Issue Management

Bugs, feature requests and other things we need to do are tracked as Github issues. Issues can be of various types and in various states, and also belong to milestones or not. This page is an attempt to document the current practice.

Labels

Issues without labels are undecided - that is, we don’t yet know if it’s a bug, a configuration issue, a feature request or what. Issues that are invalid for whatever reason are closed with a short explanation of why. Examples include “Duplicate of #123”, “Discovered to be configuration error”, “Rendered moot by #123” and so on. We don’t use the “invalid” or “wontfix” labels.

bug
The issue is a verified bug.
build
The issue is caused by or requires changes to the build system (scripts or Docker image).
docs
Something requires documenting.
easy
This could be easily fixed, probably an hour’s work or less. These issues are good starting points for new contributors.
enhancement
This is a new feature or an improvement of some kind, as opposed to a problem (bug).
not-our-bug
Rare and temporary label used only when we want to keep an issue open for visibility, but the real problem is somewhere else.
protocol
This requires a change to the protocol.

Milestones

There are milestones for major and sometimes minor versions. An issue being assigned to a milestone means it is a blocker - the release can’t be made without the issue being closed. Typically this also means that the issue is being actively worked on, at least for version milestones in the foreseeable future.

In addition to version specific milestones there are two generic ones:

Planned
This issue is being worked on, or will soon be worked on, by someone in the core team. Expect action on it within the next few days, weeks or months.
Unplanned (Contributions Welcome)
This issue is not being worked on by the core team, and we don’t plan on doing so in the foreseeable future. We still consider it a valid issue and welcome contributions towards resolving it.

Issues lacking a milestone are currently undecided. In practice this is similar to Unplanned in that probably no-one is working on it, but we are still considering it and it may end up Planned or closed instead.

Assignee

Users can be assigned to issues. We don’t usually do so. Sometimes someone assigns themself to an issue to indicate “I’m working on this” to avoid others doing so too. It’s not mandatory.

Locking

We don’t normally lock issues (prevent further discussion on them). There are some exceptions though;

  • “Popular” issues that attract lots of “me too” and “+1” comments. These are noise and annoy people with useless notifications via mail and in the Github interface. Once the issue is clear and it suffers from this symptom I may lock it.
  • Contentious bikeshedding discussions. After two sides in a discussion have clarified their points, there is no point arguing endlessly about it. As above, this may get closed.
  • Duplicates. Once an issue has been identified as a duplicate of another issue, it may be locked to prevent further discussion there. The intention is to move the discussion to the other (referenced) issue, while someone just doing a search and jumping on the first match might otherwise resurrect discussion in the duplicate.