[kata-dev] GitHub labels

Hunt, James O james.o.hunt at intel.com
Wed Apr 17 08:45:46 UTC 2019

Hi All,

To follow up on the discussion in the Architecture Committee meeting
yesterday, we're trying to make better use of GitHub labels.


Take a look at https://github.com/kata-containers/tests/pull/1466.

(The reason the PR is in the "tests" repo by the way is that this repo is
always cloned when running CI tests for any _other_ repo. That allows us to
add additional CI tests on the labels database and labels on issues/PRs.
See below for further info if you're interested).


# The problem

The Kata GitHub-hosted repositories currently have a variety of labels that
can be added to GitHub issues and PRs. However, the current labels suffer
from a number of problems:

- Some labels refer to the same concept.
- Only a few of the labels have descriptions.
- The meaning of some of the labels is unclear.
- The overall set of labels is not adequate to make intelligent queries on
the pool of open issues.
- Labels are not applied consistently to issues.

# Plan

Establish a small set of labels that are succinct, intuitive, documented
and which allow us to capture the many dimensions of an issue/PR.

# Approach

- Create a YAML database of labels that will be used consistently across
all Kata repos.

- Allow individual repos to supplement the base list of labels by providing
their own YAML snippet.

- Add tooling to check and view the YAML database files.

- Get agreement on the labels to use.

- Apply the labels defined in the YAML labels database to all Kata repos.

- Add CI checks to validate the labels database.

- Review the backlog of issues + PRs across all repos and manually apply

- Start to improve our process by:

- Creating GitHub issue templates to auto-label issues.

- Make the bug triage slightly more formal by having the team review each
new issue and apply a few labels (things like priority).

- Consider using Planning Poker to "size" issues and break them down into
manageable chunks.

- Auto-add labels to PRs showing their relative sizes (by SLOC).

- Start using GitHub projects to manage upcoming releases.

  - ...

The basic mantra is "automate and organise" - we don't want to impose heavy
process, but we do want to make better use of our resources. By applying a
few well-chosen labels (automatically where possible), we can start to get
a clearer picture of the backlog, which will hopefully allow us to clear it
down more quickly.

Labels will allow us to categorise issues and PRs quickly rather than
having to trawl through screens of log output, etc. Also, labels will allow
teams to focus on particular groups of issues and PRs rather than having to
fall back on the dreaded "github ping" to get attention on particular areas.

Please comment on https://github.com/kata-containers/tests/pull/1466 so we
can start moving this forward.


https://katacontainers.io/ | https://github.com/kata-containers
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