Community Service Desk/Contribution Board JIRA

Chatting with @teward, he had a pretty brilliant idea of creating a Community Service Desk using JIRA, similar to the Foundations Team. This way, community members could raise concerns, especially urgent ones, to a board that I and others (especially important when the community team is on the small side at present) could monitor to not only address issues, but let people know they’ve been received and acted on.

Also, this could be part of our better onboarding efforts, to make it easy for potential contributors to find areas of the project that especially need help and then take ownership, coordinate tasks, etc. And if you’re someone who is building up experience through open source communities for getting a new or better job, being able to use JIRA will definitely be useful.

So what features should the Community JIRA have? Should the Service Desk and Contribution sections be separate? What contribution areas would you like to see highlighted/supported? And would you like to be involved, and if so, how? Reply below, or if you’re reading this before the Community Office Hours on September 23, join us there to share your thoughts as well!

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I’m screwing up my face and trying to understand the concerns and issues that a Community Service Desk would address. Looking forward to discussion during Office Hours.

  • NOT saying “bad idea”. AM saying “Huh? Need a bit more.”
  • Never used JIRA, nor seen it in use, though now I’ve looked it up.
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I think @teward might be the better person to ask about using it as a way to raise concerns, especially when you aren’t sure who it should go to or it’s something that needs to be dealt with right away and it needs to go somewhere that has more eyes on it (aka not just me.)

The second use for JIRA is something I saw at OpenMRS, where their volunteer contributors use it to not only keep themselves organized and on task, but let potential contributors, especially ones who might not have much time and so want to focus on high priority/time limited tasks, know what needs doing and take ownership of it. TBH, this is why I am hoping we at least look at Confluence Wiki, because it integrates super well with JIRA and calendars in a way moin moin definitely does not. But yes, we can definitely have a longer chat about it today during office hours!

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Sounds like a great idea! JIRA might not be the right tool, it’s not the most friendly, while you and at least some people in proximity to the community at Canonical (@leiaru) have expertise, it might be hard to navigate for community people. But it’s a great idea, sort of like a suggestions box at a reception desk if I understand correctly? :blush:

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Haha, I just got your comment as I was meeting with @leiaru! Thank goodness for her! :raised_hands:

Whatever we use to help the community organize projects and tasks, and for new and existing contributors to find them, it needs to be user friendly. You are definitely right. While a Community Jira could integrate super well with the Community Team Jira (and other ones, like Desktop, etc.) that doesn’t seem to matter as much if it’s too hard for people to use. But whatever the community decides to use, we’ll support it - hosting the site, pointing people to things, etc! :muscle:

You know, you are ALWAYS welcome to pop into office hours to chat about this - though it’s totally understood if you want to keep enjoying your vacay! :sunglasses:

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After the Office Hours explanation, it’s a lot more clear. Thanks for spending some time in Office Hour (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh3O8viwD4o) to go over the issues and goals.

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Of course! And thanks for reminding me that the release is on a Thursday and turning office hours that week into a party! :tada:

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At the core, JIRA is an issue tracking system. Whether used for developers (like JIRA standard is) or as a help desk solution (JIRA Service Desk flavor of Jira), it’s an issue tracking system. Similar to how IS and the Mirrors teams use RT for tracking issues, discussions, etc. with issues brought up there, having a similar tracking system (that also permits internal notes to be posted without the public seeing them, for records tracking and such), would help to ‘triage’ the different issues brought to the Community Team.

An even more basic (and free!) solution to ticket tracking is the PHP / SMTP / IMAP integrated osTicket system - this I THINK has a Single Signon Integration plugin but I’ve not dug too deeply. It’s got a slight learning curve for the first uses/admin but it can easily be used to make a very simple tickets queue for tracking requests, issues, and such.

Hey Thomas! Sorry for the late reply, and thank you so much for your reply! While JIRA would be integrated with Canonical, and hence easier for the Community Team to integrate into their workflow, if it’s not user friendly for the community, then it completely defeats the purpose. If you (or anyone) has additional insights on osTicket once you get to fiddle with it, or other ticket tracking programs, we could certainly have some trial runs and see which one the community prefers.

So, I’m a month late on replying, and I apologize - this past month has been INSANE with my FT job.

I’ve got osTicket at the workplace so that’s an option if you need me to deploy an example/trial I can do so in a bit - just an offer. Also happy to work with Canonical IS to help get trials up and running.

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That would be fantastic, and no worries - October is just brutal, and I’m hoping I can get my head above water next month!

Speaking of next month, want to run a demo next week for me and anyone else in this thread or who might be interested to show us how it works? I can try to see if I can get someone from IS to come along, or at least put out an initial feeler to see if setting an instance up would be doable.

November isn’t much better with FT job, would we prefer moving this to Q1 2022? Just so that I can get all the insane projects at FT job done that need to be done by EOY (I’m working weekends to expedite other projects too, shows you how dedicated I am to my FT job).

There’s dedicated and then there’s overworking yourself! Yes, we can totally do this in January or February. I know you aren’t the relaxing kind, but take care of you too.

Oh, I’m definitely the relaxing type on the weekends. But a lot of stuff lands on my plate at FT job now, so I have to balance ‘fixing things’ and ‘breaking stuff in order to fix it’ so why break stuff during the week when i can break it when nobody cares on the weekend :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah let’s target January or February. I’ll know more by January of my schedule for Q1 - I do have a visitor coming from the other side of the pond (UK -> USA) for two weeks during Q1 but I’ll let you all know once we can narrow down a time table better as to best times

We used to use osTicket for reporting issues with Ubuntu Unity during the testing week earlier (during the 20.10 and 21.04 release cycles). Found it to be quite outdated, but fosshost uses it too. I could help out in setting it (or GitLab) up. I would recommend going with a GitLab instance for Ubuntu since it has support for issue boards and regular issue tracking like in Launchpad (with support for managing issues for multiple releases like 20.04 and 22.04). I have used Jira for my old projects, but there are many limitations in the free versions and besides, not sure why one would want to use it when there are FOSS alternatives like osTicket and GitLab (which could also be used for hosting Git repos; here’s a sample GitLab instance which you could have a look around: https://repo.lolsnap.org).

Those are all very good points. Had a chat this morning with @local-optimum and others on the Desktop Team about the best place to direct feedback which is both easy and accessible for the community and is integrated with our tools so we aren’t duplicating work or fragmenting ourselves even more. Oli, I think whatever we decide on there could also work for community issues - aka a community ‘theme’?

How would this fit with https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-community? Would you be replacing it? If so, why would Jira be better? If not, what would determine whether something should be in one or the other place?

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…I feel slightly embarassed I didn’t know about the community bugs, though I feel a little better seeing the latest community-related bug was from 2012. The community team (soon to be not just me!) should look into resurrecting this and giving it more promotion and attention. Thank you for reminding me of this resource!

And no, anything on Jira or whatever we use won’t be replacing it. In theory, it would be a tool that would point people to the official community bugs site, but also let people know what progress we were making with them. Hence why I am more than happy to take suggestions and feedback on how we do that in a way that integrates with the tools we use as Canonicalers, from Launchpad to Jira (where our roadmap tasks live.)

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Our main concern is not fragmenting our project tracking tools so it’s impossible to get a holistic view where we can see competing priorities. Because of that I hope that whatever our solution is for Desktop should be applicable across various topics, including wider community initiatives!

Launchpad is a good candidate but has a barrier to entry when it comes to adding comments, and some of the feedback items we discuss are more features or themes (or Epics if you’re feeling Agile) than bugs, so would require some creative interpretation of the submission fields which won’t be to everyone’s taste.

We use Jira internally for project tracking as Monica says, so it’s preferable to me as that would mean all our features and subtasks are structured in the same way in the same tool. Ideally we’d have a public facing board either in Jira or, if that’s not technically feasible, something public that integrates with our internal Jira to avoid manual duplication of info.

And Jira doesn’t?! How would Jira work for non-Canonical community involvement, then?