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Sheriffbot: Auto-triage Rules for Bugs





Bug reporting, triage and fixing are essential parts of the software development process. In large software projects such as Chromium, the bug tracking system is the central hub for coordination that collects informal comments about bug reports and development issues. Hundreds of bug reports are submitted every day, and the triage process is often error prone, tedious, and time consuming. In order to make triage more efficient, we automate certain tasks.


Googlers can view sheriffbot's source at go/sheriffbot-source.

  • Unconfirmed bugs which are not updated for a year

    • Purpose: Bugs often slip through the cracks. If they've gone unconfirmed for over a year, it is unlikely that any progress will be made.
    • Action: Set the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Available bugs which have no associated component and have not been modified for a year

    • Purpose: Clear out bug backlog by archiving bugs which are unlikely to receive attention and let reporters know that they should re-file if they still care about the issue.
    • Action: Add a comment and change the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Available bugs with an associated component and are not modified for a year

    • Purpose: Recirculate stale bugs in case they were mistriaged initially.
    • Action: Add a comment, apply the tracking label Hotlist-Recharge-Cold and change the status to Untriaged. The Hotlist-Recharge-Cold label is applied for tracking purposes, and should not be removed after re-triaging the issue.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Launch bug for experimental features - update and clean up

    •  Launch bugs that are at least 3 milestones older than current stable:
      • Purpose: In this case, we assume that the launch bug has been forgotten and that the feature has already shipped.
      • Action: Add a warning message asking for review. If no action is taken after 30 days, set the status to Archived.
      • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

    • Launch bugs with no milestone and are not modified in the last 90 days:
      • Purpose: Launch bugs should always be targeted for a specific milestone, so something has gone wrong if a bug is in this state.
      • Action: Add a comment requesting that an appropriate milestone is applied to the issue.
      • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Needs-Feedback bugs, which received feedback.

    • Purpose: Developers often request feedback, but don't follow-up after it is received.
    • Action: If a reporter has provided feedback, remove the Needs-Feedback label, and add the feedback requester to the bug cc'list.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Needs-Feedback bugs where feedback is not received for more than 30 days

    • Purpose: If required feedback is not received, it is unlikely that any progress can be made on the issue.
    • Action: Add a comment and set the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • P0 bug reminders

    • Purpose: P0 bugs are critical bugs which require immediate action.
    • Action: If the bug is open for more than 3 days, we leave a comment as a reminder. Note that a maximum of 2 nags will be applied to the issue.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • TE-Verified bugs which are not modified for 90 days (This rule has been removed as of 08/04/16. Reference bug: 630626)

    • Purpose: Developers often forget to close bugs out after they've been verified.
    • Action: Set the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Medium+ severity security bug nags on issues not updated by their owners in the last 14 days

    • Purpose: Security vulnerabilities are serious threats to our users that require developer attention.
    • Action: Leave a comment asking for a status update. Note that a maximum of 2 nags will be applied to the issue.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Merge-Approval clean up

    • Purpose: Developers often forget to remove Merge-Approved-MX label after merging change to specific branch.
    • Action: If the bug is not updated in specific milestone branch cycle (42 days), remove all label that starts with Merge-Approved-MX label and add a comment asking developers to re-request a merge if needed.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Milestone punting

    • Purpose: Update issues with latest milestone after branch point.
    • Action: Replace milestone label with latest milestone for milestones that have passed their branch point. Certain issues, such as Launch bugs, Pri-0 issues, Release blockers, and issues where merges have been requested or approved are excluded.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

  • Open bugs with CL landed which are not modified for 6 months (This rule has been disabled as of 07/22/16, pending furthur discussion. Reference bug: 629092)

    • Purpose: Developers often forget to close the bugs after landing CLs.
    • Action: 
      • Send a reminder by adding Hotlist-OpenBugWithCL label asking Developers to either:
        • Close bug if all neccessary CLs have landed and no furthur work is needed OR
        • Remove Hotlist-OpenBugWithCL label if more changes are needed.
      • If no action is taken in 30 days, set the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.
  • Bugs with no stars, no owners and not modified for an year (This rule has been disabled as of 08/12/16. Reference bug: 637278)
    • Purpose: Issues with no owners, no stars are unlikely to receive any attention, so clear-out these issues and let reporters know that they should re-file if they still care about the issue. 
    • Action: Add a comment and change the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.
  • Set for re-triage, the issues with bouncing owners.
    • Purpose: Issues with owners who cannot be contacted (bouncing owners) is unlikely to get resolved by  the owner, so clear out these issues by sending for re-triaging again.
    • Action: Remove the bounced owner, add comment, apply the tracking label Hotlist-Recharge-BouncingOwner and change the status to Untriaged.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.
  • Cleanup any auto-generated issues with no owners and are inactive for more than 90 days.
    • Purpose: Auto-generated issues with no owners and more than 90 days of inactivity is unlikely to be viewed and resolved, so clean up these issues by archiving them.
    • Action: Add comment and set the status to Archived.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.
  • Reminder for release blocking issues with no milestone and OS labels.
    • Purpose: All release blocking bugs should have milestone and OS label associated with it in order to release the fixes promptly.
    • Action: Leave a comment asking to add milestone and OS labels and cc the release block label adder to the issue. Note that a maximum of 2 nags will be applied to the issue.
    • If you disagree or have any concern, please report it here.

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