[llvm-dev] RFC: Bug-closing protocol

via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Jun 12 13:07:39 PDT 2018

I should have said up front that I am *ecstatic* to see somebody closing old probably-worthless bugs.

Better messaging is exactly what I'm after.  We (properly) don't tolerate "Fix bug" as a commit message; we shouldn't tolerate similarly opaque bug-closing messages.  It's the same principle of proper project communication.
I'm fine with inviting the reporter to reopen if they still do care.  What I'm not fine with is closing a bug for no clear reason, or at least no clearly *stated* reason.

I'm also not open to an argument along the lines of: I've closed 100 bugs this week and I'm sick of repeating myself, everybody has seen this message 100 times already, I don't need to paste it in again.
The buried assumption there is that everyone is on llvm-bugs, which is patently not the case.  The most important person to communicate with, every single time, is the reporter; and while the reporter has to be registered with Bugzilla, we should assume they are *not* on the bugs list.

From: Reid Kleckner [mailto:rnk at google.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 2:52 PM
To: Robinson, Paul
Cc: llvm-dev
Subject: Re: [llvm-dev] RFC: Bug-closing protocol

I think what Vitaly and others are doing is OK if we just tweak the messaging.* In these cases where the bug has been open for more than a year and there isn't enough information to prove or disprove the existence of the bug, I think it's OK to close the bug (probably as WORKSFORME), but invite the user to reopen with more information if the problem is still affecting them. Otherwise we have to go through a dance of pinging the bug, asking for more info, and then close it a month later in the likely case that the original reporter has moved on and cannot reproduce the problem. I think it's better to communicate that, without more input, the community doesn't plan to take action.

* BTW, bugzilla's messaging is totally crazy and user hostile to begin with. Users often have problems that are not compiler bugs, and we correctly close them as "INVALID", all caps. It's not a great experience.

P.S. How long has it been now since users have had to email llvm-admin to create bugzilla accounts? This is an issue, we need to find a way to lower the barrier for bug reporting. :(

On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 7:51 AM via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org<mailto:llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>> wrote:
TL;DR: It's okay to close a bug, if you can justify it properly.

Recently there has been a spate of bug-closing with what I would call
inadequate documentation.  Comments such as "Obsolete?" or "I assume
it's fixed" could be applied to nearly every open bug we have.  While
this does reduce the open bug count--something I have been watching
with morbid fascination for years--I do fear that the reduction is
potentially artificial, and incorrectly puts the onus on the original
bug author to reopen the case.

I suggest that closing a bug can be done IF AND ONLY IF you also state
one of the following:
- that revision NNNNNN actually fixed the bug
- that the bug cannot be reproduced with revision NNNNNN
- that the circumstances for the bug don't apply anymore; e.g.,
  "This is about the makefiles and we don't use makefiles anymore."
- sound reasons for not fixing something (WONTFIX)
- some specific and plausible reason to think that a given bug is
  otherwise inapplicable or obsolete

In particular, "Obsolete?" and "I assume it's fixed" are NOT enough
justification to close a bug.

If people are okay with this, I'd expect adding a new section to the
Developer Policy is probably the right place to put it.

Comments/brickbats welcome...

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