Evergreen 3.0 development update #8

Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica) by Ron Knight on Flickr (CC-BY)

Since the previous update, another 4 patches have been committed to the master branch.

Sounds like an exceptionally quiet week on the development front, right?

Not really. During the previous week, 66 updates were made to Evergreen and OpenSRF bugs in Launchpad, including:

  • reports of new bugs or wishlist items
  • discussions about the bugs and/or proposed fixes
  • folks assigning bugs to themselves to indicate that they are actively working on them

This is part of the normal ebb and flow of development: sometimes a problem, once identified, has a clear path to resolution — and sometimes it requires debate. However, it can be difficult to track what is going on. If, like me, you subscribe to the firehose and have Launchpad send you an email every time a bug report gets updated, it’s possible to have an overall sense of where things are going, but it takes time to read every update.

So let’s talk about dashboards. I’m a fan of Koha’s development dashboard, which displays things like the five most recently pushed features, the ten oldest bugs in need of signoff, and a list of bugs that need QA. It also lists leader boards; for example, I can tell at a glanced who signed off on the most patches in 2017. This is perhaps a double-edged sword: on the one hand, some people are motivated to increase the numbers of their contributions in order to climb higher on the lists, and in moderation, that’s fine. On the other hand, one tends to get what one measures; picking metrics carefully matters.

As I mentioned in my proposal to be release manager for 3.0, I would like to help create a development dashboard for Evergreen as a way of increasing visibility for various aspects of the development process and to help guide folks who are looking for things to do. But I have questions:

  • If you’re a frequent Evergreen contributor, what could be included in a dashboard to make your work easier?
  • If you use or administer Evergreen, what summary information about the state of development would be useful to you?
  • Do folks know of other good examples of dashboards for free software projects?
  • Who wants to help build a dashboard?
  • What other questions should I be asking?

I look forward to hearing from folks.

Duck trivia

There are no duck species that breed in Antarctica, but the yellow-billed pintail will occasionally vacation there.


Updates on the progress to Evergreen 3.0 will be published every Friday until general release of 3.0.0. If you have material to contribute to the updates, please get them to Galen Charlton by Thursday morning.