Restoring the status of automatically expired bugs

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Oct 10 05:13:01 BST 2007

On Tuesday 09 October 2007 18:24, Matthew Revell wrote:
> Shortly after we released Launchpad 1.1.9 (on 21 September),
> Launchpad's housekeeping system - the Launchpad Janitor - expired
> 2,862 Incomplete bugs. We estimate that around 900 of these bugs
> should not have been expired.
> We're sorry for the confusion and inconvenience that this caused. We
> will restore the "Incomplete" status of all bugs that the Launchpad
> Janitor expired. This process will begin at 12.00 UTC on 10th October.
> What went wrong
> ===============
> The feedback that you've given us has highlighted three flaws in the
> bug expiration process we used:

Since these were mostly things that were different than your design intended 
(as I understand it) I think it'd be useful to do an autopsy on the 
pre-release test process and see what went wrong there too.

> Understanding Launchpad's bug statuses
> ======================================
> While we were reviewing these issues, we discovered that many people
> are using the Incomplete status to mean something other than "this
> report cannot be confirmed to be a bug, additional information is
> needed". The comments and activity of roughly 20% of the Incomplete
> reports suggest that Confirmed or Wont Fix would have been a more
> appropriate status.
> In light of this, we've written a blog post looking at how and when to
> use the various bug statuses that Launchpad offers:
> How we're going to fix this
> ===========================
> Now that we know that many people have used the Incomplete status to
> mean a number of different things, we are going to restore the
> Incomplete status of all bugs that the Launchpad Janitor changed.
> During this process:
>  * Comments left by the Janitor will be removed from those bugs that
>    have their status restored.
>  * The updates will not generate email.
>  * We won't alter the status of any bug if its status has been
>    manually altered since the expiration.
> We still believe that our original intention -- to remove abandoned
> bugs from bug queues -- will be a useful enhancement to Launchpad.
> We're going to fix the three flaws in the expiration process and then
> email selected projects' bug contacts with a list of the bugs that we
> have identified as abandoned. With your feedback, we will refine this
> process. We will only resume the expiry process when the Launchpad
> user community is happy with the way we identify abandoned bugs.

How about instead of an automatic process, make a link off the main bug page 
for a project/package called "Abandonded Bugs" or something similar that's a 
link to a canned query for all these bugs.  Then give project/distro 
developers a "Mark all invalid" link.  That way projects that wanted to clean 
house could easily do so and those that wanted to work through the old bugs 
one by one could.

I think this would be inifinitely superior to trying to create a one size fits 
all process that will always leave some projects dissatisfied.

> We will also update the Launchpad documentation to ensure it explains
> the bug statuses more thoroughly and we will make that documentation
> easier to find.

But that presumes that projects using status in a way that's useful to them, 
but not what the LP developers intended is an actual problem that needs 

Scott K

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