Trac etiquette and gaming the hackfest

While the CDBaby/WWR hackfest is a cool idea, it is suffering from either
excessive sloppiness due to high levels of enthusiasm, or people are
actively trying to game the system (read "cheat"). Either way, I'm seeing
a lot of activity that is either pointless or counter-productive. Like
people improperly closing or recategorizing tickets.

For example: http://dev.rubyonrails.org/ticket/6604

The pointless stuff is annoying and also damaging because all the noise
makes it harder to see the stuff that actually matters. But things like
closing tickets that shouldn't be closed is really bad. There's going to
be a lot of cleanup work after this contest is over.

If I'd been setting up the rules for the hackfest I would have included
penalties for being sloppy or cheating. I don't know what to do about it
at this point, but I'd love to see some of the big offenders get at least
a hand slapping.

+1 on penalties for gaming. Too much is being closed for the sake of
the contest without comprehension. This is equivalent to purposely
hiding bugs.

Kev

+1 on penalties for gaming. Too much is being closed for the sake of
the contest without comprehension. This is equivalent to purposely
hiding bugs.

I agree that gaming should be punished. However, I don't think the case Josh mentioned is about gaming, more about trigger-happiness due to a sloppily created ticket. Anyway, remember that closing a bug only gives you 5 points so it's not really a good way to inflate your score. It's better to do the right thing and really contribute by sending patches (either failing test cases or fixes). Of course the real easy way would be to just submit bs as patches so keep your integrity, otherwise you won't have much fun hanging out in the Dreambox :slight_smile:

//jarkko

I agree with Jarkko, I don’t think this is gaming, and I don’t believe it’s an issue.

The only real way of “gaming the system” I saw so far was splitting up related stuff in multiple patches. I’m talking about large numbers of patches here. They don’t even have to be commited - open patches alone contribute to the score a lot.

IMO, there is no point in worrying now because it’s almost over anyway. The contest was a great undertaking and it has made the community very excited - I hope for more of these in the future. I also hope the list is here to stay, so we (the contributors) can always gloat … if you pardon the expression :slight_smile:

-Mislav

+1 on penalties for gaming. Too much is being closed for the sake of
the contest without comprehension. This is equivalent to purposely
hiding bugs.

-1 on penalties for gaming without a strict definition of what that
is. Is submitting several small test-coverage-enhancement tickets
gaming the system? What about contributing documentation fixes?
Closing old bugs which no longer apply? All these things are
valuable, but could also be seen as gaming the system.

There's some less than stellar stuff flowing into the bug tracker, and
that's a problem, but I think the best solution will be for cd baby
and friends to review the prize winners, to double check they're going
to the people who deserve it.

As for the ticket in question, People closing tickets and reopening
them is what happens with bug trackers, that's what they're for.
Neither of the times that ticket was reopened have confirmed that this
bug still occurs, or provided a failing test case, I personally would
rather it stayed closed until someone was able to provide it in an
easily reproducible form.

Most of all I'd definitely prefer people keep their tone friendly and
professional in the bug tracker. We're working towards the same goal
here, lets not lose site of the fact that we're all trying to improve
rails, and our own development experience. Don't assume everyone's
evil and out to get you.

When the Hackfest started, I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on the enormous mountain of tickets laying around without resolution or comment. If I've been undermining the system, I sincerely apologize. To my knowledge I haven't closed any tickets without investigating them first, even if the resolution comments might be incomplete or a little strange.

Manfred

-1 on penalties for gaming without a strict definition of what that
is. Is submitting several small test-coverage-enhancement tickets
gaming the system? What about contributing documentation fixes?
Closing old bugs which no longer apply? All these things are
valuable, but could also be seen as gaming the system.

Perhaps my email subject was overly inflammatory, but I got a little
ticked off. But I'm not accusing anyone in particular of less than
honorable acctions, and I said that things could just be due to excessive
enthusiasm. I don't have a problem with making even small contributions.
What I don't like is people taking actions that have zero or negative
value, whether it's due to sloppiness, cheating, outright malice, or being
mind-controlled by the ghost of Rasputin.

As for the ticket in question, People closing tickets and reopening
them is what happens with bug trackers, that's what they're for.
Neither of the times that ticket was reopened have confirmed that this
bug still occurs, or provided a failing test case, I personally would
rather it stayed closed until someone was able to provide it in an
easily reproducible form.

The problem with leaving a ticket closed is that no one ever looks at it
again. Really, how often to people review closed tickets (except as they
go by in the timeline)? When this ticket was first closed, there wasn't
any statement that the issue couldn't be reproduced, but instead a
workaround was proposed, and only after several go-rounds was a claim made
that the feature was functional in 1.2.1. I don't want to discount the
value that people have provided closing out old tickets that are now fixed
or obsolete, cause I do appreciate that. I just want people not to put
getting a $1100 prize ahead of making useful contributions. That's all.

Most of all I'd definitely prefer people keep their tone friendly and
professional in the bug tracker. We're working towards the same goal
here, lets not lose site of the fact that we're all trying to improve
rails, and our own development experience. Don't assume everyone's
evil and out to get you.

I agree totally.

The problem with leaving a ticket closed is that no one ever looks at it
again. Really, how often to people review closed tickets (except as they
go by in the timeline)?

If it's still a bug, and it's hurting people, then they'll either
reopen that ticket or open a brand new one*.

If it's still a bug, and such an edge case that no one ever hits it or
bothers to report it, then chances are we're better off fixing some
other bug.

That's my take anyway :slight_smile:

* more likely because trac's search is lame.

Perhaps my email subject was overly inflammatory, but I got a little
ticked off. But I'm not accusing anyone in particular of less than
honorable acctions, and I said that things could just be due to excessive
enthusiasm.

You may have not intended it as such, but by including a link to a specific ticket you _are_ accusing someone in particular. If you did not meant to single out Manfred, you should have either given multiple examples or no examples at all.

I don't have a problem with making even small contributions.

Apart from submitting numerous smaller patches, Manfred has spent at least 4 weeks working full-time on ActiveSupport::Multibyte, which was featured as one of the three new main features of Rails 1.2 announcement less than a week ago.

What I don't like is people taking actions that have zero or negative
value, whether it's due to sloppiness, cheating, outright malice, or being
mind-controlled by the ghost of Rasputin.

We've all been sloppy one time or another. As for not liking people taking actions that have zero or negative value, you may wish to evaluate the value of your own actions sometime.

Kind regards,
Thijs