Tracker Curfew Wrap Up

Since the release of Blender 2.80 beta at the end of 2018, the development team has been dealing with an increasing number of issues reported on the bug tracker.

After the 2.80 release, a further increase of reports pushed the count of “open issues”, or “issues that need developers attention” close to 2000. This number used to be around 200-300.

2020 started with the mission of getting the issue tracker back in control, with the “tracker curfew” project. In just a few weeks, the development team managed to handle over 1300 open issues, while also dealing with the regular influx of new reports! In the meantime, Blender 2.82 was released and a long-term release strategy was announced. 

The next paragraphs summarize the issue management work done in the past months and what to expect in the future.

Backlog

A lot of the existing open issues were based on deprecated features, or simply not part of the current modules roadmaps. To clear the situation and find the good reports from the noise, the entire team of developers worked to re-triage the entire backlog of issues. That included both untriaged issues and issues that were already confirmed.

On February 18th, all the backlog was finished, leaving only confirmed relevant bugs in the picture. Part of this was achieved by fixing bugs, part by closing old reports. A numerous amount of them went from confirmed bugs to known issues.

Known Issues

A known issue is a confirmed report, which contains all the information required in order to be fixed, but that is not planned to be fixed in the next 6 months. Known issues are a way to document shortcomings, identify areas that need more developers, and to give an honest statement about issues that won’t be fixed in the foreseeable future.

As expected, plenty of issues could be categorized as known issues. Some of the them date back from 2013! After the backlog, the number of new reported known issues kept growing as expected.

The Trend

The original goal of bringing the number of open issues to 200 was too ambitious. And it can’t be reached with the current pace of development and the existing team.

The bug tracker is receiving an average of 30 new reports every day. The number of daily closed or new known issues is similar to that. That is enough to keep things under control, but not enough to tackle the existing bugs. For that, more bugs need to be fixed and reports classified into bugs or known issues.

All Hands on Deck

To wrap up the Tracker Curfew and deliver a more stable Blender 2.83 the entire development team will work for the next two weeks on a bugs fixing sprint.

This may have to be repeated regularly in the future to prevent unattended bugs from dragging too long. For now the focus is on making sure the remaining high priority issues are fixed with enough time for testing until the next release. And if other bugs are squashed in the process, all the better.

This effectively shifts the deadlines for 2.83 and 2.90 two weeks into the future, to reduce the impact in the development cycle of new features in 2.90.

11 comments 12,999 Views
  1. This year is all about flattening the curve! lol. Congratulations for the blender team!!

  2. Your work is very useful for all users of 3D graphics, in all countries of the world. Thank you very much.

  3. Come to think of it, the number of ignored bugs, a.k.a known issues, is extremely high. It would be great if blender would reduced those that aren’t related to code that will already be refactored or replaced. I feel like the developers should spend a bit less time on new features.

    • Sadly, Mozilla & Ubisoft are not yet ready to release Clever-Commit. However, Mozilla has a tool to automate certain aspects of bug triaging: https://github.com/mozilla/bugbug It works in Bugzilla for now, but patches are welcome for other trackers.

  4. Thank you for your awesome work! 🙂

  5. thumbs up +:))))

  6. Blender 2.83 will be amazing !!!

  7. Maybe this is, why there should be only 3 releases per year. To have enough room for quality releases. When there is the need for extra time, it wouldn’t postpone the next release so easily

  8. Maybe take a leaf from Mageia´s Bugzilla. The policy there is that users should check first for duplicate bugs before reporting any ¨new¨ bugs. I say this because of the ¨known issues¨ mentioned here. Should take a lot of work off the team. First time I see this site, so, maybe this is completely out of place. However; people talk only about stuff that bugs them.

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