[openstack-dev] [nova] I'm going to expire open bug reports older than 18 months.

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Tue May 31 07:59:19 UTC 2016

Clint Byrum wrote:
> I 100% support those who are managing bugs doing whatever they need
> to do to make sure users' issues are being addressed as well as can be
> done with the resources available. However, I would also urge everyone
> to remember that the bug tracker is not only a way for developers to
> manage the bugs, it is also a way for the community of dedicated users
> to interact with the project as a whole.

This is a classic dilemma in open source bug tracking: the data is 
worthwhile, but keeping it around is generally making the tool less 
usable as a task tracker to organize the work to be done. Most of it 
comes from the fact that we are using the same tool ("bugs") for bug 
reporting and task tracking, and those are different things. Most 
developers want to use a task tracker to organize and prioritize their 
work. They create "bugs" in Launchpad but what they are really doing is 
creating a task for them (or an immediate peer) to process later. They 
may look at bugs/tasks that someone outside the team creates, but that's 
a completely different workflow. So the tension here is that the tool 
presents unqualified user bugs in the same lists as qualified team tasks.

In a fully-controlled environment those tasks are separated. You have a 
bug reporting system, which is mostly a collection of symptoms. Specific 
squads of triagers work on verifying them, deduplicating them, giving 
them some criticality, and checking them again after every release. You 
also have a task tracking system, which is used by teams to organize 
their work and assign it between team members. Team members create tasks 
directly. They may look into the bug tracker for critical issues raised 
by triagers and create tasks to address some of those critical bugs.

This works well, but it supposes that you have a tool that enables those 
two workflows, and a triagers team to handle the first one. In open 
source communities it's generally hard to find people to work purely on 
symptoms triaging -- those who do tend to move to something more 
rewarding very quickly. And the tools generally handle the distinction 
between bug reporting and task tracking poorly... Which leads to the 
dilemma of throwing out unqualified symptoms data to keep the tool 
usable to organize work.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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