Stale Issues in Gutenberg Repository

In the Core Editor meeting on Jan 13th, a group of us discussed the idea of implementing a “StaleBot” that will automatically close issues and PRs based on a level of inactivity (no comments or commits) after a period of time. Before implementing, it was agreed that it would help to get more thoughts and opinions to make sure this idea is set up for success. 

Please share your thoughts by Jan 29, 2021. If there are no major concerns, implementation will proceed. 

Implementation Details

Using a stale bot is a common practice among repositories, the ReactReact React is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to reason about, construct, and maintain stateless and stateful user interfaces. project uses the Probot Stale bot to automate, with a 90 day policy. The bot allows customization of the time, messaging, and the ability to configure a specific label to skip auto closing. This gives great flexibility to make an implementation work for us.

The current recommendation is to set our policy to a 180-day of no activity, so if no comments or commits are on an issue or PR in 180 days, then the bot will post a comment to the issue alerting the user it will be closed in 7-days due to inactivity. The proposed message:

This is an auto-generated message to let you know that this issue has gone 180 days without any activity and meets the project’s definition of stale. This will be auto-closed if there is no new activity over the next 7 days. If the issue is still relevant and active, you can simply comment with a “bump” to keep it open, or add the “[Status] Not Stale” label. Thanks for keeping our repository healthy!

Important to keep in mind, closed tickets still exist, they maintain all the same info, are searchable, and can be reopened with one click. Further, if it turns out that this change has an unexpected negative impact, this can always be removed! 

Leave Feedback

Feedback on the following by January 29, 2021 would be the most helpful: 

  • What concerns (if any) do you have about implementing this? 
  • Does 180 days of inactivity seem like the proper time threshold?
  • Does giving 7 days to respond feel like enough time? 
  • Is the message clear yet friendly enough? Would you make any changes?