What do you get from a 10+ year old open source framework, thousands of users within a wide range of roles, and complexity? A JIRA instance with over 3,000 unresolved tickets ;). Is that number indicative of low software quality? Definitely not. But therein lies the problem. A vast majority of the tickets are no longer issues, no longer relevant, or duplicates. Due to the quantity, it became nearly impossible to weed through them all.

So, recently, I've given some effort towards attempting to clean things up. This has been a combination of manual reviews of tickets, scripts identifying possible duplicates [1], and various forms of JIRA queries that attempt to show stale issues. So far, I've reduced the number of un-assigned, un-resolved tickets by almost 1k. To date, only a few of those have turned up being issues that were still legitimate in ORM 4+.

In addition, I've enacted a few policies that have helped (and will continue to help) tremendously, both for contributors and the community as a whole. Most notably, any new BUG ticket that does not have a provided test case is immediately moved into an Awaiting Test Case state. If nothing is received within around 3 months, we've begun to automatically reject them. Although most contributors generally appreciate reproducers that are either standalone or extend one of ORM's pre-existing unit tests (preferably), at least providing enough detail (entities, mappings, code snippets, etc.) is the bare minimum.

Along the same lines, we've been discussing a possible tactic on the mailing list [2]. We'd like to push all ORM 3 tickets to the Awaiting Test Case state and request a reproducer on ORM 4 or 5. This would affect only BUGs with: 1.) affectsVersions set to ORM 3 only (not ORM 4/5) 2.) unassigned and 3.) not updated in the last 90 days. Those would then fall under our policy of automatically rejecting if the ticket does not receive a test case within 3 months or so. Please see the mailing list for the discussion, as well as the query that would be used. If there are any opinions against giving that a shot, please say so.

It's also worth re-iterating that JIRA should not be used instead of the user forums [3] or Q&A sites like StackOverflow. Please create tickets only for concise issues w/ reproducing test cases (or, of course, new features and possible improvements).

If you're interested in more info about the steps I took during the actual cleanup, a somewhat detailed write-up is here: http://www.3riverdev.com/blog/man-vs-jira-the-3000-issue-tracker-fight

If you have any questions or ideas, please contact me! brmeyer on Freenode IRC is your best bet, as well as comments on this post. Thanks!

[1] https://github.com/3RiverDevelopment/bug-tracker-duplicate-utils
[2] http://lists.jboss.org/pipermail/hibernate-dev/2014-March/011238.html
[3] https://forum.hibernate.org/viewforum.php?f=1

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