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I was thinking about issue tracking software like Redmine, Trac or even the one that is in Fossil and something hit me:

Is there a reason why Redmine and Trac are not possible to be distributed? Or maybe it's possible and I just don't know how it's possible?

If it's not possible, why?

By distributed I mean like Facebook or Google or other applications that effectively runs on multiple hardware a the same time but share data.

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sure a issue tracker can be distributed however most of the time the scale of an issue tracker doesn't need distribution so the major frameworks don't support it – ratchet freak Apr 14 '12 at 14:02
Can't help but wonder, why you want a distributed issue tracking software? They don't require much resources. – Hakan Deryal Apr 14 '12 at 14:09
Of course its possible. But if you will look at the quality of most issue trackers (i have not used FoxBugz, maybe its different) - no, you should not expect distributed Trac, JIRA or Redmine anywhere soon. p.s.: Would have been nice to see a issue-tracker-GIT someday... – c69 Apr 14 '12 at 15:41
From the FAQ: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page" – Charles E. Grant Apr 14 '12 at 17:19
@c69 It is not as obvious to me, I'm not used to work with web development tool, that's why I ask, to be sure. Also for git issue tracker, there seem to be some extensions for both hg and git that does that, but I think Fossil is the only one that seems to be doing it right. – Klaim Apr 15 '12 at 4:59
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Both Redmine and TRAC are typical web based CRUD applications, architecturally wise, there isn't a reason why they can't be distributed. The simplest way would be to have them use a distributed database, and since both support MySQL the obvious solution would be MySQL Cluster.

Then of course you could save yourself any hassle and run them on a cloud, for example BitNami offers a Redmine stack for Amazon EC2 via ready made Amazon Machine Images. Nowadays, almost every hosted issue tracker has moved to a cloud, letting cloud vendors deal with the nuances of load balancing, etc.

To summarize: Any web application can be distributed, whether it's the whole application or just it's data store that's distributed, there isn't really a technical restriction. It's simply a question of resources, either you need them or you don't.

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I think of distributed as decentralized. All the data may end up being merged with a central system, but it's not required. This allows users to work independantly for longer periods of time. Many source control systems work this way.

When individual items are worked on by one user, this is pretty easy. If multiple users want to continuously update a bug description, you could have problems with such long delays making an attempt to merge.

This reminds me of the original goal of Chandler, described in the book Dreaming in Code. Wouldn't it be great if there was a contact manager that didn't rely on a central server for groups to share notes, messages, contacts, tasks, calendars, etc. There so many online services for this, I wonder why anyone would bother. Maybe security, secrecy and "being off the Google grid" are reasons enough.

Yes, go for it.

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Is your bug list so dynamic and frequently queried that you actually need to use distributed computing to manage it?

I seriously doubt that you need to do this.

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