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Fwd: Closing (automatically?) inactive pull requests

Hi all,

Spotted this thread on dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I didn't make a combined thread because each project should discuss on our own.

I think it would be great to share "stale PR closer bot" infrastructure (and this might naturally be a hook where we put other things / combine with merge-bot / etc).

The downside to automation is being less empathetic - but hopefully for very stale PRs no one is really listening anyhow.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Ufuk Celebi <uce@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:58 AM
Subject: Re: Closing (automatically?) inactive pull requests
To: <dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Hey Piotr,

thanks for bringing this up. I really like this proposal and also saw
it work successfully at other projects. So +1 from my side.

- I like the approach with a notification one week before
automatically closing the PR
- I think a bot will the best option as these kinds of things are
usually followed enthusiastically in the beginning but eventually
loose traction

We can enable better integration with GitHub by using ASF GitBox
(https://gitbox.apache.org/setup/) but we should discuss that in a
separate thread.

– Ufuk

On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 12:04 PM, Piotr Nowojski
<piotr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hey,
> We have lots of open pull requests and quite some of them are stale/abandoned/inactive. Often such old PRs are impossible to merge due to conflicts and it’s easier to just abandon and rewrite them. Especially there are some PRs which original contributor created long time ago, someone else wrote some comments/review and… that’s about it. Original contributor never shown up again to respond to the comments. Regardless of the reason such PRs are clogging the GitHub, making it difficult to keep track of things and making it almost impossible to find a little bit old (for example 3+ months) PRs that are still valid and waiting for reviews. To do something like that, one would have to dig through tens or hundreds of abandoned PRs.
> What I would like to propose is to agree on some inactivity dead line, lets say 3 months. After crossing such deadline, PRs should be marked/commented as “stale”, with information like:
> “This pull request has been marked as stale due to 3 months of inactivity. It will be closed in 1 week if no further activity occurs. If you think that’s incorrect or this pull request requires a review, please simply write any comment.”
> Either we could just agree on such policy and enforce it manually (maybe with some simple tooling, like a simple script to list inactive PRs - seems like couple of lines in python by using PyGithub) or we could think about automating this action. There are some bots that do exactly this (like this one: https://github.com/probot/stale <https://github.com/probot/stale> ), but probably they would need to be adopted to limitations of our Apache repository (we can not add labels and we can not close the PRs via GitHub).
> What do you think about it?
> Piotrek