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The Debian Bug Tracking system gets upgraded

Posted by Steve on Sun 14 Aug 2005 at 17:41

Tags: none.

Recently the Debian Bug Tracking system has been upgraded to give it a new look, and several additional features "bug subscriptions", "bug blocking", and "version tracking". Read on for the details.

Bug Subscriptions

One simple new addition to the BTS is the ability to subscribe to a particular bug.

Once you have subscribed you will automatically receive copies of new information sent to that bug report - meaning you will be able to keep track of any activity without having to visit the bug report page.

If you wish to change your mind you may unsubscribe which will stop you from receiving these updates.

The subsciption announcement was made in this email - but the usage is very simple.

To subscribe to bug XXXX simply mail a message to "". Unsubscription is handled in a similar manner, just mail "".

Blocking Bugs

Blocking is a common ability in other bug tracking systems and allows you to report a bug as being reliant upon a group of additional bugs.

The the most obvious use for it is for managing transitions to different libraries, or new features which require several packages to be upgraded together.

Traditionally when a library was updated somebody would need to file individual bugs upon each affected package, and then keep track of them all seperately.

Now with the blocking ability of the BTS each of the bugs can be filed, along with a master.

The master bug will be blocked by the individual bugs, and can be used to see which ones have been closed at a glance.

As an example there is currently a transition in progress from the aalib1 package to the libaa1 package.

Many seperate bugs were filed against this, including #320883 and #320884.

Rather than following the transition by looking at each seperate bug you can now simply look at the master bug #320867.

As these individual bugs are closed the master bug will automatically reflect this.

To create a blocked bug like this you should:

  • Report the individual bugs against each relevent package.
  • Submit a "master bug" which will be used to track the progress of all the individual bugs.
  • Add the individual bugs to the master one.

Adding the blocking bugs is done by emailing the BTS with the following text:

block masternumber by individual1 individual2 ... individualN

As an example the aalib transition had this message sent:

block 320867 by 320872 320889 320887 320883 320880  ...
Version Tracking

Reporting bugs against specific versions of packages is now fully supported.

With version information it is possible to view only bugs which affect a particular distribution and to be more specific when making reports.

As an example you can view bugs against the SSH package in Debian's Stable release, or only those bugs relating to SSH in unstable.

To specify the version of a package which is affected you merely need to add the "Version:" tag when making the report. For example when emailing a new bug report to you might include:

Package: hello
Version: 2.1.1-1

This will report the bug against the hello package, but only in version 2.1.1-1.

There is a very detailed writeup of the new abilities to work with versions available in this message posted to the mailing list debian-devel-announce.



Re: The Debian Bug Tracking system gets upgraded
Posted by Anonymous (80.108.xx.xx) on Tue 16 Aug 2005 at 19:29
While improving the bug system is always a good thing I wonder why there was not RSS feature added. Mailing lists is fine for many, but only for tracking RSS should be additionally provided.

[ Parent ]

Re: The Debian Bug Tracking system gets upgraded
Posted by Anonymous (213.55.xx.xx) on Wed 1 Mar 2006 at 04:28
Indeed. Some sort of XML output would make my life much easier right now. I guess the answer is to post a wishlist bug against the BTS itself. ;)

[ Parent ]