CS-401 Spring 2014/Issue Tracker Activity

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Bug Trackers



Learners will gain an understanding of the features of bug trackers and how they are used to identify work items to be completed in a FOSS project.


Assignment adapted from POSSE Bug Tracker Assignment as modified by Becka Morgan

Prerequisite Knowledge


Estimated Time to Completion

60 minutes

Learning Objectives

Ability to:

  1. Describe the role that a bug tracker plays in a FOSS project
  2. Describe the different types of issues stored in a bug tracker and their priorities
  3. Identify and track the status of a particular bug in a project.


Access to Internet/Web and web browser.

Additional Information


Licensed CC BY-SA

Turn In

Wiki posting describing the results of your exploration below.


Bug tracking systems are a form of change management and organization used by FOSS projects. Bug trackers do far more than simply keep track of bugs. They also are used to hold new feature requests, patches, and some tasks. Bug trackers are also called request trackers, issue trackers, request trackers and ticket systems. Please read the two readings below for a more complete treatment of bug trackers and their use in FOSS projects.


We will begin by looking at a typical JIRA instance for a project. We will be using OpenMRS's JIRA instance, but specifically looking at the bugs for the OpenMRS Trunk.

Part 1 - Bug Reports

  1. Open a browser and go to the OpenMRS Issue Tracker.
  2. Define the purpose of the column names below. Include the range of possible values for 4, 5, and 8 below. Feel free to explore beyond the page to find more information.
    1. Issue Type
    2. Key
    3. Summary
    4. Priority
    5. Status
    6. Assignee
    7. Updated
    8. Resolution
    9. Due
    10. Reporter
    11. Created
  3. Describe how you discovered the definitions and How did you find the information from above?
  4. Identify the order in which the bugs are initially displayed?
  5. What is the meaning of the symbols under priority?
  6. Select a bug that you think that you might be able to fix and look at it more closely (click on the bug number).
    1. Identify when the bug was submitted.
    2. Identify if there has been recent discussion about the bug?
    3. Is the bug current?
    4. Is the bug assigned? To whom?
    5. Describe what you would need to do to fix the bug.
  7. Repeat the previous step with a different kind of bug.

Part 2 – Project Information

  1. Click on the “Projects” link on the top of the page. In the drop down menu choose “View All Projects”
  2. Choose “OpenMRS Trunk”.
  3. Looking through the nine links on the left answer the following questions:
    1. Who is the lead on the project?
    2. In the last 30 days, how many issues have been created and how many have been resolved?
    3. Copy and paste the status summary.
    4. Pick a version and note the version, the total number of issues, and the number of issues resolved.
    5. What is the most popular issue?
    6. What is the most popular label?
    7. When was the most recent build, why was it run, what was the duration, and how many tests passed?