:

> Hi John and everybody,
>
> we started discussing issue tracking again only while discussing who we
> can efficiently do release planning and issue assignment / tracking
> across all the different plugins.
>
> We basically want to have bi-weekly releases (or more abstract a release
> schedule with fixed time boxing and flexible task assignment) and we are
> looking for a good way to automatically produce a kind of "management
> dashboard" overview page that resembles something like
> http://trac.edgewall.org/roadmap or even
> http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/tour/agile-development.jsp
>
> Any ideas on how to achieve that best without adding new tools or
> migrating again to other tools would be greatly appreciated!

Yes, the roadmap is one of the features of trac that I really like, and
the github issue tracker is weak. You could imagine using tags to label
milestones, but I cannot see any way to sort or select by tag. On the
other hand, the unified authentication and the linking of commits to
issues are important features.

So the next question is whether there are better issue tracking systems
that are fully integrated with github. One possibility is Assembla
(www.assembla.com). Others are lighthouse and possibly fogbugz, but I
cannot figure out whether their free plans are adequate. I would be
concerned about the long-term viability of these options.

It might not be too hard to do this within the capabilities of github,
using tags, gist, or the wiki. Supposedly you can filter issues by tag,
but I cannot figure out how to do it. If we can figure that out, we
could start by creating a tag for each milestone, and couple that with a
wiki page for each milestone where we can discuss features.

No easy answers here.

John
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Carsten Block
Carsten Block wrote
Hi John and everybody,

we started discussing issue tracking again only while discussing who we can efficiently do release planning and issue assignment / tracking across all the different plugins.

We basically want to have bi-weekly releases (or more abstract a release schedule with fixed time boxing and flexible task assignment) and we are looking for a good way to automatically produce a kind of "management dashboard" overview page that resembles something like http://trac.edgewall.org/roadmap or even http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/tour/agile-development.jsp

Any ideas on how to achieve that best without adding new tools or migrating again to other tools would be greatly appreciated!
Has anyone looked at the list of "service hooks" at github (on the admin page)? There are integrations with a number of commercial tools, and there are in fact integrations with trac and MantisBT. One interesting option is Pivotal Tracker, but it does not really seem to be a bug-tracker. However, it might be worth looking at, because it's focused on project organization and release management (github tickets for defects, Pivotal for stories and release management).

If we adopt one of these, we still have to worry about hosting and authentication. If we are going to host something, I would prefer to see it at Rotterdam, because we have professional staff there to maintain and manage it.

John
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Carsten Block
Here's another idea, used by some other github projects:

Create labels for each release and apply them to tickets. I applied a "Version 1.0" label to ticket #11 to demo this. You can filter the issue list by label simply by clicking on a label, and labels can be added and removed from tickets freely.
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

Carsten Block
Administrator
Whatever works best.  My main point is that I really want to establish a (at best) bi-weekly release cycle for the server (and at best also for the clients). For each of the releases I would like to see a dedicated list of tasks that should be accomplished and I want to check back afterwards what we managed to accomplish and what had to be postponed. In the bi-weekly meetings we can than check the current task list, prioritize it and schedule new tasks for the next two weeks. At the moment we lack these clear development goals and milestones and that costs us productivity.



Am 19.01.2011 um 23:10 schrieb grampajohn [via Power TAC Developers]:

Here's another idea, used by some other github projects:

Create labels for each release and apply them to tickets. I applied a "Version 1.0" label to ticket #11 to demo this. You can filter the issue list by label simply by clicking on a label, and labels can be added and removed from tickets freely.


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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
On 01/21/11 10:25, Carsten Block [via Power TAC Developers] wrote:
> Whatever works best.  My main point is that I really want to establish a
> (at best) bi-weekly release cycle for the server (and at best also for
> the clients). For each of the releases I would like to see a dedicated
> list of tasks that should be accomplished and I want to check back
> afterwards what we managed to accomplish and what had to be postponed.
> In the bi-weekly meetings we can than check the current task list,
> prioritize it and schedule new tasks for the next two weeks. At the
> moment we lack these clear development goals and milestones and that
> costs us productivity.

OK, this is good. Releases need to be coordinated across sites, and
defined cooperatively among the project leadership. I've started a
Development Roadmap page at
https://github.com/powertac/powertac-server/wiki/Development-Roadmap to
show how it might be done. It would be nicer to have automatic issue
links as in trac, but it's not that hard to create links to issues.

We should also tag issues with release IDs and assignees, and move the
issues for the current release to the top of the issue list.

This is a start. Let's work with it and keep improving it.

John

>
>
>
> Am 19.01.2011 um 23:10 schrieb grampajohn [via Power TAC Developers]:
>
>> Here's another idea, used by some other github projects:
>>
>> Create labels for each release and apply them to tickets. I applied a
>> "Version 1.0" label to ticket #11 to demo this. You can filter the
>> issue list by label simply by clicking on a label, and labels can be
>> added and removed from tickets freely.
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

Carsten Block
Administrator
> This is a start. Let's work with it and keep improving it.
Thanks John. I think it's a good start and we should try it out. I just started adding content to the Roadmap.

Also I suggest that every plugin developer creates tickets that describe work to accomplish / bugs to fix in his own plugin and then adds these to the Roadmap according to his own estimations. Like this everyone is responsible for his own work plan (pull principle) and we still see an orchestrated picture on who is currently working on what.

Thanks,
Carsten
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

grampajohn
Administrator
On 01/22/2011 11:09 AM, Carsten Block [via Power TAC Developers] wrote:
>  > This is a start. Let's work with it and keep improving it.
> Thanks John. I think it's a good start and we should try it out. I just
> started adding content to the Roadmap.
>
> Also I suggest that every plugin developer creates tickets that describe
> work to accomplish / bugs to fix in his own plugin and then adds these
> to the Roadmap according to his own estimations. Like this everyone is
> responsible for his own work plan (pull principle) and we still see an
> orchestrated picture on who is currently working on what.

Do you mean that the tickets are in the individual plugins? I already
turned off the issue feature in all the plugins.

Or do you mean that each developer creates tickets to represent their
work in the server space so we see all the work in one place? That's
what I asked the group at Minnesota to do in our meeting yesterday.

I can see advantages to each approach, but for now I think coordination
is important and it will be helpful to see all the tickets in one place.
Also, if we run multiple ticket systems, we will not be able to
distinguish them by number. I broke down the roadmap page into sections
under each milestone, but I did not include a "plugins" section. It
would be easy to add that. My hope is that most of the work will move
from server to plugins very soon.

Thanks, Carsten.

John
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Re: Central Issue Tracking

Carsten Block
Administrator

> Or do you mean that each developer creates tickets to represent their
> work in the server space so we see all the work in one place? That's
> what I asked the group at Minnesota to do in our meeting yesterday.
Exactly.

> I can see advantages to each approach, but for now I think coordination
> is important and it will be helpful to see all the tickets in one place.
Definitely.
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