I see that ikiwiki has already some bugs stored on the wiki, but adding better support for bug tracking would really make it a good project management system for small projects. Storing the sourcecode, wiki, developer blog and the issue tracker information under a same revision control system really makes sense. At the moment the only part missing from ikiwiki is the bug tracker plugin.

The support would not need to be anything fancy, assignment of bug numbers is perhaps the biggest thing missing when compared to a plain wiki page. Integration with the revision control system a la scmbug would really neat though, so that bug tracker commands like (closes: #nnn) could be embedded to the source code repository commit messages.

A while back I posted some thoughts in my blog about using a wiki for issue tracking. Google's BTS also has some interesting developments along the lines of free-form search-based bug tracking, a style that seems a better fit to wikis than the traditional rigid data of a BTS.

I sorta take your point about bug numbers. It can be a pain to refer to 'using_a_wiki_for_issue_tracking' as a bug name in a place like a changelog.

Would a modified inline plugin that allowed new pages, but without a title field, be ok? When you hit the edit button it just chooses a new number and makes a page with that name.

The only issue I can see with this is if you're using a distributed wiki for distributed bug tracking. In that case you're going to have to make sure that you don't get conflicting bug ids. Maybe there should be two options - consecutive numbering, and uuid numbering which uses a random (128 bit, base64 encoded = 22 chars) name. -- Will

OTOH, I don't see a need for specially formatted commit messages to be used to close bugs. Instead, if your BTS is kept in an ikiwiki wiki in an RCS along with your project, you can do like I do here, and just edit a bug's page, tag it done, and commit that along with the bug fix.


I think a little bit more structure than in a normal wiki would be good to have for bug tracking. Bug numbers, automatic timestamps on comments and maybe an email interface would be nice. The resulting page may not look like a wikipage anymore, but rather something like the Debian BTS web-interface, but it would still benefit from wikilinks to the documentation in the wiki etc.

I think it is useful to look at these things separately:

  • Bug numbers: See above.
  • Automatic timestamps on comments: this already exists with the inline directive.
  • Email interface: You can certainly get an rss feed of what changes in the wiki.
  • You didn't mention structured page data but that is, I think, part of what you seem to be saying.
  • tracking bugs with dependencies is also important.

-- Will

About the commit message interface: I was thinking about a project architecture where the code is kept in a separate revision control system branch than the metadata (blog, wiki, BTS). This would IMHO be a cleaner solution for distributing the source and making releases etc. For this kind of setup, having the BTS scan the messages of the source branch (by a commit-hook for example) would be useful.

By Google BTS, do you mean the issue tracker in the Google code project hosting?