Lighthouse has problems

06 Oct 2010

Once again, the Rails lighthouse is chockas. 944 open tickets as of this post.

That is disgraceful. I wrote how I felt back in April, and now I am just sad, not angry.

Nobody is willing to dedicate the time required to go through and play gatekeeper between these tickets and the core team, and so there is only a dribble of tickets actually being looked at / dealt with. Sure, we can have bugmashes every "x" "y", but they only do so much. We need a continued effort to bring this number down and keep it down, but it's not for the financial benefit of everyone, so nobody's going to do it.

Besides that, Lighthouse has some quite serious issues itself. The sheer fact that I have to use an ordered list to outline the problems shows the extreme side of this situation.

  1. There's no way for a project "admin" to completely delete / ban a user. For instance if I want to delete a spamming fucktard like this guy, I can't.
  2. There is no spam protection. If a user posts two comments within the space of a minute they should be prompted with a captcha. This will stop the bot spam, at least. Manual spam can be dealt with by fixing point #1.
  3. If I don't want to delete a user, but I want to delete some of their comments, I can't do that either.
  4. Normal users can change the title of a ticket they don't even own. See: "Diaspora Syndrome"
  5. When you delete the last comment of a ticket that has changed the title of that ticket, it doesn't revert the ticket's title
  6. There are currently 1,584 tags for Rails lighthouse alone. The problem here is that anybody can add a tag to a ticket. Most of the tags only have one ticket assigned to them.

But ENTP won't fix these issues. They have much more exciting products to work on now. It's a product that was developed years ago and they have a tiny team working on maintaining it. This is sad, too.

The maintenance of the Rails lighthouse is non-existant. The maintenance of Lighthouse in general is almost non-existant. This makes me sad. These problems seem almost unfixable to me as a single person. But together, as a community, we can work on fixing the Rails Lighthouse.

Please, please, please: spend some time each week looking at the tickets on the Lighthouse. Do these things:

  1. You can be extremely helpful just by assigning tickets that need to be closed, resolved, wontfix'd or marked as duplicate to me or anybody else on the "Assigned to" list.
  2. If you want to be extremely extremely helpful, verify that patches apply correctly and if you think that specific patch should be applied to Rails and you've tested it, give that ticket a +1. Once the ticket has 3 +1s, assign it to somebody on the "Assigned to" list who will then mark it as verified. This is the final step before it gets tested + merged by Core.
  3. If it doesn't apply, just put a comment there explaining what broke and hopefully the OP will fix it.
  4. If you think that the patch should not be applied to Rails, give the ticket a comment with "-1" at the start, and a reason for the "downvote". When a ticket receives 3 -1s, it will be marked as "wontfix".

A little help here?

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