Developer Area/Bug Status

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Revision as of 21:32, 18 August 2011 by Kabalin (talk | contribs) (Add milestone notes)

The status, priority, milestone, tags in Launchpad are used by Mahara developers for effective bug management. This page describe the current use of these features.

Bug status

The bug status reflects the current state of the bug. When the new bug is reported it obtains "New" status automatically (unless specified otherwise) and then usually goes through a number other statuses depending on developers actions and decisions. The list below describe each of the statuses and provides useful hints on status chnages.

  • New - The status field is automatically set to "new" when a bug is created.
  • Triaged - Once we've looked at a bug and decided on a priority and a milestone, it's changed to "triaged". Triaged is for bugs we haven't tried to reproduce.
  • Confirmed - Status is changed to "confirmed" once we've been able to reproduce it, or to "incomplete" if we need more information to be able to reproduce it.
  • Invalid , Wont fix, Opinion - are all statuses that effectively close the bug.  "Invalid" is for things we don't really think are bugs at all, or maybe they're bugs but not bugs in Mahara.  "Won't fix" is self-explanatory.  "Opinion" is a softer version of "won't fix", and indicates to the reporter that there is reasonable disagreement about whether the bug is a bug or should be fixed (and invites more comments).
  • In progress - is for bugs which are currently being worked on.
  • Fix committed - is for when a fix is committed to git. Bugs which have been fixed only in the commit author's local branch or personal clone repository, or submitted for revision should not be marked as "Fix Committed" until they appear in the master (or stable) branch from which releases are created (which will happen when the change on revision system is marked as merged).  Any time a bug is marked as "fix committed", the milestone field must also be updated to the next planned release milestone on the appropriate branch, and if the bug is still unassigned, it should be assigned to whoever provided the patch.
  • Fix Released - Status is flipped to "Fix Released" once there is a stable release (i.e. a tarball) which includes the fix (alphas, betas and release candidates don't count).

Periodically the core development team will go through the open bugs, decide what should be fixed before the next release, and update the status and milestone fields accordingly.

Bug milestone

The milestone should always point to the next planned release milestone on the appropriate branch. Say, if the bug affects 1.4_STABLE release,the milestone should point to branch 1.4.x; if the the bug is actually a new feature on the master that is not relevant to previous release, then the milestone should point to next upcoming release. For the both of these cases above the bug status should remain as "Fix committed" once the bug is merged to master. When release is out, the bug status will be flicked to "Fix released". The situation when the milestone is missing but the bug status is "Fix committed" should be avoided. It makes the bug not listed anywhere and at the time of the actual release, its status will not be updated and the bug will not be listed in the release notes.

However, there is a single case when the bug may be omitted from the milestone. When the bug fix is not applied to the stable releases, but fixes the feature that has been previously introduced to master branch and is not relevant to previous stable release. In this case the bug can be marked as "Fix released" and milestone can be omitted. The feature itself will retain "Fix committed" status until next release and should point to next release milestone. This will reduce the noise in the release notes, as the new feature will be listed in the notes, but there is no much sense to list bug fixes applicable to this new feature until it is released.

To sum up what is said above:

  • We must mark ALL new features and ALL bug fixes that apply to previous stable releases against the appropriate milestone.
  • All new features and bug fixes applicable to previous releases should have "Fix committed" status until the release will be out.
  • We omit from the milestone bugs that don't apply to the stable releases and fix the features that has been previously introduced to master branch only (after the last stable branch has been created), in which case once the fix is merged to master, the bug status must be updated directly to "Fix released" (with no milestone).

Bug importance

Importance is highly subjective. "Critical" should generally be reserved for things that make the software unusable or pose a serious security risk for people running it.  Most of the bad bugs that inconvenience people should be marked as "high" priority.  Distinguishing bugs from enhancement/feature requests is difficult in Launchpad, and we've overused the "Wishlist" priority which has a bit of a double meaning.  A bug might have been marked "wishlist" because it's not really a bug, but we might still feel it's very important to address, and tackle it before a medium-priority bug that doesn't affect many users. "Medium" and "Low" reflect the bugs that are less important, not obvious and sometimes difficult to notice (such as those that trigger php warnings, but still work fine).


We encourage the use of tags to group bugs together!  If you triage a bug and think it's easy, but you don't plan to fix it immediately, tag it as "bite-sized". If we get enough bite-sized bugs, we can list them on, or other sites that might encourage new contributors.

Relevant links