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Launchpad and Upstream Bug Trackers

I'm a member of the Launchpad development team and my major remit at present is improving the way that works with upstream bug trackers.

We've made a number of strides in the right direction recently, and we'll be continuing to do so over the coming months. Specifically, we've now got support for syncing comments with certain upstream bug trackers and we're working on syncing whole bug reports with upstream bug trackers, too. It will eventually be possible to forward bugs in Launchpad upstream without ever having to leave the context of Launchpad itself (though we're a little way of that yet and we have yet to decide how best to address the issue that a commenter raised above, namely that of which bugs are good enough to get forwarded upstream and who has the right to do so).

Part of the problem with this is that bug trackers simply aren't designed to talk to one another in the way that they should be. We're working hard on improving the way that Launchpad does this work, and in providing a public API to Launchpad we're giving other developers the opportunity to interface with us for exactly this purpose (and others), however at the moment our best upstream syncing work requires the remote bug tracker to install an API plugin (available at the moment for Trac and Bugzilla) so that Launchpad can communicate with them efficiently.

What is really needed is for the major bug tracker developers to sit down and work out a common interface that all bug trackers can implement to allow proper upstream forwarding (and, where desired, downstream syncing). The task isn't trivial but it is solvable and I see no reason why it can't be solved in the near future.

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