Bug Tracker Blog by Corey Trager

Eating my own dog food

by Corey Trager 19. November 2007 03:47

BugTracker.NET is hosted at Sourceforge and I've been using the Sourceforge tracker for its bugs.

Why don't I use BugTracker.NET to track bugs in BugTracker.NET? Why am I not eating my own dog food

Let me start to explain in this post...

When I started BugTracker.NET in 2002 I was working at a small internet startup. The hands-on tech staff was just me and two other developers. We sat in the same room so communication was easy - just swivel your chair around. We had been using a phpBugTracker, but it was slow (on Windows) and rigid, and besides, I needed a little project to learn C# and .NET, and so that was my motivation to create BugTracker.NET. The three of us were my target users. We switched over from phpBugTracker to BugTracker.NET. Even in those early days, I think it was a pretty good tool for teams like us: small, fast (dare I say "Agile"?), informal, non-hierarchical. BugTracker.NET is still a great fit for a small, fast, informal team.

In 2002, just because I was curious about what the experience would be like, I posted BugTracker.NET on Sourceforge. Soon other people started using it and giving me feedback. Some were trying to use it in settings different from our little startup. Especially, people started using in situations where there were different kinds of users - internal versus external, programmers versus testers, internal developers versus external clients.

Early on, one of my early users pointed to the FogBugz way of handling incoming and outgoing email. I liked that approach, and I thought it would be a fun programming exercise, so I added similar functionality to BugTracker.NET. That one change alone transformed BugTracker.NET into a decent help-desk application as well as a bug tracker.  Coincidently, by that time, our startup had actual lving customers, so we set up another instance of BugTracker.NET to be our customer support ticket tracker in addition to the original instance we used as a bug tracker. Customers would send an email to our support@ email address. and these emails would flow into our tracker automatically. It worked great. If you are looking for a help desk application where your customers would be communicating to you via email, BugTracker.NET is a good help-desk application.

That’s all the experience I have using my own app, eating my own dog food.

Here are some other settings, where I don’t have any personal experience using BugTracker.NET.  I know that some people are trying to use BugTracker.NET in these settings with mixed success:

1. A consulting-type company that writes software for outside clients and wants to use BugTracker.NET as a collaboration tool, but with a distinction between internal and external users.  BugTracker.NET is getting closer to being a good fit for this setting.  I just posted a version 2.6.4 which includes improvements specifically targeted for this setting.      (Update Dec 15, 2007: Since I wrote this post, BugTracker.NET has been improved to the point where it now *IS* a decent fit for this situation).  Read more...  

2. A big company with hierarchy, division of labor, and rules about who is allowed to do what.   Read more...

3. An organization with a large number of bug reporters, like an open source project with its community.  Kind of like.... me and BugTracker.NET.   Read more...

In my next posts, I'm going to go through these settings in more detail and explain where BugTracker.NET struggles or falls short entirely to be a good fit.




11/19/2007 1:39:56 PM #

I want bugtracker in my own language (Russian). Is it possible?

Paco |

11/19/2007 2:10:38 PM #

Possible, but a lot of work.  You'd have to fork it, make your own version.  I didn't structure the code in a way to make it easy for translators at all, so BugTracker.NET is bad in that way.  Sorry.

Corey Trager |

3/1/2008 3:56:41 PM #

The post is from November, 2007.  It's now March 2008.  In the past three months I've made improvements in all the areas where BugTracker.NET was weak, so, I take back everything I wrote...

Corey Trager |

1/15/2009 6:19:40 PM #

Does BugTracker.Net supports i18n?
Can I have BugTracker.net in Romanian language? Or can I help on translation?

ghitza |

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