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Re: [bug-gettext] bug tracker: savannah vs. debbugs

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: [bug-gettext] bug tracker: savannah vs. debbugs
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:40:42 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.8.5 (Linux/3.8.0-44-generic; KDE/4.8.5; x86_64; ; )

Hi Daiki,

> On a related note, I thought it might
> make sense if we eventually move over to debbugs.gnu.org, as automake
> and libtool do.  Though I haven't used it much, it apparently has a
> concept of "user tags" which could be used as categories.

My preference goes the other way around: I do prefer the Savannah tracker
over debbugs.


1) Generally speaking, web-based tools with a "comment"/discussion facility
are more efficient to use than email-based tools when the discussion remains
self-contained (not connected to other issues).
Only when issues are not well understood, or when an issue is composed of
several sub-issues, then email is better. Because only then there is a need
for mails to be forwarded to different mailing lists or for threads to be

2) More in detail: When working with mail, a comment on lists.gnu.org and
in my mailbox are two different things, but they represent the same entity.
Therefore I need to spend time looking up the lists.gnu.org URL of a particular
comment, as a reference. With debbugs the conversion is a bit simpler:
address@hidden <--> https://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=xxxxx
but it's still a conversion that's needed in many cases anyway.

Sometimes also I don't have the mail in my mailbox, so I have to copy&paste
from the lists.gnu.org page. All this wastes time.

Also, with debbugs you have to spend time setting up the "To" and "CC" list.
(Be careful not to omit the debbugs CC.)

When working with mail, I have to move every mail to archive manually. So,
send a mail to change a status AND manage my mailbox accordingly. With a
web-based interface, I only have to change the status.

Whereas in a web-based tracker, an issue is represented by one URL - there's
no need to convert it to/from an email address, and in most cases it's just
a hyperlink that I can click on.

3) The Savannah tracker has extensive per-project customizations. I fear
that with debbugs less per-project customizations are available.

4) Submitting a bug through a web-based tool is easier for most people than
through debbugs. IMO the barrier to giving feedback should be low.

5) debbugs has not many advocates: you can see in
that aside from Jim, Paul, and Ludovic, it's mostly only Emacs, Automake,
and Libtool that use it.

There are not many advantages of debbugs:

1) It has a full-text search engine.


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