[tor-dev] Survey on Tor Trac usage and how you manage your tasks

Nick Mathewson nickm at alum.mit.edu
Thu Sep 1 19:56:53 UTC 2011

On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 8:29 AM, Karsten Loesing
<karsten.loesing at gmx.net> wrote:

> 1 Using Trac features
> 1.1 Which of the reports (stored ticket queries) do you use most often?

I don't use the reports; in the time that it takes me to confirm that
a report will actually give me the ticket that I want, I

> 1.2 What are typical custom queries that you run?

Look for every open ticket in a Tor milestone.

Look for every open ticket on a given non-Tor component

Look for every open ticket on Tor client, Tor server, Tor bridge, Tor
directory authority, Tor hidden services.

> 1.3 How do you use milestones and roadmaps?

I assign Tor tickets to milestones when I'm pretty sure it'd be a good
idea to do them for that milestone.

I've make a wiki page for the stuff I want to get done for 0.2.3.x.

> 1.4 Are you subscribed to tor-bugs and/or tor-wiki-changes, and how do
> you use the mails sent to these lists?

Yes; I read all the mails that are sent to those lists that pertain to
components I work on.

> 1.5 Which wiki pages do you read/edit most often?

Currently, https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/roadmaps/Tor/023
and the various sponsor deliverable pages.

> 1.6 How do you search for wiki pages?

I go to the Index page and scroll or search on it.

> 1.7 What are typical search terms that you use when using the search
> features?


> 1.8 Do you use keywords and the tags page, and if so, what are keywords
> that you typically use?


> 1.9 How relevant are the following ticket fields for you?
> 1.9.1 Reported by

not really

> 1.9.2 Owned by


> 1.9.3 Priority

Within milestones and components, I frequently sort by priority.

If it's "major", it's something I *definitely* want to get done for
the next release if possible.  If it's "minor" or lower, it's nice to
have, but could slip without severe consequence.  If it is "critical"
or "blocker", then I assume either that it is a crash bug that makes
the network unusable for people, that it is a security bug that is
compromising users, or that somebody is being melodramatic.

> 1.9.4 Milestone

I use milestones a lot.  Stuff that is assigned to a "Tor: x-final"
milestone means that it's something we should consider for backport
(if the milestone is older), or stuff that we should do for an
upcoming release (if the milestone is newer)

> 1.9.5 Component

Somewhat important, but there are so many Tor components that just
refer to the software "tor" that I often find myself just looking at
milestones instead.

> 1.9.6 Version

Relevant, though I don't believe it unless the person reporting the
bug actually says "I'm using version foo" in the comments, since
people often get this wrong.

> 1.9.7 Keywords

I assign "easy" to bugs I think are easy to fix. I don't read or
search on keywords much.

> 1.9.8 Cc

I get all the bug mail, so I don't mess with this.

> 1.9.9 Parent ID

Very important; this is how I cluster related bugs and implementation steps.

> 1.9.10 Points
> 1.9.11 Actual Points

I don't use these.

> 1.10 How relevant are the following ticket statuses for you?
> 1.10.1 accepted
> 1.10.2 assigned
> 1.10.6 new
> 1.10.7 reopened

These are all identical from my POV.  The distinction between them is
not something I pay attention to.

> 1.10.3 closed

This is the desired end state for all bugs. Very important.

> 1.10.4 needs_information

This state is kinda important.  It means to me, "can't do more here
without feedback."

> 1.10.5 needs_review

Very important.  I try to respond to these first.

> 1.11 What other features do you use in Trac?

Just the tracker and the wiki

> 1.12 What features are you missing in Trac?

I wish I could assign bugs to multiple milestones.

> 1.13 What features would you want our Trac not to offer anymore, because
> they're making things only more confusing for you (and for people who
> are new to Tor)?

I don't know what confuses others, but IMO the proliferation of
components that are all "tor" doesn't help me, and makes stuff
slightly harder.

> 2 Solving typical software development tasks
> Note that the questions below don't just focus on Trac, but on any tools
> or communication media you use for solving a task.
> 2.1 How do you decide what to work on, both when fixing bugs or when
> implementing new features?

I skim the stuff for the relevant milestones weekly, and look at the
023 roadmap when I'm done with a major task.

> 2.2 How do you keep track of what things you're supposed to do for
> sponsors and for when?

I'm trying to use
and periodically consult the per-sponsors deliverable pages.

> 2.3 How do you memorize new ideas to work on when they come up?

I don't think I memorize ideas to work on when they come up; I open a
new ticket, or ask the person who's enthusiastic about the new idea to
do so.

> 2.4 How do you coordinate working together with someone on something?

IRC and trac tickets, usually.

> 2.5 How do you learn who you could work together with on something?

IRC and needs_review tickets, usually

> 2.6 What other software development tasks do you have that may be
> supported by Trac or a Trac-like system?

It would be neat to have better code review tools.

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