Monitoring bugs in other bug trackers
Look at the "Assigned To" column for bug #86103 again:
The top two rows don't have a "person" assigned to fix them. Instead, because they refer to instances of the bug in external communities, they have a link to that bug as reported in the bug trackers used by those communities. Launchpad determines the external bug's status by regularly checking that external bug tracker.
Automatically monitor the status of external bugs
Open the bug in a new tab in your browser using this link, so you can interact with it more directly:
Mouse over those two links in the "assignee" column and you will see URLs for the SUN Java and Debian bug trackers respectively:
This is one of the unique features of Launchpad. It allows you to track the status of bugs in external trackers that run Bugzilla, RoundUp, Sourceforge, the Debian BTS or Mantis. We will add support for additional trackers, when that becomes necessary to facilitate collaboration across the free software projects that use them.
This means that projects can leverage the benefits of Launchpad without giving up their own bug tracker, if they prefer to use their own hosted infrastructure. In some cases, we import ALL the bugs in a project bug tracker into Launchpad automatically, because there are other communities that want to be able to link to them trivially. In other cases, project members can create those links when they need them.
Bug watches automatically notify Launchpad subscribers
We call such a link a "Bug Watch" and you can create them for any bug in Launchpad. When you are telling Launchpad about a bug that affects another community, simply provide the external bug report's URL and Launchpad will automatically create the bug watch. If Launchpad doesn't recognise the external bug tracker it will ask if you want to register the new tracker at the same time.
Once created, Launchpad will monitor the remote bug report automatically and notify subscribers to the Launchpad bug of any changes to the status of the remote bug.
Incidentally, you can subscribe to any bug, and if you are the assignee or the bug contact for this package or project then you will also be treated as a subscriber, and hence also notified:
Now, scroll further down the page for Bug #86103. You may notice that some of the comments on the bug look like emails. That's because Launchpad's bug tracker allows you to interact with it completely via email. That's the next stop on our tour: the bug tracker email interface.