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Use of [META] tickets in RT

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James E Keenan
July 28, 2013 14:39
Use of [META] tickets in RT
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My understanding is that in our RT system, we apply the label '[META]' 
to tickets created solely for the purpose of collecting references to 
other RT tickets dealing with different problems all of which have a 
common source or theme.  Other than a statement of the ticket's purpose 
in the initial perlbug posting, a [META] ticket should not contain any 
discussion of the issue.  Discussion of individual problems ought to 
take place in the individual RTs referred to by the [META] ticket. 
Discussion of general problems ought to take place on the p5p 

As a consequence of [META] tickets' not being a place for discussions, 
they generally retain "New" status is our RT system.  Once a ticket 
becomes a locus of discussion, its status automatically changes to "Open."

I like this system, as it means that [META] tickets give a reader:

* a quick view of the scope of problems relating to a particular issue, 
i.e., how many tickets are referred to in the [META] ticket; and

* a quick view of how far along we are toward resolving the full scope 
of those problems.

However, this approach requires that all contributors exercise 
self-discipline by *not* initiating back-and-forth discussion in [META] 
tickets.  When someone does initiate a discussion, the ticket ceases to 
focus on its META-ness and becomes Just Another Place to Hash Out Issues.

Since I pay close attention to new posts to old RTs, my attention was 
drawn today to two posts to, which has the 
title of "[META] misuse of I32" and which was created in February 2010 
by Nick Clark.  Reviewing the ticket, I see that it has been the site of 
back-and-forth discussions since March 2012.

I realize that my understanding of the purpose of [META] tickets may not 
be shared by everyone.  But if that's the case, then we ought to have a 
policy as to what [META] tickets are for.

* Do we have a policy for [META] tickets?

* If we don't, should we?

* If my understanding of what [META] tickets is correct, how should we 
handle tickets like RT #72784 that have become a mixture of references 
and discussion?

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

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