Tracking bugs across multiple projects
Launchpad's bug tracker is unique in that it allows you to track the status of the same bug as it affects multiple different communities. This gives you a one-page overview of the work that is ongoing in all of those communities to engineer a fix to the problem.
Bugs that affect multiple communities
Here's an example:
The screen-shot shows that this bug currently affects at least three communities:
- Java upstream
In Ubuntu's case, the bug has been recorded in two places: the sun-java5 and sun-java6 packages.
Each row in this table corresponds to a "place" where the bug has been detected, and so needs to be assessed and possibly fixed.
At the highest level, a "place" is a community, such as an upstream project or a distribution. There are also specialised types of place, which offer a finer level of granularity: for example, a major version of an application or a specific package within a distribution.
Several occurrences of the same bug in one project
It's possible for a bug to appear in many places in the same project. For example, this bug affects fifteen different packages in Ubuntu:
You can see that the issue has now been addressed in all packages. As a team works on a bug like that, they will fix different packages at different times. The bug page provides a useful overview of the real work still required before the bug can be considered to be fixed.
Fixing bugs in previous versions of software
Sometimes, a bug is severe enough that you need to fix it in previous versions of the software, perhaps as a security fix or an update to the stable and supported releases.
Here's an example of a bug that was deemed important enough to go back and fix in Dapper and Edgy (two previous releases of Ubuntu):
Note that this bug needed to be fixed in two packages: in the current development release and two stable releases of the distribution. This gives us a total of six rows in the table.
It's clear, however, that many of the projects we need to collaborate with already have their own bug trackers, and many will continue to use those rather than adopt Launchpad. How can we coordinate with them? That takes us to the next step in our tour - monitoring bugs in other bug trackers.