Python to use a non open source bug tracker?

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Oct 3 14:33:14 CEST 2006

lbolognini at wrote:
> Giovanni Bajo wrote:
> > Does this smell "Bitkeeper fiasco" to anyone else than me?
> I can't understand why people waste time arguing this stuff.

Because people care about it, I guess.

> Use whatever tool is best at it's job... if it's not written in Python
> it doesn't mean that Python is not good for the task, only that there
> hasn't been any Python programmer that applied himself to the problem
> hard enough.
> And i dunno what the case against Trac is (it looks a fine tool for my
> small projects) but probably it's not good enough for

Perhaps, although I imagine that Trac would have a lot more uptake if
it handled more than just Subversion repositories. I don't know whether
Trac is monolithic or not, but there is a need for a wider range of
modular tools operating in the following areas:

  * Web-based source code browsing and searching for many repository
    types; perhaps one per type, all providing a similar interface.
    Currently, there's ViewVC which does CVS and Subversion browsing
    (and limited searching), LXR which does CVS, Subversion and Git
    searching (with arguably more limited browsing), OpenGrok which
    seems to provide CVS, Subversion, RCS and SCCS browsing and
    searching. Perhaps ViewVC just needs more attention.

  * Issue tracking: a huge area in which Trac, Bugzilla, Roundup and a
    bunch of proprietary tools exist.

  * Documentation or content management: whilst arguably non-essential
    to the management of a software project, I can see the benefit of
    integrating documentation with the source code browser, especially.
    And it's convenient if providing a service to users as well as
    developers if things like downloadable files can be managed in a
    way that is compatible with the rest of the solution.

  * Mailing list management/administration, feeds, summaries, reports.

I did briefly look at Trac to see whether I could hack in a WebStack
backend, and I'd do the same for ViewVC if I had the time, mostly
because such projects already duplicate a lot of effort just to permit
the deployment of the software on incompatible server solutions.
There's certainly a lot these solutions could learn from each other and
from lesser known solutions.

> And BTW BitKeeper failed because Linus wanted to stop Tridge reverse
> engineering BitKeeper, not because BK wasn't good.

That's a simplistic view of the situation. The BitKeeper vendor imposes
a non-compete clause on its users, which is in itself pretty
scandalous, and the various attempts to accomplish independent
interoperability with the BitKeeper service led to its proprietor
packing up his toys and going home. You might believe that having some
opportunistic company narrowly define what you can and cannot do,
despite a fairly loose relationship based on you just using their stuff
in your workplace, to be acceptable as long as you get to use such nice
stuff. Others, however, consider implications wider than whether
something is technically good, including whether or not something
brings with it all sorts of unacceptable restrictions on personal
freedoms. Considered through such broader criteria, one can assert that
BitKeeper certainly wasn't good at all.


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