The Joel on Software Discussion Group (CLOSED)

A place to discuss Joel on Software. Now closed.

This community works best when people use their real names. Please register for a free account.

Other Groups:
Joel on Software
Business of Software
Design of Software (CLOSED)
.NET Questions (CLOSED)
TechInterview.org
CityDesk
FogBugz
Fog Creek Copilot


The Old Forum


Your hosts:
Albert D. Kallal
Li-Fan Chen
Stephen Jones

what bug tracking software to use for single developer?

at work we use sourcegear, it's pretty good software but too expensive for just one person. is there any opensource/alternative to SG for one person to use?
.
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
If I'm not mistaken, doesn't FogBugz have an inexpensive or single-user license?
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Subversion for version control and Trac for bug tracking, both free.
Practical Geezer
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I have to agree with "Practical Geezer".  Subversion/Trac combination is the best way to go.  If you already have a source control system, then Trac itself is still useful for bug/issue tracking.

http://trac.edgewall.org/

It's open source, simple to use, easy to setup.  Also, you can just use the bundled standalone webserver and not have to deal with setting up apache.
Dara Kong Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
SourceGear is actually free for single user usage:

Somebody said that Vault is free for a single user.  Is this true?

    Yes.  Both Vault and Dragnet are free for use by a single user. Simply install the product and do not enter any serial numbers at all. When no serial numbers are present, Vault and Dragnet behave as if there is exactly one user license.


From http://www.sourcegear.com/faq.html at the bottom.
Jon Ballinger Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Subversion / Fogbugz
Martin Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I'm with the Subversion/Trac guys. My hosting provider (Textdrive) actually provides a nice easy setup script for Trac, so it requires almost no effort to throw up a private trac site for each project I start.

I personally like that Trac is bug tracking / project management / documentation all in one.
Larry Myers Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I use bugzilla.  But given the outpuring for Trac here, could someone who has used both give a quick comparison?  Should I consider switching from bugzilla to Trac?

Will
Will Dowling Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
It's not specifically a bug tracking application, but you should take a look at ToDoList:

http://www.codeproject.com/tools/todolist2.asp

It's really simple, and may do what you need (Remember the KISS principle) Or it might not, but it's worth taking a look  either way.
Warren Stevens Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I'd like to put a vote in for BugTracker.NET.  It's written in C#, Open Source, integrates with Subversion, and best of all it's simple. 

http://www.ifdefined.com/bugtrackernet.html

I used Bugzilla before switching to BugTracker.NET and for a 2 person team it's simplicity can't be beat.  Bugzilla just offered far too much and was a bit of a pain for a .NET/M$ guy to install and manage.

My 2 cents.
zigzag Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I like fogbugz because it really seems to fit into the rhythm of my work.  It feels like it records my workflow and status rather than trying to drive workflow which is how some other systems feel.

I don't mind $129 for a single license (which actually can be 2 people, 1 as admin, 1 as user), but the install is a pain.  It can't be casually installed on just any webhost.  So I'm paying $20 a month to have it hosted.  The linux install looks very cumbersome as well.  It seems they've gone for quality of the running application over universal installability.  If you're a windows shop and have windows servers laying around it may be a different story.

For single person development or a team environment for that matter, the more important thing is that you find something you'll actually use.  So try out lots of things.  I found that being able to jump around easily in fogbugz beat the hell out of clicking through hierarchies of projects and cases...etc.  Just one or two fewer clicks makes a huge difference. 

Additionally, no field is required.  While some people may want things enforced (like estimated time), this usually ends up with that field getting bogus data to satisfy the form submission.

I tried Fogbugz, Bugzilla and JIRA.  Bugzilla is massive and was completely inappropriate.  JIRA felt awkward, just like programming in Java.  It seemed like I had to do a lot of stuff just to get a normal amount of stuff done.  Maybe it pays off later to someone working a bigger project or with more people, but not me.

Fogbugz was a nice size and I've used it with 1-3 people.  I'm the only developer on any of my projects (at work or at home).  I add in a power user or two who actually knows the business end of my current projects.  Switching licenses is super easy and when you switch back to a previous user they still have all their info (they are just inactive when you yank a license from them).

On the other hand, lately I'd be tempted to just throw everything in a file for each case and let google desktop find things for me.
Lance Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Axosoft OnTime

By far, the best I've used, with Windows, VS.NET, VS.2005, and Web clients.

Integrates with Version Control Software (Subversion, VSS, SourceGear Vault, I think Perforce, etc.) as well as with Visual Studio (2003/2005).  It's awesome.

Highly recommended.

For Source Control I'd prolly go with something like Vault, ionForge Evolution, or Perforce.

- Nate.
Nate Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Excel.
J.B. Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I haven't used Trac, but I've used CVSTrac, which is fundamentally the same package with a different implementation. 

Bugzilla is better than nothing, and for a large and complex project it might be appropriate.  I use it at work and I can't say that I have any real complaints about it in that environment.  It doesn't integrate with source control though, which is a bit of a downer, because checkin information is very useful.

At home I use CVSTrac, and the simplicity is hard to beat.  I have very little information that's mandatory, but enough to control the project and keep track of what needs doing.  It's also easy enough to use that I can give my customers a login so that they can enter a ticket.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Mantis Bug Tracker - http://www.mantisbt.org/
Brien Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
Notepad.

Excel if you want to get fancy.
old.fart Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
For my solo projects, I have a TODO.txt document that gets checked into my SVN repository. It contains descriptions of all the features I'm planning on adding, as well as descriptions of all known bugs.

As I implement features and fix bugs, I delete the entries from the TODO file. Since the document is checked into source control, I'll always be able to reconstruct a history of when new features were added and when bugs were fixed.

If I want details about *how* the feature was implemented or *how* the bug was fixed, I can look as my SVN commit logs, where I put a detailed high-level description of all my changes. If I need more detail than that, I just read the code.

As a solo developer, I've never found any need for an actual bug-tracking system.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I do exactly what BenjiSmith described -- Notepad with a text file called todo.txt that's checked in with the source.  After years of using this method, I've found no downsides.  I can't imagine why anyone would want something more complicated?
SomeBody Send private email
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
I just installed Trac (already had SVN) based on the recommendations here, and it looks great so far. Is there a "best practices" guide for how to use Trac or just issue tracking in general? I'm thinking of something like the SVN book that tells you recommended ways of laying out your repository, etc. I'm a newbie when it comes to issue tracking.
sloop
Friday, November 03, 2006
 
 
"I can't imagine why anyone would want something more complicated?"

How do you pull out all the bugs associated with a particular client? Or a particular flavour of OS or hardware configuration? Or just UI bugs? How can you spot patterns of bugs?

How many outstanding issues do you have with your product?

I'm not ragging on your method, I'm just curious as to how you deal with these things.
Vinnie J.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
 
 
Is that the sound of BenjiSmith and SomeBody scrambling to download a bugtracker I hear?
MegaCynic
Sunday, November 05, 2006
 
 
"How many outstanding issues do you have with your product?"

Never more than ten or fifteen open issues. These are small products, still in the initial phases of development, with no customers yet.

The textfile-and-subversion solution works pretty well right now, but I can imagine outgrowing it quickly, once the first version of the software has been released.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Monday, November 06, 2006
 
 
Thanks for the clarification, Benji. I can see that your method works for that number of issues.
Vinnie J.
Monday, November 06, 2006
 
 
>> How do you pull out all the bugs associated with a particular client?

My projects tend to be on a per-client basis so that's not difficult.  In cases where a particular client's issue/feature is in shared code, I'll put the client's name in the todo.txt item, in the todo.txt item's check-in comments, and in the source files' check-in comments.  Not hard to query.  And I've never had the need to do this.  Why would you need to do this?

>> Or a particular flavour of OS or hardware configuration?

Same. 

>> Or just UI bugs?

I have a standard set of tags that I'll use to identify items -- bug, gui, etc. -- so I could probably easily do a search if needed but, once again, why would I ever want to do this? 

>> How can you spot patterns of bugs?

What does this even mean?  How do more complicated systems help you "spot patterns of bugs"?  Where can I find the "spot patterns of bugs" feature in FogBugz?

>> How many outstanding issues do you have with your product?

Zero critical at the moment.  I know it's a radical idea these days but I don't believe in not fixing known bugs.  Probably a few dozen across the board in terms of features under development or requested though I've never felt the need to count.

Keep in mind that the original poster said "single developer" and also mentioned what he uses "at work".  This seems to suggest part-time side work -- a MicroISV product, consulting on the side, personal projects, etc..  Working part-time, you probably aren't going to have that many clients or lines of code to have much trouble keeping track of issues unless you either have a really bad memory or write really buggy code.
SomeBody Send private email
Monday, November 06, 2006
 
 
"I have a standard set of tags that I'll use to identify items -- bug, gui, etc. -- so I could probably easily do a search if needed but, once again, why would I ever want to do this?"

I've had several times when this has been crucial. Off the top of my head, I had a bug that only affected AMD processors, not Intel - spotted that one by doing a client search. Also needed to pull out all bugs reported by a certain client, because they were complaining that they didn't get enough support. I also use searching to prioritise areas that need work - if one area has twice as many issues as another, I'll probably work in that area next.

"Working part-time, you probably aren't going to have that many clients or lines of code to have much trouble keeping track of issues unless you either have a really bad memory or write really buggy code."

True. I'm looking at your system from my perspective, and it sounds like our products are on different scales.

Thanks for explaining your system.
Vinnie J.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz