Keeping track of issues
Simon Peyton Jones
simonpj at microsoft.com
Tue May 7 22:36:11 UTC 2019
I'm struggling to establish a clear understanding of the life cycle of an issue.
Consider https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/issues/15872. Here is my faithfully recorded chain of thought at 2330 on a Tuesday night.
* I can see that it is closed
* But I wonder if it was fixed?
* Well, scrolling up from the bottom, apparently it was mentioned in no fewer than six patches. That's odd. Why is this issue mentioned in six patches?
* Oh, one of those six patches is a dup, mentioned twice. No idea why.
* Are any of the five The Patch that is designed to fix this issue. Indeed does The Patch exist at all? And what MR is it in?
* Oh, what is that MR?
* Hmm. Well Ryan says "I've opened MR 851". Maybe that's it?
* Let's head over to MR 851: https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/merge_requests/851
* Oh! It just says "Closed". I was hoping it'd say "merged", but no.
* Uh oh. Near the top it says "Closed by Omer"... "the changes were not merged into master".
* Then scrolling further down there is a lot of noise from Marge, followed by a presumably hand-written message from Omer saying "Merged as cc495d57</ghc/ghc/commit/cc495d5777c01ef62129df15caacf87b0e430c6b>.".
* Huh. So maybe it did get merged after all.
You can see how confused I am. It all just feels like much more work to find relevant info than it should be. It's frustrating because all the info is in the system, -- it's just hard (for me) to find.
An issue should say prominently: this is The MR (or MRs) that fixes the issue.
It should be easy to tell if those MR(s) have been successfully merged - along with their commit messages (this will come Moe Bot).
Trac used to let you close a ticket as "fixed" or "wont-fix" or "invalid" etc. This was Jolly Useful. Doesn't Gitlab?
Similarly, MRs sould be closed as "merged" or "abandoned".
Much of this is not under your control - it's what GitLab does. But maybe we should have stronger best-practice guidelines. Eg "Never just close an issue; always say "Closing as won't fix" or...". etc.
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