[cfe-dev] [RFC] LLVM bug lifecycle BoF - triaging

Tamás Zolnai via cfe-dev cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sat Oct 6 13:53:17 PDT 2018

Hi all,

Just a short feedback about my first impression of the llvm bugzilla. I
just requested an account for bugzilla and I just did some browsing the
bugs. I checked static analyzer related bugs and as I see almost all bugs
are assigned, which is a bit strange to me. Also most of the assigned bugs
were assigned to two assignees, so I expect that these two people don't
actually work on that ~600 bugs.

So I'm a bit confused now what assigning means in llvm bugzilla. In general
for me assigning means the bug is "locked", somebody is working on that
issue, so I should not pick it up for working on it. Which means that by
now almost every static analyzer related bugs are locked in bugzilla, so I
need to find a task somewhere else.

In LibreOffice project we also use bugzilla and only assign a bug if the
assignee is actually working on that issue or he/she is planning to work on
it soon. Also we reset assignee back to "non" after some months of
inactivity. Which means that most of the bugs are unassinged so new
contributors can pick them up (also can filter for unassigned bugs). If a
bug is related to an area which has an "owner" or expert, we add the expert
to the "CC" list so he/she get notified.

I did not find any information about that what assigning means in llvm
bugzilla, so I don't know whether it have a different meaning what I
expected and described above.

Best Regards,
Tamás Zolnai

Kristof Beyls via cfe-dev <cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> ezt írta (időpont: 2018.
okt. 4., Cs, 11:55):

> Hi all,
> I’d like to share a few thoughts and analysis results on the LLVM bug life
> cycle, especially the reporting/triaging part.
> As one of the few people creating llvm bugzilla accounts when people
> request an account, I started to have a feel that many reported bugs,
> especially by first-time reporters, never get any reply or feedback, let
> alone be acted on.
> If people go through the effort of requesting an account, and then
> reporting the bug, they show motivation to contribute to the project.
> However, if then they see zero return on their effort spent, even if it’s
> just a confirmation of the bug indeed being real or an explanation of what
> they thought to be a bug isn’t actually a bug, I fear as a community we
> disincentify a large number of potential long-term contributors.
> The above was all based on gut feel, so I tried to gather a bit more data
> to see if my feel was correct or not.
> I scraped the bugs in bugzilla and post-processed them a bit. Below is a
> chart showing, year by year, how long it takes for a reported bug to get
> any comment from anyone besides to original reporter. If the bug is still
> open and didn’t have any reaction after half a year the chart categorizes
> is as an “infinite” response time.
> It shows that in recent years the chance of never getting a response to a
> bug report has been increasing.
> For some bugs - e.g. an experienced LLVM developer records a
> not-that-important bug in bugzilla - that may be just fine.
> However, I assume that for people reporting a bug for the first time, the
> majority may look at least for confirmation that what they reported is
> actually a bug.
> The chart shows (blue bars) that about 50% of first-time bug reporters
> never get any reply.
> I also plotted which components get the most reported bugs that don’t get
> any reaction and remain open:
> The percentage at the top of the bars is the percentage of bugs against
> that component that never get any reaction. The bar height shows the
> absolute numbers.
> I hope that at the “Lifecycle of LLVM bug reports” BoF at the upcoming dev
> meeting in San Jose (https://llvmdev18.sched.com/event/H2T3, 17th of
> October, 10.30am), we can discuss what could be done to improve the
> experience for first-time reporters and also to reduce the number of bug
> reports that seemingly get ignored completely.
> By sending this email, I hope to trigger discussion before the BoF, both
> by attendees and non-attendees, so that we have a more fruitful outcome.
> At first sight, to me, it seems that the following actions would help:
>    - Let’s introduce some form of “triaged” state in bugzilla, to
>    represent that a bug report has been accepted as describing a real problem;
>    able to be acted on (e.g. has a suitable reproducer); and not being a
>    duplicate of another bug report. Looking at
>    https://bugzilla.readthedocs.io/en/5.0/using/editing.html#life-cycle-of-a-bug,
>    maybe the best way to achieve this would be for newly raised bugs to by
>    default go to an “UNCONFIRMED” state instead of “NEW”? Moving the status to
>    “NEW” or “CONFIRMED” would indicate the bug has been triaged.
>    - Would it help to have one or multiple people per component that
>    volunteer to triage new bugs?
>    - With the majority of developers being part of a team working on a
>    product based on LLVM, I would assume that it is in the interest of most
>    that reported bugs at least get evaluated/triaged? What is stopping those
>    developers to find the time to do some triaging? Would a better
>    notification mechanism be useful to notify when new bugs on a specific
>    component come in that you could triage? Maybe per component try to have a
>    few people on the “default CC list”, which seems easy to set up as a
>    bugzilla administrator.
>    - Should we get rid of the "new-bugs/new bugs” component if we won’t
>    have people triaging them?
>    - Should we have some description of what a reasonable triage of a bug
>    looks like? If we write such a page, we could also use that page to
>    describe what we think should get recorded when closing bugs.
> Thanks,
> Kristof
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