[openstack-dev] [all] Scale out bug-triage by making it easier for people to contribute

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Tue Nov 18 18:58:23 UTC 2014

Excerpts from Flavio Percoco's message of 2014-11-17 08:46:19 -0800:
> Greetings,
> Regardless of how big/small bugs backlog is for each project, I
> believe this is a common, annoying and difficult problem. At the oslo
> meeting today, we're talking about how to address our bug triage
> process and I proposed something that I've seen done in other
> communities (rust-language [0]) that I consider useful and a good
> option for OpenStack too.
> The process consist in a bot that sends an email to every *volunteer*
> with 10 bugs to review/triage for the week. Each volunteer follows the
> triage standards, applies tags and provides information on whether the
> bug is still valid or not. The volunteer doesn't have to fix the bug,
> just triage it.
> In openstack, we could have a job that does this and then have people
> from each team volunteer to help with triage. The benefits I see are:
> * Interested folks don't have to go through the list and filter the
> bugs they want to triage. The bot should be smart enough to pick the
> oldest, most critical, etc.
> * It's a totally opt-in process and volunteers can obviously ignore
> emails if they don't have time that week.
> * It helps scaling out the triage process without poking people around
> and without having to do a "call for volunteers" every meeting/cycle/etc
> The above doesn't solve the problme completely but just like reviews,
> it'd be an optional, completely opt-in process that people can sign up
> for.

My experience in Ubuntu, where we encouraged non-developers to triage
bugs, was that non-developers often ask the wrong questions and
sometimes even harm the process by putting something in the wrong
priority or state because of a lack of deep understanding.

Triage in a hospital is done by experienced nurses and doctors working
together, not "triagers". This is because it may not always be obvious
to somebody just how important a problem is. We have the same set of
problems. The most important thing is that developers see it as an
important task and take part. New volunteers should be getting involved
at every level, not just bug triage.

I think the best approach to this, like reviews, is to have a place
where users can go to drive the triage workload to 0. For instance, the
ubuntu server team had this report for triage:


Sadly, it looks like they're overwhelmed or have abandoned the effort
(I hope this doesn't say something about Ubuntu server itself..), but
the basic process was to move bugs off these lists. I'm sure if we ask
nice the author of that code will share it with us and we could adapt
it for OpenStack projects.

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