I came across a reference to this article – Why Bugs Should not be tracked by Lars Thorup- and its title intrigued me. While I disagree with the conclusion – I found that I agreed with much of what was said. It is a very quick read – rather than summarize I would suggest reading it now.

My first disagreement with the article is the premise that many of the problems with bug systems is the result of a heavy process. I believe that the problem Lars articulates are symptomatic of an ineffective process or no process (at least in regards to bugs) at all. My second problem with the conclusion is that it is developer centric. While a developer may not find value in writing up a bug (especially if they can fix it immediately) there may be value to other team members who need to verify the fix, evaluate the impacts, support older versions, etc.

All of that being said, the recommendation that the backlog of open bugs should be minimized is a good one. My feelings on this topic have become stronger recently. I believe that if you do not have a target release for a bug after it has been open for a few weeks, then it is better to close it out as not to be fixed (NTBF). Bugs can always be reopened and I would much rather have a manageable list of working bugs then a comprehensive list of every bug ever opened but not resolved.