R. David Murray wrote:
Well, in my recent experience there are two things the assignee gets used for. The first is someone claiming an issue, saying, in effect, I'm going to work this issue until it is closed. The other is to do exactly what Sean did, assign it to the next person whose decision or input is needed in order to move the issue forward. However, as you say, I think the latter is done generally when the issue *can't* move forward without that person's input (or at least not without giving them a significant opportunity to provide input). Usually this is done by the person who previously had the issue assigned to them.
My perception is that making someone nosy on an issue is preferred to assigning it to them (allowing them to assign it to themselves if they think that is appropriate), unless the issue is of higher priority or someone actively working on the issue really needs the other person's input in order to move forward. But these are my own rules of thumb, and a discussion of how best to use this field may be appropriate.
That sounds like a fair description of the way I use it as well. The most common case where I will assign a bug directly to someone is if I want a yea or nay from the release manager in deciding whether or not something is acceptable for inclusion in a beta or rc release.