New tool for opening upstream tasks

Jorge O. Castro jorge at
Wed Feb 18 20:51:04 GMT 2009

At UDS I went over the upstream report[1] and pointed out how we do a
good job of linking Ubuntu bugs to upstream bugs when we know it's an
upstream bug but we generally don't do a decent job of marking bugs as
affecting upstream in the first place. After the session I asked
around and asked why people weren't linking bugs. The overwhelming
response was that it was an extra step in the process and that it took
so long, so unless it was a serious bug they didn't bother. So now
that LP has an API for manipulating bugs I asked Graham Binns to make
a script that will make "bulk opening of upstream tasks" possible. The
script is called upstream-packagebugs[2]. Here's an example:

./upstream-packagebugs tomboy --debug

You'll want the --debug to see exactly which bugs it's pulling. The
script will open a new tab and ask you to auth with launchpad (you
only have to do this once). Then it will grab all the Tomboy bugs that
are TRIAGED and do NOT have an open upstream task and return those one
at a time asking you to open an upstream bug task. You then answer yes
or no to each bug, and then it goes and opens the blank upstream task
for that package.

As I envision the workflow, you basically do your bugwork for the day,
then when you're ready to close out the day, you run the script and
pick the bugs you've triaged for the day that affect upstream and then
you're done. I've opened two bugs[3] that I think would make this tool
more useful to bulk-open tasks, anyone can feel free to fix them/add

Some things you might want to know:

a) It can be slow. It'll definitely be slow the first time, since it's
snagging all the bugs. The script does caching after you say Y or N to
it, so it does get faster as you use it.  The nice thing this provides
over say, using the web interface is that while you do wait, you can
do bulk opening after it's done. You can also fire up multiple
instances on multiple projects for the win.

b) This is an experiment to see how we can improve opening more
upstream tasks. It's not going to magically find upstream bugs and
link them or anything like that (yet). IMO that's a separate problem
handled separately, the purpose of this tool is to allow developers
and triagers to open blank upstream tasks easily, since we're not
doing that very well.

c) Some people have told me that with their specific projects the
default action should be to open a blank upstream task and have
declining that be the option instead of the way it is now. I am
interested in feedback on this. So please try this, kick the tires,
and start opening blank upstream tasks, especially those of you with
terrible upstream linkage percentages. As the numbers of open tasks
grow we can then help focus triaging efforts on those to get those
bugs filed upstream and linked.

[2]     (you can grab it via
"bzr branch lp:lp-upstream-tools")

Jorge Castro
jorge (at)
External Project Developer Relations
Canonical Ltd.

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