The common context for all these patterns is that the bug database and the defect tracking system are internal, and used by the development team members, which may include someone in a customer-facing role who takes reports via the telephone or email and enter them into the system (see DefectTrackingRoles). A publicly-accessible customer support system is outside the scope of these patterns.
AcknowledgementsBradAppleton contributed a number of suggestions and refinements.
LindaRising guided the author's first attempt at a pattern language.
RalphJohnson provided key advice.
Working with TheMozillaProject and ApacheAnt using the BugZilla system is a great way to see a defect-tracking process in action.
Work in issue tracking patterns is also under way at http://rndmgmttrenches.blogspot.com/2006/08/patterns-for-issue-tracking.html. Will try updating this wiki with them as I proceed (if that seems a good idea).