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Summary field required?

I'm trying to make a custom issue type, and I can't get rid of the summary field. I don't want it, and I there is no way to make it optional. It's annoying because EVERY OTHER FIELD i can make optional, but not the summary field, for some reason. I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong..all i know is this is ridiculously complex and shouldn't have to be this hard. i'm really hating jIRA workflows.

can anyone help me figure out where i've gone wrong? I've checked every scheme, field configuration, assignment, everything. I can't seem to make this "required" field go away! Thanks.


4 answers

1 accepted

3 votes
Answer accepted
Nic Brough Community Leader Mar 17, 2013

You are not doing anything wrong really. Summary is a mandatory system field, you can't create an issue without it. Jira is coded that way, and you can't make it go away. You have to fill it in.

The best you can do is remove it from all screens and automatically populate it using a post-function or listener, but I've got a feeling you can't do that in OnDemand - you'll still need to populate it on creation.

Huh ok.. well at least i know it's not me. I was starting to question my sanity. Thanks.

Thanks, useful explanation!

It would be nice when Atlassian would label the field as "Required by System" :-)

Like Xyn IT likes this
Nic Brough Community Leader Jan 13, 2019

Users don't care why a field is made mandatory, so that would be pointless.

It would be nice when Atlassian would label the field in the backend (section field configuration) as "Required by System" 

You can't remove Summary because it's the title of the ticket! It would be more appropriately named 'Title', IMO.

Nic Brough Community Leader Dec 19, 2013

Summary is a better word than title, it's a more generalised word than title. Title would be ok for some types of issue, but isn't really right for others in English. Bugs for example, wouldn't have a title, summary is a far better way to say it.

I think the word Summary may be quite confusing. Most generalised term for me would be "name".

Nic Brough Community Leader Dec 19, 2013

Again, you don't really give a "name" to a bug. In English, a name is subtly different from a title or a summary. Names are generally proper and formal. You name people, pets, places and so-on. "London" is a name, it doesn't really have a title, and a "Summary" of "A large conurbation in England" is appropriate.

My point is that summary is a very generalised word, it really does mean "a very short sentence to give a quick view of the item under discussion". Name and title are too specific in their meaning.

Summary is indeed a more generalised word than title, which is precisely why it is a poor choice to label the name/title of an artifact. As an abstract term, it gives no indication that it might be the very field that is coded to appear as the name/title of the artifact. I was looking to edit the name/title, and initially couldn't find it.

Nic Brough Community Leader Sep 15, 2015

Name or Title are dreadful ways to describe the field. Documents and people have titles. Items have names. Think of it like this - what is the field used for? If you put a sentence into the field to give people a rough idea they can use to think about the issue, how could you describe it? "My computer is broken" is not a name or a title, and that's the main type of phrase you will see in a summary field - a summary of what needs looking at.

We use (and love) Jira for many reasons, one of which is that it is an electronic documentation system. Every Jira artifact is an electronic document. One reason Jira is great is because it produces traceable documentation for our development activities. Even bug artifacts are documents, which should document not only just how to reproduce the bug, but the history of the root cause analysis through resolution of that bug. Every document has a title, including electronic artifact documents. I understand that good titles will often contain a short summary, but in my experience, a title is too short for a meaningful summary, and will only give a taste. A summary will often be a single paragraph, compared to a multi-paragraph complete description. As a software engineer, I greatly appreciate the abstract thinking that leads to generalizing the field name. But in this situation, users are trying to find the artifact document title, wondering if 'Summary' is the document title, and putting too many characters in the summary to be useful as a title. Cheers. :)

Nic Brough Community Leader Sep 17, 2015

The problem remains that "title" is the wrong word for the field. It would be if JIRA were built as a documentation system, but it's not, it's an issue tracker (no matter that it has been used for all sorts of other things). I don't think "summary" is a great word for it, but I've yet to find a better one. Confluence is a documentation system, and uses the word "title", because it's the right word there.

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Summary : 1 : comprehensive; especially : covering the main points succinctly Title : 6 : a descriptive name : appellation Your example of "My computer is broken" is a description name, and lacks the necessary detail to cover the main points succinctly. Any truly meaningful summary, even a succinct one, will be too long for the field. But any text can be a descriptive name. Let's name the field "Appellation". :) But seriously, title is much better than summary. Cheers.

Nic Brough Community Leader Sep 18, 2015

Nope. Wrong. "My computer is broken" is not a title.

You can add some default value to summary field or you can copy over any other field value

Nic Brough Community Leader Dec 22, 2013

You can't do it in the standard UI. Rambanam is probably suggesting that you use Javascript to create and populate it before the user commits a new issue.

I actually don't seem to manage adding any default value or copying to it values from other feeds... am I missing something?

Like the rest of the world, "Subject"?

Nic Brough Community Leader Mar 27, 2015

What does that mean? You'd prefer Subject to Summary for the name of the field? It's not as good a word as "summary", because subject means "the person or object being discussed". But I might be discussing a principle, asking a question or requesting help. "Summary" works better for them.

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