A project like Ubuntu, which wants to exchange code directly with upstreams and also with
Debian and other distros, really feels the need for some solution to this problem.
Truly distributed bug tracking (where the bug list follows the code everywhere) is very
exciting, and may be the long term solution. In the interim, you can address it with just
tracking the state of the bug in a few different places. Canonical has been funding work on
Bugzilla, Trac and other bug trackers to make it easier to talk to them programatically, so
that we can keep Ubuntu developers up to date automatically.
We have a "centralised view of distributed bug status" in Launchpad, which helps us keep track
of the status of an issue upstream, in Debian, or in other distros. For example, check out
In each case, you can see how the bug is linked to reports in other bug trackers, and then the
status is updated automatically. As a small consequence, you can subscribe to any bug report
on any bug tracker (of the supported types) via LP.
A centralised view isn't the ultimate solution, but it works for us right now and quite a few
other projects - upstreams and distributions - are using it too.