The long story of xine and the bugs

You may remember some time ago I blogged about the need for the xine project to replace the SourceForge bug tracker with something more usable.

Today I felt like this need is even more important, when a change in last.fm servers (or rather in their HTTP response) caused xine 1.1.8 not reporting anymore to Amarok the changed last.fm track.

The problem here was that the bug in bugs.kde.org was handled directly without submitting anything up the stream (I suppose I was unavailable at the time). I’m not surprised, Everybody in the Amarok team seems to agree that the SoruceForge tracker is unusable.

But, if you are one of the people who ever looked for alternative bug trackers, you might know that it’s not an easy task: the most common choice for big projects is Bugzilla, but the resources it needs makes it impossible to find a cheap host for it. The alternatives aren’t that better: Mantis is, in my opinion, just as bad as SourceForge tracker, Roundup requires mod_python, and the other tracker I know is Scarab which is JSP-based.

Now, I asked before the incidents of last summer to Siggi (the xinehq.de admin) if he could provide a tracker, and he agreed to try putting Roundup on it, but he hasn’t wrote anything to xine-devel in the mean time, so I asked him to bring me up to date with the status, but I’m afraid it’s not going to be feasible in short term, at this point.

Of the two alternatives, Roundup is probably the simplest to host as it requires Apache, mod_python and a database, but it has the disadvantage to require a complex configuration, as it’s more like a framework for bug trackers rather than a bugtracker of its own. Although most of the work has already been done by Luca for MPlayer and FFmpeg, and I can ask him to pass on his configuration, it’s still a bit of a mess to configure for what I saw.

Scarab on the other hand has higher requirements, as it’s a JSP webapplication, but it seems to be more ready for consumption out of the box. The problem here is to find a proper hosting provider: JSP hosting is expensive, very expensive sometimes, and the alternative is a dedicated or virtual server, which also isn’t cheap (although it might be cheaper than the hosting).

Now, of course I’ll have to wait for Siggi, as he might have good news for me, and then I won’t have to worry about it anymore, but in the mean time, I was wondering which option we have if he doesn’t have good news.

A basic JSP hosting, without PostgreSQL nor SSL support, seems to be about $25 a month; with the current dollar value, it wouldn’t be much at all, if I had a stable job, but I don’t have one, plus it might be desirable to get SSL support so that the passwords aren’t sent in clear text (the SSL support is available together with PgSQL and other services at twice the price where I looked up to now). If there was more interested in xine project by its users (a lot of which are Amarok users who use xine as a backend) it could be possible to try a yearly fundraiser to get the needed money, but considering that I rarely see comments in my blog about xine, I doubt doing so would bring us the needed money every year.