Whose ticket is it, anyway?

The July 26 developer chat spurred a lively discussion of ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. ownership, milestones, and who, if anyone, makes a formal commitment to make sure a given ticket crosses the finish line and merges into CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress..

This post will look at the variety of points of view that came up in that discussion. The folks who were there would like your input before the official start of the 6.4 release cycle.

Wait. What’s the issue?

Simply put: The WordPress project, as a whole, has a variety of opinions on who takes ultimate responsibility for seeing a ticket through to commit, and on how a person signals to the project that they are that responsible person.

How did that come up in a dev chat?

The conversation got going in response to @chanthaboune’s note on her WordPress 6.4 wish-list post. Josepha is the project lead for 6.4 and its women- and nonbinary-only release squad.

At that point, @joemcgill observed, “I’d be more concerned that something from that list would get added to the milestone and then punted because it wasn’t clear who was taking responsibility for the ticket.”

Three basic positions emerged.

1. If you move a ticket to a milestone, you commit to finishing it.

That view gets the endorsement—at least as a best practice—of chat attendees who have been around the project since well before version 5.0.

2. If you agree to own the ticket, you commit to finishing it.

That’s the view of attendees who have joined the project since version 5.4 or later. 

3. If you move a ticket to a milestone, you agree to make an effort to finish it or find someone who can.

That’s a hybrid approach that also starts to deal with the way things happen in scrubs, especially as a release cycle comes closer to launch day.

Which is this:

If you lead a scrub or other triagetriage The act of evaluating and sorting bug reports, in order to decide priority, severity, and other factors. meeting, and you puntpunt Contributors sometimes use the verb "punt" when talking about a ticket. This means it is being pushed out to a future release. This typically occurs for lower priority tickets near the end of the release cycle that don't "make the cut." In this is colloquial usage of the word, it means to delay or equivocate. (It also describes a play in American football where a team essentially passes up on an opportunity, hoping to put themselves in a better position later to try again.) a ticket, you do not commit to finishing that ticket.

That’s the view of attendees who lead a lot of scrubs—and those who have been triage leads on release squads. 

You might choose to make yourself the owner of a ticket, but it would be unreasonable to expect every scrub leader to walk out of a meeting responsible for the future of several punted tickets.

And now it’s your turn.

Please comment by September 1!

Your comments are vital to what happens next and will shape how the 6.4 release squad handles ticket milestones.   

If you have a strong opinion in favor of one of the three numbered options, please add that number to your comment.

If you have your own view of how a person should signal their intent to finish a ticket, beyond being the gardener/milestoner or the owner, please describe that action in your comment.

Props to @audrasjb, @costdev, and @desrosj for feedback and review.