Finding issues to work on
backend labels are also a good choice to refine the issue list.
Clarifying/validating an issue
Many issues have not been visited or validated recently. Before trying to solve an issue, take the following steps:
- Ask the author if the issue is still relevant.
- Ask the community if the issue is still relevant.
- Attempt to validate whether:
- A merge request has already been created (see the related merge requests section). Sometimes the issue is not closed/updated.
type::bugstill exists (by recreating it).
type::featurehas not already been implemented (by trying it).
Working on the issue
Leave a note to indicate you wish to work on the issue and would like to be assigned
(mention the author and/or
If you are stuck or did not properly understand the issue you can ask the author or the community for help.
Before you submit an issue, search the issue tracker for similar entries. Someone else might have already had the same bug or feature proposal. If you find an existing issue, show your support with an emoji reaction and add your notes to the discussion.
To submit a bug:
- Use the 'Bug' issue template.
The text in the comments (
<!-- ... -->) should help you with which information to include.
- To report a suspected security vulnerability, follow the disclosure process on the GitLab.com website.
WARNING: Do not create publicly viewable issues for suspected security vulnerabilities.
The most important thing is making sure valid issues receive feedback from the development team. Therefore the priority is mentioning developers that can help on those issues. Please select someone with relevant experience from the GitLab team. If there is nobody mentioned with that expertise, look in the commit history for the affected files to find someone.
We also have triage automation in place, described in our handbook.
For information about which labels to apply to issues, see Labels.
To create a feature proposal, open an issue on the issue tracker.
In order to help track the feature proposals, we have created a
For the time being, users that are not members of the project cannot add labels.
You can instead ask one of the core team
members to add the label
~"type::feature" to the issue or add the following
code snippet right after your description in a new line:
Please keep feature proposals as small and simple as possible, complex ones might be edited to make them small and simple.
Please submit feature proposals using the 'Feature Proposal' issue template provided on the issue tracker.
For changes to the user interface (UI), follow our design and UI guidelines,
and include a visual example (screenshot, wireframe, or mockup). Such issues should
be given the
~UX" label for the Product Design team to provide input and guidance.
You may need to ask one of the core team
members to add the label, if you do not have permissions to do it by yourself.
If you want to create something yourself, consider opening an issue first to discuss whether it is interesting to include this in GitLab.
Issue weight allows us to get an idea of the amount of work required to solve one or multiple issues. This makes it possible to schedule work more accurately.
You are encouraged to set the weight of any issue. Following the guidelines below will make it easy to manage this, without unnecessary overhead.
- Set weight for any issue at the earliest possible convenience
- If you don't agree with a set weight, discuss with other developers until consensus is reached about the weight
- Issue weights are an abstract measurement of complexity of the issue. Do not relate issue weight directly to time. This is called anchoring and something you want to avoid.
- Something that has a weight of 1 (or no weight) is really small and simple. Something that is 9 is rewriting a large fundamental part of GitLab, which might lead to many hard problems to solve. Changing some text in GitLab is probably 1, adding a new Git Hook maybe 4 or 5, big features 7-9.
- If something is very large, it should probably be split up in multiple issues or chunks. You can not set the weight of a parent issue and set weights to children issues.
Every monthly release has a corresponding issue on the CE issue tracker to keep track of functionality broken by that release and any fixes that need to be included in a patch release (see 8.3 Regressions as an example).
As outlined in the issue description, the intended workflow is to post one note with a reference to an issue describing the regression, and then to update that note with a reference to the merge request that fixes it as it becomes available.
If you're a contributor who doesn't have the required permissions to update other users' notes, please post a new note with a reference to both the issue and the merge request.
The release manager will update the notes in the regression issue as fixes are addressed.
Technical debt in follow-up issues
It's common to discover technical debt during development of a new feature. In the spirit of "minimum viable change", resolution is often deferred to a follow-up issue. However, this cannot be used as an excuse to merge poor-quality code that would otherwise not pass review, or to overlook trivial matters that don't deserve to be scheduled independently, and would be best resolved in the original merge request - or not tracked at all!
The overheads of scheduling, and rate of change in the GitLab codebase, mean that the cost of a trivial technical debt issue can quickly exceed the value of tracking it. This generally means we should resolve these in the original merge request - or not create a follow-up issue at all.
For example, a typo in a comment that is being copied between files is worth
fixing in the same MR, but not worth creating a follow-up issue for. Renaming a
method that is used in many places to make its intent slightly clearer may be
worth fixing, but it should not happen in the same MR, and is generally not
worth the overhead of having an issue of its own. These issues would invariably
~P4 ~S4 if we were to create them.
More severe technical debt can have implications for development velocity. If it isn't addressed in a timely manner, the codebase becomes needlessly difficult to change, new features become difficult to add, and regressions abound.
Discoveries of this kind of technical debt should be treated seriously, and while resolution in a follow-up issue may be appropriate, maintainers should generally obtain a scheduling commitment from the author of the original MR, or the engineering or product manager for the relevant area. This may take the form of appropriate Priority / Severity labels on the issue, or an explicit milestone and assignee.
The maintainer must always agree before an outstanding discussion is resolved in
this manner, and will be the one to create the issue. The title and description
should be of the same quality as those created
in the usual manner - in particular, the issue title
must not begin with
Follow-up! The creating maintainer should also expect
to be involved in some capacity when work begins on the follow-up issue.