Looking after your bugs with Request Tracker


Linux Magazine has a big introductory article called Looking after your bugs with Request Tracker. RT is the bug tracking system used for Perl 5, Parrot, Perl 6 and all the CPAN modules, at least by default.


RT makes for an excellent help desk too. The ability to post separate replies/comments that go to different audiences mean that you can easily record technical comments for internal use separately from the simplified responses you send to clients. Because of this and its tight email integration, RT is indispensable as far as I'm concerned.

I believe the other big bug tracking app written in Perl is Bugzilla. What are the major differences between Bugzilla and RT? Which do you like better?

I guess it would nice if RT had better integration with Subversion.

Trac has good Subversion integration. Ticket handling is ok, but not as good as RT. For instance, Trac doesn't support merging tickets.

The problem with Trac Subversion integration, is that tickets are not automatically back-linked to commits. So for instance, if I make a commit, and put "ticket:123" in the commit message, Trac knows that it is linked to ticket:123. But if I looked at ticket #123, I won't see a link to any commits made against the ticket, unless I manually a back-link on the ticket to the commit (changeset). Is this possible in any Bug tracker right now?

RT also has good email support. And the ability to customize the templates right in RT, plus the different automatically generated replies, is a big bonus. Email2Trac isn't a module to Trac.

Also, RT for the longest time had a very "fat" database. For example, ticket status was stored in a varchar field. So when the ticket was completed, it actually stored the string "Completed" in the status field, rather than a status ID. This is lame. I worked on an RT2 system where the ticket count was over 320,000, and I had to disable all kinds of stuff to get it to work reasonably fast.

I see Bugzilla supports ticket dependencies. So it clear that one ticket has to be done before the other (I saw this on a public Bugzilla site). I don't know if RT supports this? Trac definitely doesn't.

I don't know the differences between RT and Bugzilla. I use RT at work, and have never looked at Bugzilla. I do know that RT supports ticket dependencies.

@Tom Samplonius,

RT certainly supports ticket dependencies. For SVN integration, check out http://search.cpan.org/dist/RT-Integration-SVN/

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