Make sure the bug tracker doesn’t turn into a discussion forum. Although it is important to maintain a human presence in the bug tracker, it is not fundamentally suited to real-time discussion. Think of it rather as an archiver, a way to organize facts and references to other discussions, primarily those that take place on mailing lists.
There are two reasons to make this distinction. First, the bug tracker is more cumbersome to use than the mailing lists (or than real-time chat forums, for that matter). This is not because bug trackers have bad user interface design, it’s just that their interfaces were designed for capturing and presenting discrete states, not free-flowing discussions. Second, not everyone who should be involved in discussing a given issue is necessarily watching the bug tracker. Part of good issue management is to make sure each issue is brought to the right peoples’ attention, rather than requiring every developer to monitor all issues.
– Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software