[Ros-release] how about a single issue tracker?

Brian Gerkey gerkey at willowgarage.com
Thu Dec 8 22:35:47 UTC 2011

hi maintainers,

We have many issue trackers for ROS software.  It all started with the
way that we originally structured the code.  We wanted a separation
between the plumbing (the 'ros' repo), the generic capabilities
('ros-pkg') and the Willow/PR2-specific capabilities ('wg-ros-pkg').
As is commonly done, we created a Trac for each repo.  Now, with code
stored in approximately 100 repositories, there are trackers at
code.ros.org, kforge.ros.org, github, googlecode, and pretty much
every other hosting site.

This situation is confusing to users.  E.g., if I find a bug in tf,
should I file a ticket at the 'ros-pkg' Trac, using the 'geometry'
component (which is what the geometry wiki page recommends) or should
I use the kforge 'geometry' Trac (because I know that that's where the
code actually lives), which has open tickets in it?  How about
graph_mapping?  The wiki page (http://ros.org/wiki/graph_mapping)
doesn't have a "report bugs" link.  The code is in 'ros-pkg', so maybe
I should use the 'ros-pkg' Trac, but then there's no 'graph_mapping'
component in that Trac.  It's also inconvenient for developers; I need
to query and aggregate from several different trackers to get a
picture of my open tickets.

Also, each tracker is configured differently from the next, and
different sets of credentials are required to file bugs against
different parts of the ecosystem.

Enough motivation; you get the point.  Federated development makes
sense; but federated bug-tracking, I think, does not.

A modest proposal: we create a single unified issue tracker for ROS
software.  Rough draft:
* agree on a tracker system (would be a minor holy war, but not insoluble)
* host it at ros.org
* authenticate via OpenID (like ROS Answers)
* create a component/module for each released stack
* create components/modules for unreleased stacks as requested
* change (simplify) the wiki to offer a single "report bugs" link that
can appear on every page
* wherever feasible, move open tickets from legacy trackers into the new one



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