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

Joe Gordon joe.gordon0 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 18 22:45:18 UTC 2014

On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM, Clint Byrum <clint at fewbar.com> wrote:

> 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.

++, nice analogy.

Another problem I have seen, is we need to constantly re-triage bugs, as
just because a bug was marked as confirmed 6 months ago doesn't mean it is
still valid.

> 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:
> http://reqorts.qa.ubuntu.com/reports/ubuntu-server/triage-report.html
> 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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