Is cleaning up old issues worthwhile?

Alexandre Rodrigues alexandreR_B at
Sat May 4 18:35:19 UTC 2019

That sounds like a great idea. The more people we have doing that, the better!

In my opinion, doing this

> adding a comment documenting my failure to duplicate them and then closing them.

would work, although perhaps creating a new issue label for very old issues and first tagging them with it to notify all involved of their possibly imminent closure would be a nice first step.

As you said, these issues may no longer be relevant for different reasons each, so it’d be good to document which it is.

From: ghc-devs <ghc-devs-bounces at> on behalf of Kevin Buhr <buhr at>
Sent: Saturday, May 4, 2019 6:35:23 PM
To: ghc-devs at
Subject: Is cleaning up old issues worthwhile?

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><mailto:buhr at>

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