JIRA is a commercial issue tracker (issues can be bugs, feature requests, improvements, tasks, etc). For comparison, Bugzilla is a bug tracker.
Many ASF projects are currently using JIRA, and other projects are encouraged to migrate, but the choice is entirely up to the project committers
More information on JIRA is available on the Atlassian website.
Q: How do you pronounce JIRA?
A: J-ee-Rah (like beer, ahhh.. JIRA is made in Australia.)
Q: Where is it installed?
Q: Will my project be forced to use JIRA?
A: No, the decision to use Bugzilla, Scarab, or JIRA is for each project to decide. Different infrastructure helpers maintain the different issue tracking systems, and we expect to keep Bugzilla for some time.
Q: How do I get my ASF project using JIRA?
A: See ApacheBugzillaToJiraMigration.
Q: How does a JIRA Administrator create a new project?
A: See ApacheJiraProjectSetup.
Q: How do permissions work in JIRA?
A: Projects are mapped to a single permission scheme (multiple projects may share a permission scheme). There are users and groups (no nested groups). A permission scheme lists possible actions (view issues, create issues, assign issue, schedule issue, delete issue, etc...) to one or more users or groups. For the ASF JIRA install, each ASF project gets one JIRA project per releasable product (so you can release version 1.6 of tool X and 1.3 of tool Y). Typically we create one permission scheme for all those products. Typically we also create one group for that permission scheme. Standard permissions are as follows:
public can browse project (view issues), create issues, add comments, link issues, and create attachments. issue reporter can edit an issue project group (your developers/committers) can also edit issues, schedule issues, move issues, assign issues, be assigned issues, resolve issues, close issues, manage releases, and manage components. one or two people also get added to "JIRA administrators", which is system-wide access to let you manage who is in your group. Projects are always free to suggest alternate plans.
Q: Why bother migrating to JIRA? What's wrong with Bugzilla?
A: JIRA was installed because some projects evidently prefer it, and were using third-party JIRA instances instead of the ASF's Bugzilla.
Q: Why would people prefer JIRA?
A: From a mailing-list post:
From Jeff Turner (an ASF committer and Atlassian employee):
>> Jira ... has anyone used it? What was the experience? > >["Jira"] is generally claimed to have a nicer UI and better overall features. > Once logged in, you can configure your front page ('dashboard') to > display only the projects you're interested in, including saved search > results (eg "New issues this week", "Issues assigned to me", etc). Other > neat stuff: > > - Saved searches can be shared between users, and 'subscribed' to > (generating a periodic email of results). > > - Search results viewable as RSS, allowing neat integration tricks. Eg. > use <xslt> to generate release notes, or display latest bugs on the > website: http://xml.apache.org/forrest/forrest-issues.html > > - Interaction via email: reply to a change notification email, and your > reply will appear as a comment in the issue. > > - Commit emails mentioning a bug can have their comments appear in the > mentioned issue. > > - Various reports: changelogs, roadmaps, 'popular issues'. > > ASF projects like Maven, Jelly, Geronimo, Forrest, etc had been voting > with their feet, using on codehaus.org's Jira. Hence we've established > an ASF Jira to accommodate projects' preferences. > > There are various public Jira instances you can poke around with to form > an opinion: > > http://jira.atlassian.com/ # Tracks jira bugs; has a test project for experimentation > http://issues.apache.org/jira/ # Just established - used by Geronimo, Phoenix, Jelly, etc > http://jira.codehaus.org/ # Various codehaus projects, and Maven > http://issues.cocoondev.org/ # Forrest :) > http://jira.opensymphony.com/ > http://opensource.atlassian.com/projects/spring/
To this list of advantages one can now add "email threading" - when someone comments or updates an issue, the notification email is "in reply to" the original issue creation email. Thus "sort by thread" is a quick and easy way to see all actions on an issue. This is of particular use in established projects where a large percentage of discussion is oriented about bugs or patches in the issue tracker.
Highly subjective answers to '''real questions'''
These are also from Jeff, an Atlassian employee & ASF committer:
Q: JIRA isn't Open Source! Why would free Apache projects use a commercial bug tracker when free alternatives exist?
A: Because ASF projects have asked for JIRA, ASF was granted a free license of JIRA, and people volunteered to run/maintain JIRA. ASF has and continues to offer Bugzilla and Scarab for issue tracking, and it's up to each project to decide what they want.
Q: Won't using free alternatives encourage them to improve?
A: Possibly, but in practice this seems to rarely occur (how many ASF developers have become Bugzilla developers to scratch their itch?). Besides, encouraging non-free software has benefits too..
Q: What are the benefits of using/encouraging non-free software?
A: JIRA is built largely using open source components, including log4j, Lucene, Velocity, Jakarta Commons, OFBiz, Webwork, OSWorkflow, Sitemesh, OSCache, and many others. Many Atlassian staff are active developers in open source projects, contributing back wherever possible (via code, hosted JIRA instances, supporting community sites like http://javablogs.com, and even a book promoting OSS technologies). None of this would be possible, were Atlassian not to charge for commercial licenses. We believe open source and commercial software can be nicely symbiotic.
The choice is up to individual projects. Projects can be migrated at any time, so there is no pressure.