[darcs-users] state of the issue tracker

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Tue Aug 18 13:22:20 UTC 2009

Hi everybody,

Just an update on our current bugtracker state.

I've been working towards cleaning up the bug-tracker guidelines.  The
aim is to make it easier for anybody who wants to help us stay on top of
things.  http://wiki.darcs.net/BugTracker

I'm trying to balance two opposing desires here, first to establish some
sort of process for continuity and stability, and second to keep things
simple enough that we don't feel like we're drowning in policy.

I tend to be a bit embarrassed about my use of Getting Things Done
(partly because it's self help and partly because I'm not even very
consistent about it).  But I do think it is a particularly useful model
for things like bug-tracking, so I've decided to be completely shameless
about applying a GTD-inspired model come what eye rolls may.

Issues go through roughly four stages:
  1. Huh?  (unread, chatting)
  2. To do (need-info, need-action, need-implementation)
  3. Doing (in-progress, testing)
  4. Done  (duplicate, wont-fix, resolved)

It's a general treadmill here, nothing fancy or rigid going on.
Generally speaking you go from Huh to Done, but of course things skip
steps or go back and forth and back again.  It's all good.

The job of the issue manager and anybody working on the tracker is to
move each issue just a centimeter closer to Done.  In GTD theory, the
hard part is going from #1 to #2, so in the new shamelessly self-help
inspired model of bugtracking we place most of our effort on that part
(ie. triage)

Bugs have been triaged
I'm pleased to report that all issues with a bugs-critical priority have
been triaged.  Apologies to innocent bystanders for the recent flood of
bug-tracker noise.

I think we should have a goal of making sure that there are zero
chatting/unread bugs in the tracker, including those masquerading as
other statuses, but for now focusing on the ones that are openly so.
Just keep things moving along.

Current status
Right now we have:
 * 356 open issues (stages #1-#3), of which
   * 150 with priorities critical to bug
   * 257 with priorities feature to wishlist, of which
     * 127 marked unread/chatting
 * 87 open issues marked ProbablyEasy

What's next?
Now I need to shift into a slower-paced maintenance mode.  I still
want to do get some chores out of the way, namely putting together
a small script that lets me merge together users with the same
email address (this is largely done, thanks to Simon Michael but needs
some polishing for just that tiny little extra touch of automation).

My next goal is to perform triage on the 127 feature-wishlist
bugs and after that to start gardening the open bugs.

Help with the tracker, advice on policy, requests for clarification,
etc are more than welcome.


Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9
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