An Issue Tracking System is a software application that allows for a group or individual to manage issues or tickets on a subject/project. In relation to software development an issue tracking system allows developers to outline releases for their project with associated tickets for bug fixes and new features. In addition it can be used by users to report bugs that they come across when using the software.
Trac is an open source Issue tracking System that I use for my own projects. The main features that Trac supports are:
Trac has a robust ticket system that allows you or users to create tickets for bugs and/or new features with attachments, priority level, component assignment and milestone assignment.
defining milestones enables you to roadmap out releases or enhancements to your project. For example you can define milestones for the next version of the project or for bug fixes to existing versions.
- Integrated Wiki
allows for users to easily and intuitively find information on your project and allows for you to keep all the information on your project in one source
- Subversion Interface
trac also has an integrated Subversion browser interface allowing users to view source code if desired
built in timeline allows users or developers to easily see progress and activity, which is a good indication of weather a project is still active.
robust ticket querying allows you to easily create status reports on a project
The main drawback to Trac is that it does not support multiple project and instead you need a separate instance for every project. This is more of a time sync then in anything else. Some individuals see this as a major drawback as they have “sub-projects” but I find this can easily be managed defining your components well within your tickets allowing you to easily track status of “sub-projects”.
Installation of Trac does take manual configuration and setup on your server. The guide for the latest version can be found at http://trac.edgewall.org/wiki/TracInstall. Also a good way to install Trac if you aren’t very tech savy is to do a google search of installing trac on …. where …. is your hosting company, if you are fortunate you may find that others have already done it and shared their scripts.
Although Trac is one of many Issue Tracking Softwares available ( comparison list ), it is one of the most professional and established open source ones available. Regardless if you are working on a project that is available to users you need some way to manage bugs, and feature requests. Utilizing an Issue tracking System can reduce time managing a project so you can spend your time developing.