An open letter to Android team at Google

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Open letter to Android team at Google

To Android Team,

Subject: Regarding closing down issues with ‘Obsolete’ status without a comment.

I am writing this open letter to raise my concern regarding taking a decision to rage-closing issues and to request you for not taking such actions in Android issue tracker. FYI, total 11887 bugs closed with obsolete status.

Few days back, on 7th Dec 2014, one of your team member with ID e… has closed down many issues and marked all of them as Obsolete. I am sure he/she is a team member as he/she is using ID.

Some of the issues/improvements have already been reported with all the required items (like detailed documentation, bugs/issues, logs, etc.) which would help Android team to reproduce that particular issue exactly. In other cases, some of the issues are starred by hundreds and even thousands of members and it shows that particular issue has been faced by many developers out there.

Personally I was unhappy and was literally shocked when I started exploring BLE stability issues (which I have marked as favorite/starred actually to keep us updated with latest resolutions and comments, if any) and found almost all of them marked with Obsolete and without comments! Our project team has been trying to find out root causes of stability issues since the last 2 months (yes 2 months after the actual implementation due to its unstable behavior), have implemented different approaches, have tried different codes and examples and still we have failed to achieve even 80% stability which is must for our project.

Now let’s look at the below issues which are marked as obsolete:

Here if we take 58381 issue statistics and details into the consideration, do you think it’s really obsolete or has been resolved? and this issue is marked as Obsolete without leaving a single comment.

android issue tracker - obsolete _ corrected

I don’t have a problem if you really want to close down issues to make Android issue tracker cleaner but taking rage-closing action is not a good practice. It looks like you have prepared a script to close down issues at a single run, which is if true, I would say, is not a good practice at all. If you have really tried to reproduce the particular issue and it’s not producible at your end, has been already resolved or any other genuine case, please care to leave comments, description, solution code/example(if available) before closing down the issue. It would help community members to track down the issue easily otherwise we would have to look into the AOSP or source code to check what solution you have implemented. We are not sure whether you have really implemented the solution because we can’t say by a zero comment left over that issue.

Second point, before closing down the issue with a zero comment, please look at the number of comments and the number of people starred the issue. It shows the seriousness and importance of the issue.

Third point, one of the issue (Nexus 4 Bluetooth 4.4 KitKat Connection Issues & Instability) was marked as obsolete which had 538 comments and had 443 stars but now suddenly it has been opened again. My point is did you take above statistics into consideration while closing down the issue? If this issue has been really resolved, please care to leave a comment with resolution you have made or sample code/example or video or anything which would be helpful to fellow community members to resolve the issue.

Lastly, some of the passionate android community members have already raised our concern on Google+, like Wolfram Rittmeyer posted a status on Google+, Mark Murphy (the great supporter of #Android over stackoverflow) published a blog and Dave Smith posted a status on Google+.

Overall, the entire team at Google has been putting great efforts and doing an excellent job to develop a fantastic Android developer community and surrounding ecosystem. Personally I am thankful to all of them. I apologize for raising a concern by writing an open letter but I had to do as I have already tried by posting a status over my Google+ profile without getting any response or acknowledgement.

I am sure you will take all the above points into consideration.

Passionate android lover, developer and #AndroidDev supporter
Paresh Mayani

Thanks to Anvith for proofreading this post.

Paresh Mayani

Lazy android developer, exploring the horizon of android development since 7 years, currently working as a Technical Lead - Android at Simform Solutions, India. Former Application Architect at KarConnect. He is the Head/Organizer of Google Developers Group (GDG), Ahmedabad

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