Advantages of closing abandoned bugs

by user236289   Last Updated July 07, 2016 08:02 AM

I noticed Wine has a policy:

Why has my bug been marked as ABANDONED?

A bug report is marked as abandoned after a long period of inactivity. You will have been asked to update the current status of the bug, to test a workaround or to test in a new version of Wine but have not responded to the request. This inactivity leads to the logical conclusion that you have lost interest in resolving the issue and it has been abandoned.

You may choose to update the bug with the information requested. At this point you can reopen the bug if you wish to do so. Filing a new, duplicate bug serves no useful purpose.

The advantage ostensibly is to reduce the number of "open" bugs. However, the issue I see is:

  • OP posts a problem

  • Nobody responds to the bug report

  • After several years, somebody bumps the bug report with "Was this resolved with Version X?"

  • Obviously the OP hasn't received a response in years, they're either not going to care anymore or not see the bug report has been bumped

  • The bug report is marked as ABANDONED

Unless somebody has the exact same Wine version, specs, application and manages to reproduce the problem from whatever information is available in the OP, it's impossible to get the bug reopened. Yet, that's the policy.

I'm struggling to see what the advantage of this is. Does reducing the number of open bugs have any advantage? I noticed that huge applications like GCC don't have an abandoned bugs policy. Further, does the policy make sense?

Answers 2

Remove distraction? There are some issues (not necessarily bugs?) that are really minor, and most people simply don't care about it (that's why it existed for such a long time!). In a large list of issues, such minor issues may simply get forgotten. Sometimes it may even have been fixed without anybody noticing. After all you can still reopen it if you think that it should be reopened.

July 07, 2016 10:35 AM

It helps to prevent the developers/contributors from wasting their time on issues that nobody cares about. If nobody "has the exact same Wine version, specs, application and manages to reproduce the problem" then it's probably not really an issue. The developers probably don't really care if the problem was fixed, they only care if it still affects anyone. Remember, open-source developers work in their free time on problems that they care about, it's not like a company that provides support contracts and guarantees that they support every version of their software for N years.

July 07, 2016 12:42 PM

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