[ocaml-platform] Improving the opam-repository issue tracker

Gabriel Scherer gabriel.scherer at gmail.com
Tue Sep 27 15:55:36 BST 2016

> Perhaps what is needed is a somewhat tedious day with maintainers in the
> same (virtual) place, so that (brief) discussions can take place
> immediately, to control the backlog?

Maybe for another time, but have opam-repository maintainers and
contributors considered having an actual get-together event? Given the
current distribution, Cambridge or London could be good starting points.
(I'm personally stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic before January, but
in general terms I would consider attending such an event. There would also
be interesting discussions to be had regarding opam 2.0 migration and

On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 4:48 AM, Thomas Gazagnaire <thomas at gazagnaire.org>

> >> Nowadays I consider it a lost cause when I file an issue on the opam-
> >> repository.
> >>
> >> I think this is an issue.
> >>
> >> I perfectly understand that from the point of view of repo maintainers
> the
> >> amount of issues (136 now) doesn't entice them to go through the backlog
> >> to try to fix or close them. However I believe that if we try to limit
> the
> >> backlog or tag them more appropriately there may be a better chance that
> >> issues do not simply get ignored.
> >>
> >> Going through the least recently updated issues:
> >>
> >> https://github.com/ocaml/opam-
> >> repository/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aissue+sort%3Aupdated-asc
> >>
> >> here are a few things that come to mind:
> >>
> >> 1. Kill that `request for package` tag. Being a developer-oriented
> package
> >> system I don't think the opam repository is the place to ask for
> >> packaging, people should ask upstream (I don't say this didn't make
> sense
> >> when opam was a baby).
> >> 2. Kill too open ended questions with the `question` tag.
> >> 3. Go through the `bug` tag. It seems a lot of old things can be closed.
> >
> > Agreed - I was briefly involved with Git-for-Windows. I disliked hugely
> the way the principal maintainer runs that project, but one thing which was
> very impressive was his rapid triage of issues. For standard FAQ questions,
> "we" (i.e. a maintainer) should comment with the appropriate FAQ link
> (number 1 would be advice either to contact upstream or a pointer to the
> packaging instructions; number 2 would either link to the manual or a
> general FAQ to open an issue on the appropriate docs repository; etc.) and
> immediately *close* the issue. It doesn't prevent the poster from
> commenting a little further, but it removes a "pointless" issue from the
> list as quickly as possible. Also, if an issue was woefully lacking in
> required information, the issue was closed, rather than requesting further
> information and leaving it open. The OP can always re-open the issue having
> supplied further details (or start a fresh one).
> >
> > If your issue survives that process, his next stage was tag it and
> determine who was going to fix it - if it a maintainer volunteers, it's
> assigned; otherwise if you don't agree to fix it, it's closed at once
> (happens with feature requests more than bugs, obviously).
> >
> > Finally, about once a month, he'd go through old issues and ping them
> for status - and close anything which seemed not to be making progress.
> >
> > It seems to me that for opam-repository a ruthless model would work
> well! Or, as we can see, you can't see the wood for them trees...
> >
> >> 4. There seem to be a lot of old install glitches that I'm sure are no
> >> longer relevant.
> >> 5. There are a few open issues where people say that the problem is
> >> solved, they should be closed...
> >>
> >> I think we should walk up from the oldest issues and whenever things are
> >> are unclear tag them with `scheduled for closure` and comment that
> without
> >> any further feedback in 7 days, the issue will be closed. Also in
> general
> >> it would be nice to introduce tags to distinguish between repo
> >> organisation issues like [1] (may be long lived) and end-user repo
> install
> >> failures like [2] (should be short lived).
> >
> > Perhaps what is needed is a somewhat tedious day with maintainers in the
> same (virtual) place, so that (brief) discussions can take place
> immediately, to control the backlog?
> I agree, I rarely look at the issue tracker and its current state makes me
> quite sad (these two are maybe related). Any help to triage these issues
> would be greatly appreciated. I will make a quick first scan to close the
> obvious ones.
> Thomas
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