Mantis Bug Tracker
|Original author(s)||Kenzaburo Ito (2000-2002), Victor Boctor (2002 – present)|
|Developer(s)||Various (Open source contributors)|
|Stable release||1.2.16 (February 7, 2014[±])|
|Preview release||Non [±]|
|Available in||49 languages|
|Type||Bug tracking system|
|License||GNU General Public License version 2|
Mantis Bug Tracker is a free and open source, web-based bug tracking system released under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2. The most common use of MantisBT is to track software defects. However, MantisBT is often configured by users to serve as a more generic issue tracking system and project management tool.
The name Mantis and the logo of the project refer to the Mantidae family of insects, known for the tracking of and feeding on other insects, colloquially referred to as "bugs". The name of the project is typically abbreviated to either MantisBT or just Mantis.
Kenzaburo Ito started development of the Mantis Bug Tracking project in 2000. In 2002 Victor Boctor became the maintainer of the project. Version 1.0.0 was released in February 2006. Version 1.1.0 was released in December 2007. In November 2008, after a long discussion, the project switched from using the Subversion revision control tool to Git, a distributed revision control tool. In February 2010, version 1.2.0 was released. In July 2012, the MantisBT organization on GitHub became the official repository for the Project's source code.
An event-driven plug-in system was introduced with the release of version 1.2.0. This plug-in system allows extension of MantisBT through both officially maintained and third party plug-ins. As of November 2013, there are over 50 plug-ins available on the MantisBT-plugins organization on Github.
Prior to version 1.2.0, a third party plug-in system created by Vincent Debout was available to users along with a variety of different plug-ins. This system was not officially supported by the MantisBT project and is incompatible with MantisBT 1.2.0 and later.
MantisBT supports the sending of e-mail notifications upon changes being made to issues in the system. Users have the ability to specify the type of e-mails they receive and set filters to define the minimum severity of issues to receive notifications about. Users also have the ability to explicitly subscribe to issues that affect them.
RSS feeds are available for users who wish to keep track of issues that have been resolved. Additionally, MantisBT has integration with Twitter via a plugin, to allow a notification to be tweeted when an issue is resolved.
Via MantisBT's event-driven plug-in system, it is possible to extend the built in notification support to run advanced scripts that perform additional notification actions (such as sending SMS messages or updating statuses in external project management systems).
Revision control system integration
Versions of MantisBT prior to 1.2.0 allowed for limited integration with the CVS revision control system. With the introduction of plug-in capabilities in MantisBT 1.2.0, revision control integration was redeveloped by John Reese in the SourceIntegration plugin.
The initial release of the SourceIntegration plugin supported GitHub, GitWeb, SourceForge and WebSVN. Over time, two additional modules were added and as of November 2013, source integration is supported for the following revision control tools and web-based providers:
- cgit, a web interface for Git repositories, written in C
- GitHub, an open-source software hosting facility that hosts Git repositories
- Gitweb, a free and open source web interface for Git repositories
- HgWeb, a cgi web front-end for Mercurial repositories
- SourceForge (for Subversion integration only), an open-source software hosting facility that hosts various types of software repositories
- WebSVN, a free and open source web interface for Subversion repositories
- RhodeCode, an open-source web interface to Mercurial and Git repositories
Upon committing changesets to a source code repository, post-commit hooks within Git or Subversion can be configured to automatically notify MantisBT that changes have been made to the repository. GitHub is also capable of remotely notifying a MantisBT installation of changes to a source code repository. Another technique used for integrating MantisBT with web-based source code hosting providers is the use of a job scheduler such as cron to manually check for changes to a repository every few minutes, reporting any changes back to MantisBT.
SourceIntegration allows for issues within MantisBT to be automatically resolved when a changeset message contains special strings such as "Fixes #12345", which are configurable using regular expressions. This also allows for relationships to be automatically created between changesets and corresponding issues recorded in MantisBT. Multiple issue IDs can be specified in a single changeset message, although this is commonly discouraged as it indicates the changeset doesn't have a single, clear and logical purpose.
In addition to the features mentioned above, MantisBT also has support for:
- Full text search
- Audit trails of changes made to issues
- Revision control of text fields and notes
- Graphing of relationships between issues
- Sponsorship of issues
- Wiki documentation integration for DokuWiki, MediaWiki, TWiki, WikkaWiki and XWiki
- Project Management & TimeTracking with CodevTT.
- Localised dozens of languages on translatewiki.net.
MantisBT's codebase dates back to a time when PHP's support for object-oriented programming principles was in its infancy. As of version 1.2.0, the majority of the MantisBT codebase still uses procedural programming principles, however some sections have been converted to make use of PHP 5's new object model.
Data is stored in a relational database management system by means of the ADOdb database abstraction library. Popular database servers supported by the ADOdb library and MantisBT include MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle and IBM DB2 (with limited support).
MantisBT maintains a database upgrade path between versions by modifying the database schema incrementally. During the installation of MantisBT, database schema modifications are replayed all the way back from early versions of MantisBT to reach the latest state.
Several PHP extensions are required to enable specific functionality or for performance reasons; the extension for the RDBMS being used (i.e. mysql/mysqli, pgsql, oci8, sqlsrv, ibm-db2) is mandatory.
MantisBT bundles a number of dependencies with each release including:
- ADOdb for abstraction of support for relational database management systems
- Disposable for disposable e-mail checking functionality
- eZ Components for plotting of statistics
- NuSOAP for SOAP web service support
- PHPMailer for e-mail sending support
- Projax for Ajax capabilities in the user interface
- RSS Builder for RSS feed support
- PHP UTF-8 wrapper library for internationalization support in absence of PHP's mb_string extension
- "Mantis 1.0.0 (stable) Released". MantisBT announcements mailing list. SourceForge.net. February 4, 2006.
- "Mantis 1.1.0 Released". Mantis Bug Tracker Blog. Mantisbt.org. December 20, 2007.
- "Moving from SVN to Git". Mantisbt-dev mailing list. Sourceforge.net. November 4, 2008.
- John Reese (November 10, 2008). "First MantisBT Git commit". Github.com.
- "MantisBT 1.2.0 Released". Mantis Bug Tracker Blog. Mantisbt.org. February 22, 2010.
- "MantisBT Moving to Github". MantisBT announcements mailing list. SourceForge.net. July 12, 2011.
- "MantisBT 1.2.0rc1 Release Candidate 1". Mantis Bug Tracker Blog. Mantisbt.org. June 23, 2009.
- "Mantis bugtracker plugins". Deboutv.free.fr. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- "Mantis Bug Tracker Administration Guide". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Reese, John (January 7, 2009). "Integrating Git and SVN with the Mantis Bug Tracker". NoSwap.com. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Subversion Best Practices". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- "Mantis Feature List". MantisBT wiki. Mantisbt.org. September 25, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Languages". Ohloh.net. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "History of PHP". PHP.net. November 8, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "MantisBT source code". GitHub.com. June 11, 2009.
- "MantisBT source code". GitHub.com. February 6, 2008.
- "MantisBT source code - admin/schema.php". GitHub.com. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "ADODB Manual". Phplens.com. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "Mantis Bug Tracker | Requirements". Mantisbt.org. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "MantisBT source code - library/README.libs". GitHub.com. Retrieved November 12, 2013.