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Earlier this year there have been discussions about the creation of an "Open Bugs" database for the Wolfram Language / Mathematica. For example, this was discussed one or more times during one of Stephen Wolfram's live-streaming sessions on Twitch.

My questions:

  1. Does this community have a preference for a particular bugs tracking software? If so, which one(s).
  2. What features should be considered important for this bugs tracking system? And what features are less relevant or unnecessary?
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    I've found JetBrain's YouTrack to be very nice when checking on the status of bugs and updates in IntelliJ and CLion. I think very important would be ease of search (to see if things have been resolved), ease of finding workarounds (I think it'd be good to have them included on the ticket), and as a bonus feature it'd be nice to allow the community to vote and prioritize the features and bugs they see as most important.
    – b3m2a1
    Jul 12 '19 at 22:19
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    Perhaps this might be a little wonkish but I'd be interested in classifying why a bug arose - not as an exercise in blame but in terms of possible implications for language design and progress i.e. can they be predicted? Also, related to this would be codifying insights into how various bugs were resolved - difficulty/regression tests/ other parts of the language impacted etc ... Jul 13 '19 at 0:46
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    ... I would also like to see a looser interpretation of what constitutes a bug. For example, I would like included in the tracker, the addition and unification of Entities that one might have assumed already exist from the documentation. Also I would like included in the tracker, the addition of a documented example for every claimed usage case. Finally, I would like to see *.2 releases devoted (reserved?) for a major push in this area (say, "The Take II Release"). Jul 13 '19 at 0:47
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    I have used Jira on several projects. It is very easy to customize and tailor to specific needs. It supports all of the features @b3m2a1mentioned as important. Atlassian uses Jira to track issues for Jira (eat your own dogfood). Jul 13 '19 at 1:28
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I have written about "Should Wolfram Mathematica consider a public bug tracker?" where I already laid out some of the points.

Which issue tracking software?

There are some really nice tools out there like YouTrack, FogBugz or Jira. The biggest issue with them is that they are charging by numbers of users which might become a problem when this is going to be a tracker open to many users. For instance, using Jira Server self-hosted with 10k+ users costs almost $50k.

Therefore, we shouldn't forget that while Atlassian using Jira doesn't cost them a dime, for a company like WRI this endeavour will be quite expensive. However, we must emphasize that tools like YouTrack are battle-tested for many years with an incredible amount of issues and users. Here is my top 3 list of commercial issue trackers:

There are two more things to mention: I have the impression that the pricing for the products is made for teams and not for having a public issue tracker with external users. I'm almost sure that, e.g. JetBrains gives a different quote with such things, but one has to ask. Secondly, most of these tools include many more things and not only a bug tracker. Usually, they try to sit in the centre of the entire development process.

On the open-source side of issue tracking, we don't have so many choices. The ones that come to mind are

I have no experience with them and, frankly, they look a bit weird when you are used to GitHub or YouTrack.

My personal choice would be JetBrains YouTrack since I have used it for a long time and I'm convinced it is the right tool for the job.

What features do I consider important?

  • Writing markdown in issues and comments
  • Including images and attaching notebooks
  • Commenting on issues
  • Linking related issues and marking duplicates
  • Voting on issues!
  • Meta information: Status of the bug, developer, version affected, estimate on a fix
  • Good search capabilities

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