PorchLight: A Tag-Based Approach to Bug Triaging

Gerald Bortis and André van der Hoek

UC Irvine, USA

Track: Technical Research
Session: Debugging
Bug triaging is an important activity in any software development project. It involves developers working through the set of unassigned bugs, determining for each of the bugs whether it represents a new issue that should receive attention, and, if so, assigning it to a developer and a milestone. Current tools provide only minimal support for bug triaging and especially break down when developers must triage a large number of bug reports, since those reports can only be viewed one-by-one. This paper presents PorchLight, a novel tool that uses tags, attached to individual bug reports by queries expressed in a specialized bug query language, to organize bug reports into sets so developers can explore, work with, and ultimately assign bugs effectively in meaningful groups. We describe the challenges in supporting bug triaging, the design decisions upon which PorchLight rests, and the technical aspects of the implementation. We conclude with an early evaluation that involved six professional developers who assessed PorchLight and its potential for their day-to-day triaging duties.