Proposed upcoming changes to ALF project

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Proposed upcoming changes to ALF project

amukha
Active Member
10 8 774

In this blog post I would like to share the upcoming changes to the contribution process for Alfresco components. In short, the well known ALF project (https://issues.alfresco.com/jira/projects/ALF) in our Jira is going to be archived.

For quite a while the ALF project was serving as a home of all the contributions from Community members, accommodating the feature requests, bug descriptions and patches. The world around it has changed and the project is no longer the easiest way for us to listen to Community and for Community to talk to us. We would like to propose to use GitHub as the place for collaboration, to be as close to the code as possible.

This is how it can look like.

The process will include a smaller number of steps to make the contribution easier to submit and approve:

How to find the right repository?

Alfresco Content Services has a lot of components, so it might be quite hard to find the right one to submit your issue. The following list contains all of the relevant repositories and short description of each of them.

If you are unsure which one to select if you experience an issue in Alfresco application, you can use one of the packaging projects to raise the issue. If you know exactly where the issue occurs, please create an issue in the relevant project instead of packaging projects. Needless to say that it is a lot easier for us to review and approve the PR with exact changes than reacting to an issue description without any points to code. Although we will try our best to pay attention to all of them.

Please keep in mind that this list may change over time.


If the feedback will be positive, we will gradually make the following changes:

8 Comments
sbennett
Member II

Alex Mukha

Thank you for sharing this proposal!

All - This is your opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions about this change. We want to make it as easy as possible for members of our community to contribute to our projects, and moving to GitHub issues and a simpler CLA process is part of that.

Please provide your feedback below on the proposal and we'll answer all the questions we can.

afaust
Master

Is there going to be a global search across all of the various Alfresco GitHub repositories (i.e. via the new search on alfresco.com which already pulls in community.alfresco.com, docs.alfresco.com)? Moving everything which once lived in the "ALF" JIRA project into GitHub issues will significantly fragment where people have to look for "known issues". An issue may be in GitHub project A, or B, or C, or maybe it is in JIRA MNT, or REPO, or SEARCH, or XYZ...

How will affects / fix versions be tracked? In a fragmented GitHub issue management scenario, we would only have the versions of the individual projects/libraries, which most people don't care for in the slightest - most care about specific EA / GA version of the full bundle. Versioning is already confusing for the casual community members as it is, with the inconsistent labeling / communication done by Alfresoo (e.g. 201901 GA vs. 6.1.2 GA vs. 6.1.0 w/o either GA or EA, 6.0.c for Share, etc.), and I don't suppose having to track + cross-reference two dozen components of a specific release to find out which issue fix / PR is actually contained in the WAR GA version downloaded from Nexus is going to make things easer...

For me, moving from JIRA to GitHub issues only makes sense in an all-or-nothing approach. Either ALL issues around Alfresco projects/components (including internal dev / mnt issues, not just the ones filed by community) are handled in GitHub or it none are ("none" as in "JIRA is the primary system, yet we do support GitHub issues / PRs though they should be mirrored as soon as possible in JIRA for a consistent view", i.e. via simple to integrate/build webhooks).

amukha
Active Member

Hi Axel,
I'll try to answer your questions in the way I see them.

ALF project is not a single place for search for known issues at the moment, as you know we have many other projects in JIRA. So the removal of ALF project is not going to make this problem worse or better. There are a couple of things that we can possibly do to make the search for known/fixed issues a bit easier:

  • Add better release notes, that have a list of fixed/known issues and enhancements. We are getting better at this, gradually.
  • Cross reference issues in JIRA to GitHub and back and also between different GitHub repos.
  • Clone the GitHub issue into JIRA if it is requires significant effort from the dev team to close it (investigation/implementation/review).

Fragmentation and duplicates are inevitable IMHO, but I'm sure we can reduce them over time.

The affects/fix versions of the issues can be tracked by better release notes as I noted above. The release version of the "full bundle" is tagged in GitHub (https://github.com/Alfresco/acs-community-packaging/releases ) and is supposed to have a list of changes with it (https://github.com/Alfresco/acs-community-packaging/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md). I do agree that this is not perfect at the moment but we are constantly trying to enhance. The issue raised against the umbrella project (acs-packaging and acs-community-packaging) will be linked to the library or resolved as duplicate by the team in case if it was raised incorrectly. We can also try to use GitHub labels to the issues to make it a bit clearer if it is a bug or enhancement or anything else. Usually if the fix was merged to master of a library like alfresco-repository it will be available in the next community release (acs-community-packaging).

I don't think we can give up on JIRA at the moment, but we definitely are planning to clone issues from GitHub into dev team's JIRA projects if significant effort is required as I mentioned above. So it will be still possible to search the public JIRA tickets across all projects after ALF removal.

afaust
Master

I was not suggesting that ALF was the single place to search for known issues, but JIRA as a whole is/was - well, provided support / engineering did/does not make sensible issues private just because someone is unwilling to properly screen them and remove sensitive information immaterial to the issue.

As for "getting better" on release notes, that was true about 2 years ago. As 201901 GA shows, that is currently very much not the case, or can the differences between 201806 GA and 201901 GA really be summed up in just 24 JIRA issues listed in acs-community-packaging changelog, 5 of those not having anything to do with ACS CE (namely AWS + ADF)? That is more like "release notes do not exist" rather than "this is not perfect".

But as always there is little for us to do other than wait and see what you guys come up with. I guess we'll have to check back next DevCon if the time was [adverb expressing future opinion] spent.

jennybright
Member II

Have you dealt with your problem?

Moderator
Moderator

I liked the idea. It’s good to do rationalizations, but It will hard for us to look and review known issues. Many times when we search for any issues we get the references to an ALF jira ticket, How would i be able to proceed with that in order to see the details? Should the user to redirected automatically to the new platform?

amukha
Active Member

Hi, thanks for feedback.
Unfortunately the search across ALF project will only give you issues raised by community members. We have a separate project for enterprise customers (MNT) and also a separate project for every component team.
We are still in process of finding the best way of addressing the problems. Currently we are replicating the issues from GitHub into JIRA if they need some work to be done.

Moderator
Moderator

Thanks Alex