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

Ivan Gotovchits ivg at ieee.org
Tue Sep 27 16:42:04 BST 2016

Probably, we can all help maintainers, by reviewing our own issues, and
probably closing them.
For this we need to substitute USER with our github log in the following



On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Gabriel Scherer <gabriel.scherer at gmail.com
> wrote:

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