Now, dealing with an issue log is not what most of us would consider “cool”. So I wanted to take a moment and write about this because all too often this kind of thing is buried in a mound of operational reports that are important, but not sexy enough to get a lot of attention. The truth is that there is a lot of work going on here, and a lot of organizational, personal and community commitment to it. It’s worth pointing out because it matters to you. We’re talking about the process for producing solid product to support your business needs.
The ongoing effort of managing an issue log is a big, fat pain. It’s absolutely essential to continuous product improvement… but its still a big, fat pain. I’ve never known anyone in the IT field who wouldn’t at least confess that in private. And for an open source project, where we not only accept but encourage issue reporting from the public, the pain is even greater. There’s just a lot to sort through; a lot of people to respond to (who take time to report issues); and a lot of competition for resources for everything from assessing the validity of a reported issue to vetting submitted solutions, linking related issues and of course, following up.
Lately I’ve had the privilege to sit in on a number of team meetings about contending with our own issue log. And what’s really cool, in fact I would say encouraging, is that two of the most repeated topics I hear tend to be (1) honoring the effort of people who’ve taken time to report issues and (2) getting those issues resolved. That’s exactly the kind of culture that we’re building here and it’s gratifying to see it in action, because although there’s not a lot of glory in it… it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our community and our team wants to tackle it.
Over the past few weeks our issue log statistics have been changing in a dramatically positive way. Folks like Jogi Nijjar, Ken Grierson, Alexey Tregub, Israel Martinez, Cathal Connolly (and others I have missed, I am sure) have updated more than 2,500 issues in December alone! Over 200 enhancement suggestions have been reviewed, over 1,000 more items have been triaged and validated! And as of today our core project contains only 861 open items!
That’s incredible! And if you want to know how incredible it is some quick comparison with other open source projects is worthwhile. I know, I know… apples & oranges, I don’t know the whole story, blah, blah, blah… but I’m going to go with what I have available which is the information from the projects own trackers.
In all fairness, our own issue log hasn’t always been this tight. But since we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves around here, its refreshing to note that we’re doing very well compared with our peers. It’s not a perfect comparison but its good anecdotal evidence of our commitment to solid product and responsiveness to community contribution.
Every application has an issue log, because nothing is perfect and there’s always room for improvement. But I’m very impressed with the state of our own issue log, DotNetNuke is a solid platform for business with the backing of an involved community and a responsive, enthusiastic engineering team!