Message from the owner(s)
Subissue is currently in the planning stages. A potential recomendation regarding the layout and naming conventions of issues stored in your subversion repository has been developed, and the first definitions of at least one of several potential interfaces will come soon.
Subissue aims to remove the database from traditional issue
tracking software, using Subversion as its base. That
is, rather than storing issues in a relational database, issues are
stored directly in your Subversion repository, next to your source —
right where they belong!
Traditional issue tracking software can be a pain to administer.
Anyone who has used Bugzilla knows what I'm
talking about. There are seemingly thousands of configuration
options, and such systems require a MySQL or Postgresql server as the
backend. For anyone running in a hosted environment, setting up
additional database services can be expensive and difficult. Even if
you have your own server, additional security considerations can be a
If you are reading this, you probably have your projects' source
already stored in a Subversion repository. This means you probably
have an Apache server providing remote access to your repository. Why
should anything else be required? Integration with Subversion's
logging features makes for a logical and complete solution.
Subversion already has its own database and provides intelligent
reporting, history, and access control straight out of the box: most
everything required for issue tracking is already in place —
right down to email notification.
General Development Overview:
Subissue revolves around three major parts: the storage
specification, the web-based interface, and a pre-commit script for
direct Subversion integration.
Although access and editing of issues would generally be done via
the web-based interface, the issues are stored in a way that makes it
easy to edit and create them as you would any other file in your
Subversion repository. If you plan to manually edit your issues, please read:
The web-based interface only knows how to interpret issues that
follow the above specifications, in concert with the Subissue Configuration. It is designed
to make every attempt to fail gracefully should the above
specifications not be followed, but no guarantees can be made. Files
and directories that don't have the subissue:type property
set to a valid value are always ignored. Also, issue directories that
are not found in one of the Path
Search List will also be ignored.
Since Subversion servers are usually accessed via an Apache server
(using the mod_dav and mod_dav_svn modules), it
follows that the main Subissue interface should run on that same
Apache server. The web-based interface
is a work in progress, and is in the initial planning stages. It is
expected that it will be written either as a PHP page or Python CGI
script (not Perl, since I don't know Perl), using Subversion's client
library and SWIG bindings.
Once the initial planning has been completed (and once I figure out
how to use SWIG and teach myself Python :->), you can find out how
to install and configure your interface by reading the Subissue Configuration page and the Web-Based Interface page.
A web interface is nice, but opening a separate browser window is
cumbersome, as is synchronizing your patches and code updates with the
relevant issues. Subissue will provide a pre-commit script for
direct integration with Subversion's existing log mechanisms.
For the first time anywhere (as far as I know; please correct me), you
can commit your change and resolve your issue (and perform many other
operations) in the same step.
Resources, and How To Get Involved
I always have found it easier if one semi-intelligent person (me)
at least writes an initial code-base before hoards of people start
hacking. But I eagerly await comments and discussion of the potential
short-falls, feature ideas, scope, and design of the project. So,
the mailing lists (only the dev list is currently
active), and get involved. Once I have collected enough information
and have started writing the interface code, I'll open up the
repository and allow anyone (with permission) to hack away.
Subissue is an Open Source project, and is intended to
remain free for all to contribute, modify, and adapt. Preliminarily,
code will be released under the GPL, unless
suggestions are made as to why code should be developed under another
license (perhaps the same license as or one compatible with the
license used by the Subversion project, in hopes that this project
could eventually be merged into the general Subversion community
Links to Similar Projects
Of course, there are countless other Issue Tracking projects
already available. To list just a few (especially the ones from whom
Subissue has taken inspiration):
The major problem with each of these systems, and of the others I
have seen, is that they (1) require additional setup and maintanence,
and (2) separate the issues from the source where they really belong.
There are complete source- and issue-tracking solutions, such as SourceCast, available, but
I have seen none that are available for free (as in speech or beer).
Using Subversion as a base, Subissue inherits most of its required
functionality for free (as in, um, somebody else did the work).
Subissue intends to evolve into a complete, enterprise-ready, and
integrated issue-tracking solution.
Limitations and Issues
Issues with Subissue? Yes, it's true. So far this web page
contains mostly wish-lists. While I expect the layout, headers, and
issue specifications to remain fairly stable,
the web-based interface and pre-commit script will likely not. This is
mostly because I don't know how they are going to really work yet.
In particular, the pre-commit script's functionality probably won't
even be implemented as a pre-commit script, since Subversion's hooks
aren't allowed to modify transactions (only read from them). It may
end up being a wrapper to the real svn command, but then
issues arise regarding how to deal with failed commits, and the
wrapper would need to in fact know about the semantics of each
command. Maybe things will turn out that it ends up as a patch to the
normal svn client; but then other clients (RapidSVN) cannot
benefit from Subissue in the same way. As you can see, there are many
potential courses, and all seem to have shortcomings.
Fortunately, at least the web-based interface is likely to be
doable in the near future. Others have already built web-based
interfaces to Subversion, and this would really be no different at a