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Wrangling the Webform Issue Queue

· Drupal

I’m afraid of the Webform module's issue queue. I see the Webform 8,x-5.x module's usage stats growing and with it, duplicate bug reports are increasing. The webform_update_8025() update hook is going to haunt me for months. Now I’m afraid to write any update hook that touches an existing field definition. I’ve realized that it is time to push back on the Webform module's issue queue before it’s too late.

Hear me out: I’m not looking for a fight - just a solution to a very simple problem. People don't know how to write proper bug reports and feature requests, and they don't like to read the issue queue handbook. The solution could be equally simple, which would be to require them write good tickets.

Plenty of documentation and videos about writing good issues exist. My goal is to make it easier for people to write complete and useful tickets so I can better assist them.

Help us Help you

For now, I have three goals for improving the Webform issue queue process:

  • Provide easy-to-use bug and features templates.
  • Encourage users to employ these bug and feature templates.
  • Show users how to create a good issue.

Provide bug and feature templates

GitHub allows a maintainer to create an issue template and pull request for their repository. I have decided to do the same thing for the Webform module. Drupal.org does not really support issue templates, however I can recommend that people use them by prepopulating the issues' body field

Prepopulate the "Create issue" form

Drupal.org allows an issue's body field to be prepopulated using a querystring parameter, and I’ve been experimenting using this feature with the Webform module's "How can we help you?" menu, which provides a link to 'Report a bug/issue" or "Request a feature." For now, I can only prepopulate the create an issue form with a link to the full template and the key headers.

Teach users how to create "good" issues

This is the biggest challenge and simplest answer to show-and-tell. I think videos are the best means to teaching someone how to do something, and direct messaging is the optimum channel to communicate what you want. All the below code snippets are available here.

First, I’ve updated the Webform Issue queue "Submission guidelines" to include the warning below:

Here is the video about helping up help you.

That said and done, we all know some people are going to ignore the documentation and video. In anticipation of that, I’m going to cut-and-paste the below message into the first comment. This way, when someone creates a “bad” issue, they’ll be presented with the video a second time. Hopefully this will motivate them to update the ticket.

Finally, if the user is new to Drupal, I’m going to give them a pass, restructure their Issue summary, and say "Welcome to the Drupal Community," using the below greeting block:

Conclusion

My solution for wrangling the Webform issue queue isn’t revolutionary - I’m simply trying to improve the look-and-feel, as well as the user experience for onboarding new members of the Drupal community and educating existing ones.

Or as I like to think of it, “Helping Us, Help You.”

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