We’d like to ask for your feedback on a change we are considering to an aspect of the way the Gradle project is managed.
We are looking at ways to optimise the inflow of user information, in the interest of being more efficient. Moving from the email based user support system (i.e. the mailing list) to an online forum enabled us to provide better support and assistance to the Gradle user community. We are able to answer more questions and provide help without having to seriously compromise on development time. The forum has other benefits, but this is the most important for this discussion.
We would like to optimise the inflow of information into the issue tracker. At the moment, the data in this system is not well kept and this detracts from the significance of the correct data that is there. We want to end up in a state where the issue tracker is a high quality source of information. Furthermore, the differentiation between the forums and the issue tracker is a little unclear at times.
One idea we have to improve this situation, is to change the intended audience of the issue tracker to be the development team. To do this, the forums would become the place for users to go and the new sole entry point for reporting problems and requesting features. Many users are doing this already.
The process would work like this:
- A user encounters a problem (which may be the lack of a desired feature) * The user then posts to the forum explaining the problem * Gradle developers and community members discuss with the poster to understand the problem * If the outcome of the discussion is that a change to Gradle is required, a Gradle developer will export the topic to JIRA (linking it to the forum post) * Discussion relevant to the user would continue in the forum * Discussion that is only relevant to the developers would continue in JIRA
As I said, this is process that some users have been using for a while and it is working well.
The actual change that would occur would be that only Gradle developers would be able to create and edit issues in JIRA. Non Gradle developers would still be able to comment on the issues and have full visibility, but they would not be able to create or edit them.
If a forum topic is linked to a JIRA issue, there will be a suitable visual indication on the forum topic and vice versa. The status of the JIRA issue would be reflected in both places.
At the moment, this is just an idea and we’d like to get your opinion on it.