Bug Tracking 

I'm now using FogBugz. 

Before releasing a public beta of Opal, I wanted to have a bug tracking system in place, so users would be able to file bugs. I wanted something that would run on Mac OS X, ideally with a custom client.

In the late 1990s, I really liked Seapine's TestTrack. It had a great client, and even though you had to connect to a fileserver to access the bugbase, it was far better than any other solution I'd used (such as elementool).

Sadly, there don't seem to be Mac clients any more — everyone assumes web access is OK. So besides TestTrack Pro, I looked at FogBugz (designed by Joel Spolsky of Joel On Software fame).

One factor that swayed me: FogBugz costs $129 for me and one other user (since the first admin account is free). TestTrack would be $295 plus a maintenance contract, and any other user would have only web access (whatever that means, since all Mac OS X users have to use a browser).

I'd tried TestTrack Pro several years ago (but didn't have a pressing need, so I didn't buy it). This time I gave FogBugz a try, and discovered that their web interface was more usable than others I'd tried. The browser interface actually had resizable columns, and the lists were highly configurable. FogBugz provided discussions forums (which I didn't have, but thought would be useful). I also liked how it handled e-mail bug reporting. So I took the plunge.

While it does indeed run on Mac OS X 10.3, setting up the infrastructure was a pain. I had to download and install MySQL. Then I had to figure out how to configure it — not at all obvious from Fog Creek's instructions. Then I needed to install some more software to speed up PHP.

FogBugz is still a little slow, and some of its assumptions (such as wanting all tasks to have estimates) annoy me. But basically it seems to be working pretty well. If you already know how to configure Apache and MySQL, it should be a no-brainer. 

Posted: Sat - July 8, 2006 at 12:54 PM