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Triaging feedback on GitHub using issues and discussion

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 2 minute read

Yesterday, GitHub launched discussions as a public beta. We've been using the feature for a couple months. In this blogpost, I'd like to share how we will use discussions for our repos.

If you want to see GitHub discussions in action, take a look at this video I've recorded previously.

During the lifetime of a package, many users will likely have feedback. This feedback can be split up into three big categories:

  • bug reports: these are reports of, ideally reproducible, bugs that we need to fix
  • general questions: this feedback revolves around how the package can be used
  • feature requests: these are things our code doesn't do but could do.

On GitHub, we use an issue template to triage feedback into the above categories.

This is how it looks like when a new issue is created on a repo.

Screenshot of issue creation

For general questions, a new discussion in the "Q&A" category will be open. Feature requests will go into a discussion in the "Ideas" category. For bugs, a new issue will be opened.

We consider ourselves the owner of the issue tracker. The issues list on a repo should only contain items that we intend to work on. If a user created an issue that we don't want to invest our time in, it should be converted to a discussion.

The community owns the discussions of a repo. We'll give feedback on specific discussions when we have the time, but there's no guarantee.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on our approach in the comments below.

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