Issue Tracker

Accessing Issue Tracker

All development activities a project can be tracked in an Issue tracking database. If this project uses Issue Tracker, a link for this tool is displayed in the left navigation pane. Issue Tracker provides the following:

  1. Ability to chart the progress of individuals and the overall project.
  2. Tracking and maintainance of project history.
  3. Generation and reporting of to-do items (issues) for all project members.

The Issue Tracker page provides the following options:

Query database of issues
Search project issues by number, keywords, assignee, or other criteria.
Enter an issue
Write and commit an issue report to the database.
My issues
View a list of project issues assigned to you.
My preferences
Configure your Issue Tracker user settings.
Reports
Generate and view status reports about issues.

About Issue Tracker

The Issue Tracker used on this site is a variant of BugZilla. The Issue Tracker is a more generalized tool for tracking different kinds of activities. Issue Tracker classifies issues into several types:

Each project that uses Issue Tracker has its own issues database. For open source projects, all registered users may query, view, and report issues. Proprietary projects limit access to project members.

Project members have additional permissions within the Issue Tracker to modify and reassign issues, as well as generate reports. Project members are also notified automatically by email whenever issues are assigned to them or there is activity on issues affecting their work.

Use Issue Tracker to entering the tasks you plan to work on. By maintaining your tasks in a database, you can avoid duplicating effort and offer feedback and help to other project members.

Accessing comments within an issue

In Issue tracker, individual comments have URL anchors. This enables you to point to important moments in a discussion about an issue. For example, when you create an email message or enter an issue comment, you can add a link to a comment in the same or another issue.

To use a comment-specific URL in an issue:

  1. Click the Projects tab and select a project that uses Issue Tracker.
  2. Search for an issue that contains several comments (enough so that the entire comment history does not display in the browser window).
  3. Hover the mouse over one of the comments.
    The identity of the comment is displayed in tool tip-like fashion. The tool-tip will display a string, for example, "desc1" or "desc35." Note that not every browser supports this behavior.
  4. Record the issue number and the tool-tip number, and enter both in an issue comment. For example:
    This is a link to a comment in an issue, issue 123, desc23.
  5. Click Submit.
    When you view the issue again, the link will be live. This is true even if it points to a comment in another issue.

To use a comment-specific URL in an email message:

  1. Click the Projects tab and select a project that uses Issue Tracker.
  2. Search for an issue that contains several comments (enough so that the entire comment history does not display in the browser window).
  3. Hover the mouse over one of the comments.
    The identity of the comment is displayed in tool tip-like fashion. The tool-tip will display a string, for example, "desc1" or "desc35." Note that not every browser supports this behavior.
  4. Copy the issue URL from the browser, paste it in the message, and append the following:
    #descN
    Where N is the number displayed in the tool tip URL. For example, a link to the tenth comment in an issue could resemble the following:
    http://project.domain/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=X#desc10

Setting Issue Tracker preferences

When you join a project that uses Issue Tracker, you automatically get an Issue Tracker account to access that project's issues. You can customize this account by editing your user preferences.

To edit your preferences click the My Preferences link on the Issue Tracking page. You have several options to change your user settings:

Email settings
Controls automatic email notification. There are two fields:
  • The Notify me of changes to field allows you define whether you receive email notifications to all issues with which you have some association or only a subset of those issues. The following options are available:
    • All qualifying issues: If you select this option, Issue Tracker sends you email notifications of all changes made to all issues you submitted, currently own, have voted on, or are listed in the CC list.
    • All qualifying issues except those which I change: If you select this option, Issue Tracker does not send you email notifications when you change an issue, but sends email notifications when any other user changes an issue you submitted, currently own, have voted on, or are listed in the CC list.
    • Only those issues which I am listed on the CC line: If you select this option, Issue Tracker sends you email notifications of only changes made to issues for which you are included in the CC list. You do not receive email notifications for issues assigned to you unless you are also in the CC list.
    • No email notifications: If you select this option, Issue Tracker will not send you any email notifications of changes made to issues regardless of your association.
  • The Users to watch field allows you to receive email notifications of changes made to issues associated with other users. You can use this feature to help you stay informed of the issue activities of a particular use of group of users or to cover for another project member who is temporarily unable to cover his or her own issues. This feature can be a useful mentoring tool if used be a more senior member of a project to stay abreast of the issues assigned to more junior project members.
 
Query link settings
Include/exclude "My issues" or your named, custom queries in every Issue Tracker page footer.
Permissions
Displays your issue tracking permissions but cannot be changed because permissions are assigned by the Project Owner. (See next section.)

About issue tracking permissions

Project members are granted Issue Tracker permissions beyond the default database query capabilities. To view permissions, click the My preferences link on the Issue tracking page, or the My preferences link on the Issues page.

Issue tracking permissions depend upon project role:

You can request additional permissions from the project owner. You may need to request a new project role.

Permissions affect the lifecycle and resolution of issues. For example, if you have the "Project Issue Tracking - Change" permission, then you can change the status of any UNCONFIRMED issue to NEW. A change in issue status sends an alert to the owner and all other project members associated with the issue. To understand more about issue status, read lifecycle of issues.

More resources about issues and issue tracking

** These links listed are associated with BugZilla, but offer useful bug-writing guidelines that are applicable to the Issue Tracker tool. Be aware that there are differences between the two tools. Parts of BugZilla documentation may not apply or may not address certain features in the Issue Tracker, and vice versa. Because the Issue Tracker is an open source derivative of BugZilla (version 2.11), it is still a work in progress. For those who are interested in more information about this, visit Mozilla.org.

If you are interested in finding out about other bug tracking systems being developed, see the scarab open source project.