[Mailman-Users] Using MailMan for issue/bug dialogue tracking

Simon Hoffe simonh at uec.co.za
Thu Mar 29 11:51:55 CEST 2007

Hi All,

I'm trying to come up with a best-fit and easy-to-use system to track 

There are plenty of good web-based trackers out there. BugZilla (the old 
stalwort), Mantis, Trac, FlySpray, etc, etc.

However, my employer produces made-to-order electronics and my division 
writes embedded C. When a bug report comes in from a customer, what 
usually follows is a lengthy email dialogue as we try and reproduce the 
bug, pull in 3rd parties, verify the fix on their side, etc.

I'd like to have that dialogue captured as part of the bug history, and 
I don't want to tell everyone that they're going to have to use some web 
interface when they all know and love their email and the "Reply-All" 

One promising candidate for this functionality is Roundup - the bug 
tracker recently (Oct 06) adopted by the Python project, though I think 
it's still in Beta. (See http://psf.upfronthosting.co.za/roundup/meta/) 
Another which may support it is ZenTrack, but I still need to verify 
what functionality it offers.

Roundup doesn't quite have the polish and some of the nice-to-haves 
(like multiple modules/projects) found in more established tools like 
Trac or Mantis.

*So what I want to do:*
Use MailMan as a backend, and once a bug is registered, the Mailman 
managed address: bugtrack at company.com gets cc'ed on every email that 
relates to the bug. In the subject line there needs to be a [ID:xxxx] 
field, but the rest of the subject must be free to change. (even better, 
be able to cc bugtrack-idxxxx at company.com)

Whoever wants to be in the loop on all bugs can just subscribe to the 
list. By visiting the web archive interface you can see exactly what's 
going on. And by including a link to a particular thread 
(automatically?) in the Trac/Mantis database you can link there directly.

*Where I need some advice:*
How does MailMan sort out threads. Does it use the whole subject line, 
and resolves tree depth from the number of "Re:"'s?
How easy/hard would it be to make the thread sorter sensitive only to an 
[ID:xxxx] tag in the subject?

Is the idea of bugtrack-idxxxx at company.com an easy-to-implement option?

I'm pretty sure that MailMan will allow anonymous/non-subscriber posts, 
but can I toss out all email which hasn't been correctly tagged.

Finally (and this is probably in the FAQ, so I'm being lazy by 
asking...) - what is the best mechanism of backing up a complete MailMan 

Many thanks,


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