Is using Discourse to track bugs a WTF?


  • ♿

    I get that, but I'm still in shock that you guys seem to just use Discourse topics as your bug tracker.



  • Wait, uh, isn't the git repo or whatever the actual bugtracker?
    You can't use a forum as a bugtracker 😃


  • ♿

    @dhromed said:

    Wait, uh, isn't the git repo or whatever the actual bugtracker?

    I went to one of the github thingies looking for evidence of tracking. Not even a link back to the forum topic. 😦



  • Believe it or not...


  • ♿

    I also looked at some of our local bug threads and I didn't see any indication of status. Other than as a ninja request thing, how can you filter by status? Is that even doing anything?

    I changed to closed, and now I see little locks, so I guess a mod goes in and shuts something down. I guess that's maybe the best you can do for workflow when misusing a forum for a bug tracker. I would think that having discourse manage comments for the tracker would be reasonable, but I still think it's a horrible way to manage stuff.

    At least if you had tags in Discourse, you could hackily track version affected / fixed or stuff like that. I can get over differences in philosophy for stuff like infinite scrolling (though I'm far from the pagination-jihadis [pagihadis?]), but this just seems like self sabotaging for any serious project.


  • Banned

    In my experience, the value of dogfooding > value of arbitrary correctness.

    It is also roughly a fit. Now if we were using air traffic control software or 3d modeling software to keep tabs on bugs...


  • Banned

    @boomzilla said:

    At least if you had tags in Discourse

    We actually plan to have an officially supported tag plugin in some time in the future. Which I am sure we will use to help us out here.


  • ♿

    @sam said:

    We actually plan to have an officially supported tag plugin in some time in the future. Which I am sure we will abuse to help us out here.

    FTFY


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @ben_lubar said:

    FTFY

    Some of them want to abuse tags, some of them want to be abused.



  • Which smooth scrolling extension was that? I had one that came with my Logitech mouse, and I uninstalled it about 30 seconds later on every browser because it made scrolling so much worse pretty much everywhere.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @codinghorror said:

    In my experience, the value of dogfooding > value of arbitrary correctness.

    There's value in dogfooding. There's also value in a bug DB. They serve different purposes (the bug DB becomes much more valuable once you start needing to assign bugs to people; if it would be “@sam” for virtually everything, you don't need it 😉).


  • ♿

    @codinghorror said:

    In my experience, the value of dogfooding > value of arbitrary correctness.

    I don't know why you'd use the term "arbitrary correctness" here. It's about using the right sort of tool for the job. A real tracking application allows you to prioritize, search, sort, categorize, assign, estimate, track level of effort and keep an eye on progress. Using Discourse for this is a step above emailing stuff around, but it's still pretty awful.


  • Banned

    The essential bits of that we can do in our own product, rather than helping beta test someone else's idea of what "bug tracking" means. I'd rate dogfooding at the very top of any list of priorities. The more time you spend in your own software, the better it will be.



  • @codinghorror said:

    The essential bits of that we can do in our own product, rather than helping beta test someone else's idea of what "bug tracking" means.

    I'm sure glad you're not making a MS Paint replacement.

    <!--just randomly testing something, move on-->

  • ♿

    @codinghorror said:

    The more time you spend in your own software, the better it will be.

    So what else do you misuse Discourse for? Is it also your IDE?


  • Banned

    Well, I guess that's why my previous project, Stack Overflow, was such a resounding failure, right? 😉

    If you like bug trackers, use a bug tracker. Godspeed to you sir.

    I feel that discussion software and directed Q&A are close enough that they can work, and you get the MASSIVE benefit of extensive dogfooding. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to spend 24/7 in your own software, using it, extending it, watching others use it, watching others fail to use it, etc.



  • To what extent? Will you be doing your company accounts and legal documents in Discourse because screw other people's ideas of what accounting and word processing software should be?



  • @codinghorror said:

    I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to spend 24/7 in your own software, using it, extending it, watching others use it, watching others fail to use it, etc.

    But you're not using it, you're abusing it. And not only does it make bug tracking harder, because you're hammering nails with a screwdriver - you also get the wrong feedback.

    The point of dogfooding is not to "use your own software (and try not to get insane in the process)", it's to put yourself in the perspective of an end user. And no end user is going to use Discourse as a bug tracking platform.

    By using it for bug tracking, you have an idea of how useful Discourse is as a bug tracker. And that's a whole different use case than intended, with different requirements, and ultimately, different expected features.


  • ♿

    @codinghorror said:

    Well, I guess that's why my previous project, Stack Overflow, was such a resounding failure, right?It's how we've always done it!

    FTFY. Perhaps Discourse is an improvement on bug tracking over Stack Overflow. That doesn't make either of them actually good at it.

    @codinghorror said:

    I feel that discussion software and directed Q&A are close enough that they can work, and you get the MASSIVE benefit of extensive dogfooding. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to spend 24/7 in your own software, using it, extending it, watching others use it, watching others fail to use it, etc.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    But you're not using it, you're abusing it. And not only does it make bug tracking harder, because you're hammering nails with a screwdriver - you also get the wrong feedback.

    I mentioned before, why not graft discourse onto something made for what you're doing? You'd get the dogfooding benefit (which I totally agree with, BTW) without sabotaging your ability to manage your project?


    Filed Under: Blub


  • Banned

    "Bug tracker" is just a fancy term for "let's discuss problems", and discussion is what Discourse does. Many, many people will use Discourse to discuss and attempt to resolve problems that they face -- just like we do.

    You can read more about my philosophy here:

    Discussion software is also way more flexible than the directed Q&A we had at Stack Overflow/Exchange, so this is an even more defensible case.

    Shrug. You do it your way, I'll do it mine. I've had considerable success with my methods.


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