Last Updated on December 1, 2022

There is a lot of good to be said about GitHub, but one tool prepared by them deserves special mention. As one of the two largest players on the version control system market, it can boast of a very well-developed Bug tracker Issues system. So let’s talk about Issues.

What are GitHub Issues

Issues tool in GitHub from the project side

Picture 1. The appearance of the Issues tool in GitHub from the project side.

GitHub called its bug reporting and tracking tool Issues, and over the past few years, it has been developing it very much. In version control systems based on communication with the community and users, a vital aspect is the ability to quickly and directly contact developers. For this reason, access to such a tool should be easily accessible and visible from any place. Picture 1 shows the Issue Dashboard from the developer side, and it’s worth noting here that the bug tracker provided by GitHub appears as the second tab to choose from. The same is true for the user view.

User view of the Issues tool in GitHub

Picture 2. User view of the Issues tool in GitHub.

Picture 2 shows the appearance of the Issue Dashboard from the user side, and you can see here that, as was the case with the developer view, this tool is available as the second tab from the top menu. Undoubtedly, we can also notice the transparency of this solution. When you go to the tool, you have the choice between Created, Assigned, and Mentioned. If that is not enough, we also have a bar to search for reports according to advanced filters. At this point, the well-thought-out intuitiveness of this tool deserves attention. Of course, we have options to filter the bugs reported by us, but that’s not the most important thing. How these tickets are presented to us deserves attention. We get information about the project, its creator, the name of the reported problem, the number of replies in the thread, and the time and person last responding. All of this is presented in a clear and easy-to-read manner.

Github issues bug report -1

Picture 3. The first part of the interior of the sample bug report. 

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Picture 3 shows the first part of a bug ticket example. We can notice that such a report is in the form of a chat or email conversation. Still, on the right side, there is a bar with the most important information about what is happening with the ticket itself and, for example, if it’s assigned to someone or marked as part of a milestone, such information will be there. We can also find information about pull requests etc there. One of the handy features of Issues is the possibility of preparing a certain type of form, which the user reporting a given bug should fill out. Such forms help a lot and speed up the diagnostic process of a given issue. Ok, I mentioned a milestone, and you should know that they reflect a milestone in the code itself, i.e., one milestone can close many different issues at once.

Github issues bug report -2

Picture 4. The second part of the interior of the sample bug report.

However, the full power of the Issues tool lies in the fact that it’s an integral part of GitHub from start to finish, which means that in the ticket itself, we can track the progress resulting from changes in the application code that are linked to this issue. Let’s take a look at Picture 4, which shows an example of such a report.  In addition to the messages themselves, we can observe that we receive information about commits related to this bug, related reports, people working and contributing to a given problem, or finally, information about the status of the report itself. In addition to bug reports, we can add colored labels and in conjunction with the already mentioned milestone, we have the advanced search option ready. Of course, this is not the end, as GitHub has implemented the @mentions and References system. So nothing stands in the way of “calling” or mentioning someone in a given report. Of course, the person will be informed about it automatically.

Pulse is also a fantastic additional tool, which collects and clearly displays collective information about the project. In Picture 5, we can see the appearance of this tool in the example of the git project. In addition to information about merged and open pull requests, we also have information about active, new, and closed bug reports. This also makes us aware that Issues is an integral part of GitHub.

Pulse tool appearance

Picture 5. Pulse tool appearance. 

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Summing up the entry about the bug tracker called Issues implemented in GitHub, it’s necessary to emphasize once again how transparent, intuitive and powerful this tool is. Thanks to it, we are not forced to follow a given bug or even a project. We will have information about changes to the issue reported by us available at any time when using GitHub. On the part of the developer, we’re also relieved of the case. All we have to do is associate it with a milestone, merge or commit and the user will know at what stage his submission is., on the other hand, will ensure both users and developers that the projects and all changes are safely stored in the form of backups.

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