Tracking bugs for sorttable

I get lots of people mailing me for help with things I’ve written, and sorttable is way up at the top of the list. People find it useful, which is good, and they mail me to say thanks. I like that. On the other hand, they also mail me to say that there are a few things it doesn’t do. Now, they’re right; there are a couple of bugs that slipped through, and more importantly there are a couple of things that never crossed my mind until people started asking whether sorttable could handle them — loading tables with Ajax, tables with zebra stripes, that sort of thing. I’m now at the stage where in my “sorttable unprocessed” folder I’ve got over 150 emails, and an awful lot of them are about the same things. So, a bug tracker seemed like a good idea. However, I don’t want one where everyone can submit bugs into it. I get little enough time to hack on projects as it is, without having to triage bugs as well. So, I wanted something which was basically read-only; a place where I could point people to say “look, here, the problem you have identified is a known issue, and I am planning on fixing it, and you can subscribe to this and get notified when I do fix it”. So: the sorttable bug tracker. It’s shamelessly borrowed from the PuTTY wishlist in almost all particulars, right down to the differing levels of priority. Simon Tatham actually pointed me, when I asked, at the code they use to run that wishlist. I had a couple of extra wrinkles I wanted to add, though, and their code is in Perl and I’m not much cop at Perl, so I built my own very similar thing. You can read my spec for a read-only bug tracker if you like; essentially, the bugs themselves are in a (secured) folder in my Subversion repository as RFC822-style files, and then there’s a little collection of scripts which know how to build a static HTML collection of bugs for the project. I’d like to make the scripts available so other people can do the same thing, but they’ve got passwords hardcoded into them (because the bug area in svn is secured, because there are bugs in projects that I can’t make public). If I can think of a way of making the code available, I’ll do it, but it’s relatively trivial anyway. At the moment I’m only tracking sorttable bugs in here, but I’m gradually going to bring all my other projects that are me-develop-you-use things into it. It’s not suitable for something like Jackfield, which will eventually develop more of a community around it (and will therefore be a lot more collaborative); sorttable isn’t a big enough deal to be a community-maintained project, but I do need somewhere I can point people at when they say “why doesn’t it handle Ajax-created tables?”, and now I have that somewhere.

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