Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Re: Overuse of "AssumedStale" Issue Tag

I also recently received a notification about an issue I was following, because it has been set as "AssumedStale", an issue that must be still present, since I have no evidence that any fix for it has ever been done.

Really, I can't understand what are the plans for GWT by Google. Will it be supported? Is it going to dead?
I am following a lot of open source projects but I never saw a situation like the one of GWT, except for projects that are being shutting down and hence are in "maintenance-mode" only..

GWT is a relatively recent project, but after some years of active development it seems to be already on its way out. It may have lost attraction by Google... but in this case a clear statement would be appreciated.

I mean, I can't understand why/how:
- a bug report that does not receives updates for a while is marked as "AssumedStale": a bug should either be accepted (waiting for a prioritization and fix) or rejected as "won't fix"; interested people are not supposed to keep on writing "up!" or "any news?" messages just to keep a bug report "fresh", especially if this has been proven to be useless for the GWT/GPE issues (an great example: http://code.google.com/p/google-plugin-for-eclipse/issues/detail?id=48 and its original report at http://code.google.com/p/google-web-toolkit/issues/detail?id=6660: it's a bug that  severely affects the usability of the Eclipse IDE and it also has there's also an attached patch!!!! ... nevertheless it is being ignored for years)

- bug reports that are quite important and relatively circumscribed are ignored for years: I understand that there can be lack of resources on the core GWT team, but apart from the fact that this extremely shortage of resources is itself a proof that GWT is a project Google does not support any more in a reliable way, I could understand such delays for issue reports that involve very large portions of critical aspects of GWT, not for small and clearly-defined parts

- bug reports that have few stars are "AssumedStale": once again, I can't understand the rationale behind the use of "AssumedStale"... Many people don't bother to report bugs, while some improvements may be foreseen by few people, but this does not mean that they might not be of interest for a lot of other people if they ever get implemented; once again I think that a bug should be either accepted and then fixed or just rejected as "won't fix"

- discussions and detailed arguments as the those written by Thomas Broyer here are not posted on the bug reports themselves: this would give the idea that someone at the GWT core team actually cares about and reads bug reports...

I understand the will to make GWT modularized and I appreciate the advantages that this could bring, but I do not agree with the philosophy "then, let's keep the main GWT project almost featureless, so that features are added by external third-party projects", especially because:
- I see no support by the main GWT core team to external projects (I mean, a "market-place", or just a community portal that lets you find related projects or something like that)
- as other people have already said, many parts of GWT are not designed to be extended (I also personally encountered many difficulties in extending base GWT components)
- I still think some improvements should be made in the core GWT project, or at least adopted from external projects: extreme fragmentation is not a good thing and the risk to have parts of the "platform" die prematurely is too high

Once again, IMHO these are reasonable points if there's some serious intention to support GWT as a solid project/platform for the upcoming years, but if there's not such a will, well... that's another story.

Last but not least: no offence, but using the AssumedStale keyword in this way because you need to "clean up" the issue tracker sounds as nonsense to me... Otherwise, you could just close the issue tracker to get a better result ;-)

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