New Ticket System

There is a new system to track bug reports and feature requests.

Before you go request anything, please do read Brent Simmons post about feature requests.

The new system allows public searching (and inspection) of tickets, but the main motivation for switching to this (custom) system was, that now I can handle most tickets directly from Mail (and do searches for duplicates via Quicksilver.)

When I receive an email notification all I need to do is hit reply. The (new) text in the reply is then added as a note to the ticket (which is then also sent to the submitter.) I can put tags in my reply by starting a line with tag: and give a comma separated list of tags. These tags are not sent to the user, and some have special meaning, for example the closed tag means that the ticket has been closed (FYI there are currently 7 tags with special meaning.)

Since many tickets are “reply and close” this will save me a lot of time.

This system also forces the user to provide the ticket with a summary. I wonder how obnoxious it would feel, if I setup auto-reply for untitled letters, which would inform the user that his message is held in a queue until he provides a subject (e.g. through replying to the auto-reply or via http) and additionally encouraged him to read the microcontent article by Jakob Nielsen. Needless to say, I really do not like receiving letters without a subject (imagine half your iTunes music was suddenly untitled.)

11 Comments

  1. 09 May 2006 | # Thomas Aylott wrote…

    people who send email without subjects. Or who just blindly reply to random emails…. Should ….

    argh…

    should stop doing that.

    (dang my politeness ;)

  2. 10 May 2006 | # Trevor wrote…

    Just in time. I was about to send you an email to say that the lack of a tracking system for TextMate should really be considered a bug and is the one thing I would need to purchase another license, and that surely it must be easy for a developer like you to set up a tracking system, but if you still don't agree with me, maybe you should put it to a vote. ;)

  3. 10 May 2006 | # oliver wrote…

    Ha! I second Trevor's comment.

  4. 10 May 2006 | # Levent wrote…

    Allan, we're looking for a simple rails based tracking system to use on our projects. Is this open source?

  5. 10 May 2006 | # Allan Odgaard wrote…

    Levent: My system is not rails based. I still wouldn’t mind open sourcing it though. But presently it does lack some work for others to find it useful (unless they are happy with just the email interface for dealing with tickets).

  6. 10 May 2006 | # William Hayes wrote…

    I also cannot stand getting emails lacking a subject line. It is just plain rude and lazy to not put one in. Go ahead and force the issue, it's your time (and our new features for TextMate) at stake.

    BTW, the screencasts are fantastic. I've learned as much or more from them as from the help docs. It was the Rails screencasts that encouraged me to switch.

  7. 11 May 2006 | # Marcel van der Boom wrote…

    Is there a feature in the ticket system to make it less likely filing a ticket for something that is already there? (show all tickets, query only 'open' or only 'closed' comes to mind.

  8. 11 May 2006 | # Allan Odgaard wrote…

    Marcel: searching. With many tickets, I don’t see inspecting them all before submitting a new would be something many users would do.

    As for searching only open or closed tickets: I do close tickets which are “can’t fix” or “won’t do”. So people should search both types before submitting a bug/request.

  9. 11 May 2006 | # Marcel van der Boom wrote…

    Allan: i must be missing something then? Suppose i want all the closed tickets which you evaluated as "can't fix", what would i enter in the search box?

  10. 11 May 2006 | # Allan Odgaard wrote…

    Marcel: There is only the generic search. I don’t understand why you would want to limit your searches to “can’t fix” or similar, when you want to report something.

    If you want to report something, you can’t know if this is in the system as opened, closed, a can’t fix, a won’t do, etc. So you should just search for whatever you want to report.

    That said, I do understand why people would want a more indexed interface to settle their curiosity about reported tickets. It is currently by design that the system only allows limited queries rather than browsing. I may open it up more in the future.

  11. 13 May 2006 | # Paul wrote…

    This looks like a great improvement. Thanks, Allan.

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