Is cleaning up old issues worthwhile?

Kevin Buhr buhr at
Sat May 4 17:35:23 UTC 2019

I presume I can't be the first to ask this question, but I tried 
searching the ghc-devs archives and didn't find anything.

After accidentally clicking on the sort order button in the GitLab issue 
list, I found myself browsing 18-year-old open issues that are clearly 
obsolete (e.g., #515 related to bad source location info in LHS files 
long since fixed, #517 which looks like a transient issue with error 
messages affecting HEAD in March 2001, #519 which refers to "ghc -M" 
reading "import" statements from comments which I tried and failed to 
duplicate. etc.).

I would be interested in going through some of these and triaging and 
closing them where appropriate.  But I also don't want to be "that guy" 
-- you know, the person who systematically works his or her way through 
the wiki boldfacing all occurrences of the word "GHC" or submits 1200 
merge requests to remove doubled-space-after-period occurrences in comments.

So, the first question is, would working on cleaning up these issues be 
useful, or would it generate too much noise to be worthwhile?

Second, if it *is* useful, what sort of policy/procedure would be most 
helpful?  There are a bunch of these issues that:

  * have gone many years without any non-administrative activity
  * have clear test cases that can't be duplicated with modern GHC
  * don't involve any apparent unresolved technical issues

I'd be pretty comfortable adding a comment documenting my failure to 
duplicate them and then closing them.  So, that might be a good first 
pass.  Is there any reason *not* to simply comment and close them 
immediately?  For example, I already closed #497 and #515 on this basis. 
Would it be better to comment on them, maybe tag them with a new label 
like "issue cleanup", and have a grace period before closing them?

Kevin Buhr <buhr at>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the ghc-devs mailing list