Team issuebusters

As Richard pointed out in the other thread, we have a lot of open issues, and it'd be nice if we could do something about that. Evan tried to get people to review GH issues at Railsconf, and I believe there were some success there. Any interest in formalizing this effort and make it sustainable?

There are a few things about these issues that is pretty mechanical and almost anyone could do it (I'll be the first to volunteer):

1. As new issues are coming in -
  - Tag them appropriately (activerecord, activesupport, etc) - I think someone is already doing this and they might or might not need more help doing this
  - Ask for logs and other clarifications from reporter if necessary
  - Do preliminary (re)searches in the source, find out who is most likely to be the "owner" of the affected code and /cc (or perhaps even assign the issue with the tag "needs triage" or something) them for feedback
  - Close inappropriate issues (inflector patches, feature requests, questions etc) and direct the reporter to the right channels (stack overflow, rails guides, mailing lists, etc)

2. For older tickets -
  - Review if they are still relevant
  - Ping the reporters or the code owner for updates, and close the issues as appropriate

While some of these (mostly the communications part) can be done by just anyone, I believe certain parts of the flow (tagging and closing tickets) requires repo-collab access, so some formalized recruiting and management effort would be necessary to make this effective. If granting full collaborator access is a problem, perhaps it is something that we could try working out with Github?

Anyways, I'm happy to help here, and I'm sure there would be a few others on the list who wouldn't mind committing a few hours per week doing this. So let me know how I could best spend my time helping out here.


We actually already have a team that’s working on the issues (such as me and Steve K.) We might be a little slow sometimes, but please trust me that it’s getting better than before now. :slight_smile:

I think currently everyone are so busy with Rails 4 release (we do want to send some patches in as well) as they’re right around the corner, so the respond time might be a little slow. After the RC goes out, I’m planning to do a big going-through the issues queue.

If you would like to help us for now, feel free to go through those issues, ping the appropriate person to respond to it, or ask if it can be close. Rails Core team always appreciate your contribution, and I’m pretty sure they won’t hesitate to give you out the permission to manage tickets when it’s time.

Thank you so much for stepping up for this.

  • Prem

I thought this was obvious and it turns out I’m right :stuck_out_tongue: Since you and steve are probably focusing on newer tickets, I guess I can start going through the stale tickets from the end and ping the reporters… if no one responded in a while (a week or so?) then I’ll ping one of you to close? Would that work?

(Perhaps we can be more proactive in closing stale PRs that aren’t receiving enough attention from the core team, and ask the author to reopen if they are still interested in pursuing that? That way we can escalate PRs that have been re-opened a few times and make sure they get a final yes/no from the core.)


Just to be more clear we have more people in this team. Guillermo Iguaran, Arun Agrawal, Prem, Steve K., Carlos Antonio, Piotr Sarnacki, Andrew White and I.

From this team, four members (Carlos, Piotr, Andrew and I) have commit access so we can also merge pull requests.

There also more people helping to reproduce issues like Richard and Francesco Rodriguez.

As Prem said, we are very busy these days, but we are a lot better. I remember that in weekend after the Railsconf, without knowing about the Rails Core Panel, Carlos Antonio and I closed almost 300 issues. We got the issues count down from 900+ to 400 in less than one week. Also we started to tag all the issues.

I think in the next weeks I’ll be back to the issues tracker to solve they. You can be sure that I’ll read every single issue (newer or older) and answer they, as I did in the last 9 months.

I’ll very glad to have more people helping, and is a good idea start to work in the older tickets.

Finally, as Prem said, we’ll give permission to manage tickets when it’s time.

Rafael Mendonça França

Isn’t Adam Hawkins part of this team as well? Was he just helping to go through issues with Steve K?

We have done a lot of work on the issues this year, and we were able to bring the number down to almost a half - it was over 800 - and we didn’t even know about what happened at RailsConf. The problem is that now it’s getting harder to bring this number down.

Going through old and stale tickets is an awesome way to help for sure, some folks like Rafael, Prem, Steve, Richard and I (among others) have been trying to do this, and we’re getting some of them closed as possible. But as we close, more and more keep coming, so the number stays the same. It was over 500 these days, not we got it back to ~470. I have around 50 or more tickets bookmarked here to take a look, but real life always happens :).

So please, if you can that’d be a great help. In any case, just pay attention to some issues that have people assigned to them, those are probably the ones that need work to be done and shouldn’t be just closed. Trying to go through the issues list, and making sure bugs are still real bugs in master, are also another great way to help.

When in doubt, just ping some of us to help.


Thank you all for making rails awesome! :smiley:

Ok, Rafael has just listed everything a lot better than I did :slight_smile:

Ha, thanks for bringing out the whole list. GitHub was down, so I can’t remember who else are on the list. And yeah, Rafael really sums it up pretty well.

Thanks guys,

  • Prem

To see how much work Carlos (and team) did during Railsconf, look at this handy graph I drew up about a month ago:

That big dip at the end of the graph is thanks to the volunteers who’ve been working super hard on keeping that ticket count down.

Thanks for all your hard work issuebusters :slight_smile:

I literally have read every open Rails issue and comment, and check twice a day at least.

As many as you think are open now, you should see the number I close within a few minutes of opening. :wink:

I think there still could be a few more people with commit privileges, as there are a ton of PRs open, an ultimately, fixing issues requires getting code written and reviewed. It’s certainly not too bad at the moment. It has been much worse multiple times in the past.

A request as someone who has tried before to help out with Rails (and then getting discouraged when realizing I would have to rewrite half of ActiveRecord to solve the issue): Have you ever thought about labeling some issues which seem simpler to solve as well, “simple”? Just to give newbies a chance to get their feet wet.

At this point, it seems to me that there isn't a whole lot of 'simple'
bits to be fixed; most issues in a massive, years-old codebase are not

That doesn't mean they don't exist...

… right, if you look hard enough, you’ll find one that it’s simple. :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, while I like the idea here, I don’t think we really need a easy bake oven for our issues. I remembered myself wanting to write a patch to Rails, so I dove down Active Record source code, head first, trying to fix something, and boy that was really fun. If they take issue as a challenge, regardless if the issue is hard or easy, it’s still fun. :slight_smile:

  • Prem

Thanks Rafael, Prem, Ryan, Steve, Carlos and everyone else for all your hard work. Issues are much better than they were!

To everyone else…I just started taking a serious look at issues a few months ago and since then i’ve learned quite a bit about rails internals, an in-depth look into the pull request system. It’s been incredibly rewarding and it will even help you find easy commits like this simple docs update: Even if you only look at one issue a day it can still be helpful to Rails and helpful to you. If you’re interested in being a guniea-pig for a beta project, I’ve written a script that can email you an open issue from Rails once a day. If you would like more information message me directly richard[at], once I get some polish on the project I’ll mail it out to the rest of the list.

Maybe I just chose the wrong issues then… :slight_smile:

I’m just mentioning it since, for example, Poltergeist marked a few issues as “easy” and has managed to get a few new people to contribute to it.

Haha, maybe Andres, Maybe. Trust me, there was one time that I spend a whole day trying to fix an issue, and still couldn’t figure it out what’s wrong with it … I then had to drop it. (I’m not proficient on working with Active Record stuff, tbh.)

But, I mean, if that easy tag really going to encourage new people to come in, I don’t mind doing it. However, I feel like if the issue is easy to fix enough, people will tends to just send in a pull request with their fix instead of just reporting a bug, since it’s so easy nowadays with GitHub and all the tools we have.

Oh boy, I don’t want to take this one off topic, so I’ll stop here for now. Happy contributing people! :slight_smile:

  • Prem

Even taking one new issue a day, you’re guaranteed to find something to work on :slight_smile:

Thanks for starting this thread. I’ve been meaning to start giving some time to looking at rails’ issues, but keep forgetting or being lazy. This was the umph I needed to start.