Prioritized Bugs

The purpose of this process is to help with processing backlog of bugs and issues found during the development, verification, and use of Fedora distribution. The main goal is to raise visibility of bugs and issues to help contributors focus on the most important issues. The general criterion for such bugs is "failure to resolve this bug will result in unpleasantness for a subjectively large subset of users".

Bugs that are evaluated as part of the blocker bug process are considered prioritized by virtue of their blocker status. The prioritized bugs process intentionally excludes include blocker bugs for that reason.

All Fedora community members are welcome to participate by joining the Triage mailing list and attending the evaluation meetings.

Process description

All the bugs and issues in the Fedora distribution are tracked in Bugzilla. As such, every item on the "Prioritized bugs and issues" list has assigned a bug ID and can be tracked using standard Bugzilla tools.

The process consists of three main parts:

  • Nomination

  • Evaluation

  • Ageing

Prior to November 2019, bugs were tracked using the Keywords and Whiteboard fields in Bugzilla. This occasionally lead to collisions with how development teams used those fields, so we switched to using a specific flag.

Nomination

Issues eligible for this status are those which do not necessarily fail a release criterion but which have critical impact on a Fedora Edition or on a council-approved Fedora Objective. Issues may also be nominated from the Common Bugs list when they are deemed by QA to have critical impact.

Anyone from the Fedora community can nominate a bug to be evaluated for inclusion to the "Prioritized bugs and issues" list. The nomination is done by setting the fedora_prioritized_bug flag to ?.

You may need to click the set flags link on the bug in order for the available flags to appear.

The list of currently nominated bugs waiting for evaluation can be seen using the Bugzilla search tool.

Evaluation

Evaluation of nominated bugs is done by the Evaluation team. This team is comprised of the Fedora Project Leader (FPL), Fedora Program Manager (FPgM), and people representing Fedora Working Groups and Special Interest Groups, as well as interested community members. The team does not have fixed group of members. Instead members of the Evaluation team are formed at the beginning of the meeting during Roll Call.

The team of evaluators meets on regular bi-weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 11:00 AM US/Eastern in the #fedora-meeting Freenode channel. See Base Fedocal for the authoritative meeting schedule. The purpose of the regular meeting is to review bugs nominated to the "Prioritized bugs and issues" list and follow up on previously-approved bugs.

All the bugs accepted during the Evaluation meeting are marked by setting the fedora_prioritized_bug flag to +. Bugs that are rejected during the Evaluation meeting are marked by setting the fedora_prioritized_bug flag to -. After the evaluation meeting, the chair exports the list of all Prioritized bugs to the "Prioritized bugs and issues" list and sends a report to the Triage mailing list. Accepted bugs are reviewed in subsequent meetings, time permitting, and if there is no movement, they will be escalated.

The list of currently approved bugs can be seen using the Bugzilla search tool.

Process for accepted bugs

The hope is that most maintainers will see that a bug is flagged as a Prioritized Bug and move it to the top of the pile. After all, we prioritize relatively few bugs. However that doesn’t always pan out for a variety of reasons. This is a rough idea of what happens after a bug is accepted as a Prioritized Bug:

  • The FPgM marks the bug as prioritized in Bugzilla after the meeting

  • After ~1 weeks with no visible progress or acknowledgement, the FPgM marks the assignee as NEEDINFO in Bugzilla

  • After another ~1 week with no visible progress or acknowledgement, the FPgM contacts the assginee outside of Bugzilla

  • After another ~2 weeks with no visible progress or acknowledgement, the FPL or FPgM will escalate the bug to the assignee’s manager (if they are a Red Hat employee acting in their work role) or to a provenpackager

The ecalation is not intended to be "this person isn’t doing their job" in character. It is a "hey, can you make sure your team has resources to look at this problem that Fedora has identified as a priority?"
When need dictates (e.g. a coming release milestone), the timeline above may be compressed.

If the evaluation team determines after working with the maintainers that a resolution is not possible, the team may decide to remove Prioritized Bug status.