#628 new
Andreas Kotes

Provide a means to flag/tag issues in code (or architecture)

Reported by Andreas Kotes | November 12th, 2014 @ 12:03 PM

Code development allows with github currently allows two contribution workflows:

  • opening an issue
  • submitting a pull request

which is insufficient and - in most cases - out of band with current code.

Opening an issue allows giving feedback or reporting problems in a detailed manner,
but there's no way to mark the part of the code affected, if already identified.

Cursory ode reviews might be already done in passing by several people, but in a
lot of cases the effort of filing a bug report might just be to high for it to happen.
In other codebases, the sheer amount of issues reported results in nobody ever getting
to fix them in a meaningful manner.

Submitting a pull request ('sending patches') might be useful in some cases, i.e. if
the user has a concrete problem that they already have a fix for, and just submit it -
the same problem as above applies: it might never get merged, so people fork instead;
causing code fragmentation.

In a lot of cases it makes sense to have the original developer(s) fix the code instead
of letting a random affected user fix it; but the developer should have a relevant,
contextual hint.

Reviewboard (e.g.) has a really nice feature of allowing to comment an indivdual line,
and optionally opening an issue with the line - if github were to provide a similar feature
this could extend both the relevance of issues and improve on their context.

From a workflow perspective I'd allow any logged-in user to add a comment to any line on
any repository - which could be a simple "FIXME: off-by-one error?" or "TODO: improve error checking",
and might have an additional status by the owner of the repo ('confirmed', 'addressed', 'dismissed'),
with both the comment and the status being visible to any other user (including anonymous).

This way, even quick looks at codebases could provide the chance of improvements in the long run.

Thank you for your consideration.

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