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Distribution Team Triage

Triaging Issues


Note: An issue that has been assigned to a user, but has no milestone, is not triaged, but is considered the responsibility of that user, and is not part of our triage queue at this time.

Issue severity

See the CE documentation for an explanation of the severity labels.

Label glossary

Label What it means How to handle it
awaiting feedback Information has been requested from the user If no reply has been received in two weeks, the issue can be closed.
maintainer-discussion Issues for further discussion by project Maintainers Projects maintainers should review status and provide input within 1 week.


Issues for triaging can be identified using the following criteria:

Such issues can be listed using the issues filter


Distribution team implements issue triaging on a rotating schedule, where each person in the team gets assigned to do it for one week. This is done in the order of joining the company. The process which one follows while on issue triage duty can be summarized as follows

  1. The previous team member on triage duty should have created and assigned the weekly meta issue to you at the end of their week. The issue title should be Issue triage rotation week of <starting date>
  2. We follow the policy of closing an issue if it has been 14 days since awaiting feedback label was added and no response was received from submitter. Check out the issue list with awaiting feedback label for such issues and close them with the "for issues with no reply" response.
  3. Check out the issues to be triaged and assign appropriate labels to them. While it is normal for some issues to demand a bit of research to get to the bottom, do keep in mind issue triaging need not end up in issue resolution. Triaging is intended only to identify and classify issues so that appropriate action can be taken on them, based on priority.
  4. If an issue doesn't fall directly under the domain of omnibus-gitlab (for example, needs changes to gitlab-rails application), move the issue to the appropriate issue tracker and add the team label which may be the most appropriate. If you can't identify which project's tracker should the issue reside or which team's label should be applied, you can ask for Quality team's help for doing it by mentioning @gitlab-org/issue-triage in the comments.
  5. If an issue doesn't deal with the code base or work flow of omnibus-gitlab project, but is more of a request for help for installing/configuring/troubleshooting a GitLab instance, close the issue using the "problems not related to package installation and configuration" response.
  6. If an issue doesn't have all necessary information to successfully triage the issue, request the information using the "issues that lack enough information" response and add the awaiting feedback label.
  7. If an issue couldn't be triaged in reasonable time, add the needs investigation label to it.
  8. Issues occasionally would be best inspected by a project maintainer. When this occurs, label them with maintainer-discussion. Example cases where maintainers should be notified with this label:
    1. An issue was accurate at the time of creation, but is questionable at this time.
    2. An issue was not accurate or in line with our vision at the time, but may be now.
    3. The viability of the issue is of interest, but may not be reasonable as proposed.
  9. If an issue is identified as a valid one, make it partially triaged by assigning For Scheduling label so that it gets scheduled for one of the upcoming milestones (or even Backlog milestone). Also apply the severity labels as applicable.
  10. If an issue is a valid issue, and there is a valid workaround. Close the issue with details on the workaround, and open a follow up issue to fix the bug. Ensure the issue includes:
    1. Details on how to recreate the bug
    2. How to workaround the issue
    3. What the expected behavior is
    4. The user issue as a related issue
    5. The appropriate priority and severity
  11. Once an issue is triaged, either partially or fully, add the link to that issue as a comment to the meta issue. Preferably in the format of <action> <url> where <action> can be moved, closed, triaged, resolved or marked as needs investigation. This helps in keeping track of the issue triaged per week. Related issues feature of GitLab should not be used for this purpose as it generates an incorrect association between the issues.
  12. Use the /spend quick action feature of GitLab to track the time you spent in triaging issues. There are no hard limits for this, but a reasonable amount of time would be 3 to 5 hours a week.
  13. Since issues piling up is almost inevitable in any software project, we should try to bring down the issue count as much as possible. This mainly involves tackling existing backlog of untriaged issues. However, since untriaged issues of today will easily turn to be backlog for tomorrow, a reasonable ratio of old to new issues would be 60:40. This means, 60% of the issues that are triaged should be from the old pile while remaining 40% should be of the ones opened last week. This will help us keep volume of untriaged issues at bay.
  14. During the next weekly meeting, inform the team about the triage week - link to the meta issue, number of issues triaged and time spent. And discuss if you think something should be changed regarding the process. Also, create a similar header for the next presenter as an agenda item for the next week's meeting in the meeting doc.
  15. Close the meta issue.
  16. Create a new meta issue for the next team member on triage duty, and assign them to it. The issue title should be Issue triage rotation week of <starting date>. Use the Triage template to fill in the description.

Response templates

Copy and paste into issues where appropriate

If someone is asking for support in the omnibus-gitlab project, point them to the correct place to look

Provided description seems to point to this issue not being related to this project. This can be the case when installation and `gitlab-ctl reconfigure` run went without issues, but your GitLab instance is still giving 500 error page with an error in the log.

For this reason, I will close this issue and you can check on [how to find further help](/get-help/) on the GitLab website.

For issues that lack enough information

If someone opened a ticket without enough information, make sure they use the Bug template, and fill it in

We can't reproduce the issue with the information you provided here.

Can you please use our `Bug` template to help gather more details?

1. Click on the pencil icon near the issue title to edit the description
1. From the **Choose a template** drop down, select the **Bug** template
1. Read the template, and provide as much information as you can that we ask for
1. Click on the **Save changes** button to apply your changes.
1. Add a comment mentioning you updated the description.

/label ~"awaiting feedback"
For issues with no reply

If an issue has been labeled awaiting feedback for two weeks, and we haven't received a response, it can be closed

We haven't heard back from you, so we're going to go ahead and close the issue.

If you're still experiencing the problem, please re-open the issue and provide the requested information.


For issues closed with no reply with new comments from a different reporter

If an issue was closed for no reply and someone comments who is not the original reporter, we ask them to open a new issue. Be sure to tag the contributor who made the comment.

Thank you for letting us know about your issue COMMENTOR. Unfortunately, this issue was already closed. Please [open a new issue]( following the ***BUG*** template and mark this closed issue as related.

For issues where a maintainer should review the current viability

If an issue appears to need review directly by a project maintainer to ascertain relevance,

I'm going to ask that this issue be reviewed by the project maintainers directly.
This is so that we can make the most accurate decision regarding further work and viability.
/label ~maintainer-discussion