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NOTE: This project is not being actively developed, and is looking for a new maintainer. Contact me if you are interested.

This script implements distributed bug tracking for Git repositories. It
replicates the functionality of packages like ticgit, but does so in the form
of a more standalone Python script. You can check this script in along with
your project in order to ensure that all contributors are able to view the bug
database using the same version of the script that you used to create them.


git issues new [-m "Comment for the issue"] "Issue title"

git issues list      # show all issues

git issues show OFFSET|HASH

git issues push      # submit your issues via repo or e-mail
git issues pull      # merge in the latest issues

git issues close ID  # mark an issue as closed

Data Structure

The data for git-issues is kept in a separate branch named issues. The
user is never intended to checkout this branch, it’s used solely for record
keeping by the git-issues script.

If you were to checkout this branch, you’d find a set of top-level
directories, each giving the first two characters of a Git object name (hash
id). This mirrors the way that loose objects are organized within
.git/objects. In each of these directories is another set of directories,
this time spelling out the remaining 38 characters of each issue’s unique
object name. No matter what is done with an issue, this reference to it never

In each each uniquely named issue directory may be found one or more files of
the following form:


The data file changes throughout the history of an issue, even though the
object name for the issue (it’s 40-byte hash) is always used from the time of
creation onward. Issues are mutable, after all.

The file is in a very straightforward form of XML, where each data string
occupies its own line to facilitate merging. Note that for any XML haters out
there, you’ll never have to look at this data. I just picked XML because it’s
(a) relatively future-proof, and (b) very merge-friendly.

The data contained maps directly on to what you see from the git issues show
command. Use git issues dump to view the XML directly, or for importing
into a higher-level script.

Here’s some of the data this file tracks:

  • Title
  • Summary
  • Description
  • Author: Who wrote the actual issue record
  • Reporter: Who reported this issue
  • Owner: Who is responsible for closure
  • Assigned: Who is it presently assigned to
  • Cc: Who else wants to know about it
  • Status: new, open, pending, deferred, closed
  • Resolution: fixed, wontfix, dup
  • Type: defect, feature, docs
  • Component
  • Version
  • Milestone
  • Severity: blocker, critical, major, minor, cosmetic
  • Priority: high, med, low
  • Tags


A comment is a note attached to an issue. This XML file records:

  • When the comment was created
  • When the comment was last edited
  • The author of the comment
  • The text of the comment itself
  • Any attachments associated with the comment.


An attachment is a text or binary file which has been linked to an issue.
It’s name is the same as the filename it’s created under. There must always
be one or more comments that refer to the attachment, otherwise the system is
free to delete it.

Top-level project.xml file

Also, at the top-level of the issues branch is a file which contains
information relating to the whole project. The file is named project.xml
and contains the following information.

  • Statuses
  • Resolutions
  • Types
  • Components
  • Versions
  • Milestones
  • Severities
  • Priorities

Each of these identifies a legal set of values for the given field. Only the
“Tags” field is freely assignable to any value; all other fields must match
one of the settings in the project file.

The Component field can also specify default “Owners” for each component.
This is the person (or people) who get notified automatically about changes in
the issue whenever they pull the new issue down from the public repository.

Lastly, the Version field must match an existing tag name.


A distributed issue tracking system based on Git repositories, written in Python




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