Phased Migration of the bug tracker

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Rachael
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Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Rachael »

We are slowly going to be transitioning our bug tracking on both GZDoom and Raze completely to GitHub.

The reason why we are doing this is because the existing system is the primary blocker for a proper forum software upgrade.

The transition will not be immediate - the system will remain open, for now, on the forum. But within a week or two, I will be disabling the ability to create new topics in the Bugs/Features forums for both projects.

Both Bug Reports and Feature Suggestions can be created here - Once the upgrade is done I may consider reopening these forums for anonymous posting only, since GitHub does not allow anonymous access. I do not have a timeline for when the upgrade will be done, but I expect it will be before the end of this year.
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Graf Zahl
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Graf Zahl »

Let's hope it works better than last time...
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Rachael »

This needs to be done, I've been putting this off, literally, for years ...
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by mjr4077au »

As a dev I much prefer the bug reports be there, but I prefer to get bug reports anywhere than not at all... If we're concerned people won't report things because they're too lazy to make an account, should we delay locking out those forums until you're ready to do the forum update?
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Graf Zahl
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Graf Zahl »

I preffer Github, too - but the memories from the Mantis move still linger.
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Blue Shadow »

Okay, can I continue making bug reports/suggestions on GitHub like how I do here on the forums? I really don't want to bother with filing those bug reports/suggestions forms that you have there.
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Rachael
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Rachael »

mjr4077au wrote:As a dev I much prefer the bug reports be there, but I prefer to get bug reports anywhere than not at all... If we're concerned people won't report things because they're too lazy to make an account, should we delay locking out those forums until you're ready to do the forum update?
Graf Zahl wrote:I preffer Github, too - but the memories from the Mantis move still linger.
Indeed.

But here's the thing: We're stuck in the same predicament that Doomworld was in for a long time, and the problem won't go away just by ignoring it. It's at a point now where we might be better off just ripping off the bandaid and seeing what we can do with what we get afterward. It might be possible to recreate the system a different way after the transition.
Blue Shadow wrote:Okay, can I continue making bug reports/suggestions on GitHub like how I do here on the forums? I really don't want to bother with filing those bug reports/suggestions forms that you have there.
Yes there is an option to skip the forms.
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by mjr4077au »

Rachael wrote:But here's the thing: We're stuck in the same predicament that Doomworld was in for a long time, and the problem won't go away just by ignoring it. It's at a point now where we might be better off just ripping off the bandaid and seeing what we can do with what we get afterward. It might be possible to recreate the system a different way after the transition.
All sounds fair and reasonable to me. Nothing would ever progress if things never changed, and projects like vkQuake, vkQuake2 and Yamagi Quake II seem to have good Github participation despite having no dedicated forums, etc.

I wasn't around for the Mantis days. If there was a drop in reports because it was ~10 years ago when Github was young and private SVN servers or Sourceforge still reigned surpreme, I'm sure it would be less of a problem today.
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Gez »

Mostly the problem from the Mantis tracker attempt was that people would submit a bug report and then when (inevitably) prompted for more info, simply would not respond. So reports got stuck with "[Awaiting Info]" until given up and marked as closed. Whereas with the forum, people still come to visit regularly if only to see what other non-bug-report-related threads are going, and so would see that they were asked to provide more info for their vague bug report.
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by mjr4077au »

I'd like to think we wouldn't have that issue with GitHub seeing it emails people upon replies or being tagged and all that, but I suppose there's some who wouldn't ever check their emails etc. It is a step in the right direction though.
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Rachael
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Rachael »

Mantis did emails too, so, that doesn't change much.
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Enjay »

Gez wrote:Whereas with the forum, people still come to visit regularly if only to see what other non-bug-report-related threads are going...
I think that's critical - and even more so than just for the reasons that Gez mentions.

People are often coming here anyway to find out/post about mods/editing/whatever. So they might post a bug report, or contribute to one, because they were "in the neighbourhood". Sort of a "oh, while I'm here, I noticed..." situation.

Even though it is just visiting an extra page, like it could be argued visiting the bugs forum is, for many people making a bug report on GitHub will feel like an extra step and a psychological barrier. They are unlikely to be visiting GitHub regularly. They will not be as familiar with its interface and slightly more "techy" feel. I suspect it will seem like extra "effort" for many people. It could be enough extra effort for some people that the end result would be people simply not bothering to report stuff they might have done on these forums. Even I have done that with some other programs I use, and I am quite happy to use GitHub. However, sometimes, I catch myself thinking "I can't be bothered right now; I'll do it later." Most times I do, but sometimes I forget.

So while I sympathise, support and agree with the reasoning, it could reduce the number of bug reports and follow-up posts (and the Mantis experience certainly supports this viewpoint).

What would be ideal would be some way of smoothing the interface between GitHub and the forum somehow. I dunno, some way of being able to generate GitHub issues via the forum (perhaps a data-entry form here that feels like the forum but which requires all the info needed to open a GitHub issue and then auto-opens one) and some way of the forum being able to read the GitHub issue reports and present them here as if they were a forum thread. I'm guessing such a system does not exist, but that would allow people to use the forum for the bug interface, but also allow the devs all the advantages of having the issues tracked properly on GitHub.

Or maybe a brutal "cut off the bug reports forum and only accept bugs via GitHub" is the way to go*. It would force anyone who wants to make a report to use it and, after a period of "pain" it would just become the way it's done and people would do it. That probably would still leave the problem of people not returning to check their issues and post any requested additional information. But, as has been said, perhaps the fact that GitHub emails you about replies would solve that - though, (as Rachael said) it didn't really help with Mantis. I think that was, again, just the "it feels like another step" problem. It's the difference between "I'm visiting the forum anyway - ooh look, new posts" and "I've got an email for me to go to GitHub, I'll click the link later." The email gets forgotten and the link never gets clicked.

*Or maybe that would encourage people to post in other areas of the forum instead. There is already a problem with people "reporting" bugs in the wrong place (on Discord).
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Gez »

Yeah, if the forum software was somehow able to integrate Github issues and integrate them in the list of threads, it would solve the problem. But I doubt this exists.
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Chris
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Chris »

At the very least, having a link from the forums to the GitHub bug tracker would make it easier for people to take a peek at it, instead of remembering to go to the GitHub project page explicitly.
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Rachael
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Re: Phased Migration of the bug tracker

Post by Rachael »

I'll try to find something. There's other topic tagging mods, but they aren't compatible with the one we have right now, but we might be able to make them work.

I still want to at least temporarily close the issue subforums while I do the migration though.

This needs to happen, it needs to be done, it should've been done 5 years ago.

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