Janitor in the issue queue

2 minutters læsning

For completely selfish reasons, I have helped clean up the issue queue for a couple of projects. I say selfish because, I figured if I could reduce the number of bugs (read: distractions) from the developers of the modules, then maybe they would pay attention to my issue quicker.

Therefore I have been cleaning up in the issue queue for entityreference, colorbox and media gallery and to a lesser extent for some other projects. The issue queue often grows out of control, if the developers are too busy.

That is where most Drupal users can lend a hand. Here are some of the things, that I do, when digging into the issue queue.

Getting rid of those stale, old issues. First I arrange the issue queue by date and takes the oldest issues first. Then I start to see whether I can get some of those issues closed. Either I set the status to postphoned (the maintainer needs more info) and asks whether this issue has been resolved.

Getting bugs confirmed in newer versions. Then I arrange the issue queue by version number, and I dig into all those issues that are open for older versions. I ask whether the creator of the issue has tried with the latest development version of the project. I set the status to postphoned (the maintainer needs more info).

Answering support questions. Then I try to answer the questions in the issue queue, that I know the answer to.

By now, there is already progress.

Close issues for inactivity. Then I wait for 14 days and I come back. I choose all the postphoned (maintainer needs more info), and if nobody answered within that period, I set the issue to closed (won’t fix) by reason of inactivity.

Doing that work, I hope, make the life easier for the module maintainers, so they have more time to help me with my issues :)

Some work could be automated

Some of this work could be automated a bit. There is already the automated approach, that a fixed issue will be set to Closed (fixed) after 14 days. But a lot of the questions in the issue queue are questions that nobody remembers. Here is my proposal:

Issues on old versions should be reprompted. The issue tracker could create a new comment in an issue, if a new version of a project is published, and there is still issues on an old project. The comment could simply be: “Is this still an issue in the new version of this module”. If nobody updates the version number for that issue within a given period of time, the issue is closed.

Open issues with no activity. If issues are open let us say half a year, a new comment could be made: “Is this still an issue for you”. If nobody replies, the issue can be closed automatically.

That way the issue queues could be a little easier to manage.

Start digging into the issue queues

So start digging into the issue queue of your choice. Actually, you will end up learning something along the way. And what is your opinion about the automated issue queue?