thanks for your interest, Tim, worth explaining our plan for dealing with our current integration backlog:
Integrate them without lowering the quality and attention to the detail at all.
Just that, there isn't any shortcut or magic solution to share here that could make you (and me) happier. Of course, your estimation about not being able to process the pile by the time of Moodle 3.7 is an exaggeration (I hope!), and I take it that way. I really hope that we'll be able to sort it out in few weeks.
I think this has been an exceptional combination of weeks, not only the 2 Xmas ones (well deserved, hah) but:
- The original 5 weeks (freeze) before major release where we hold all new features and improvements.
- The extra 2+1 weeks that Moodle 3.6 was delayed (hold continues).
- The 2 weeks of on-sync period (safety period to keep new stable and master the same for easier regression fixing). (hold continues).
- The 2 weeks of Xmas. (no process those weeks)
- The week of latest security/minor releases. (only security, regressions and critical, blocker issues).
That accounts a total of 12+1 weeks where the normal (weekly) processing of integration issues simply didn't happen, and new feature and improvement accumulated and accumulated. And we started processing them just 3 weeks ago (after January's 14th releases).
Also, add to that the fact that normally new features and improvements use to require a little bit more of feedback, tidying, suggestions, iterations... and that is, pretty much, IMO, the reason the backlog doesn't seem to become reduced at enough pace. But I really think that it's advancing, every day.
Finally, we have also been discussing about it and have realized that, in the past, we used to be more "radical" and proceed by reopening issues when something was not 100% ok. Instead, now we use to ask for thoughts, changes, opinions while keeping the issue under integration... that makes the backlog to look bigger, but still think that it's ok to allow some interactions to happen within the integration phase, instead of sending it back to dev (unless there is something clearly unacceptable, of course). I'd prefer not to change that behavior (knowing that it would bring us, integrators, some extra "fresh air", but still...).
So, summary, after 12+1 weeks of accumulating issues and 3.5 weeks processing them, I'm optimistic that we'll be able to sort out the problem soon. Where "soon" is an unknown number of weeks (we don't know how much an issue will take till we pick it!), but I'd say I'll eat Moodle's Hat if it's not before 3.7 freeze! (not really ).
And, yes, we are really aware of it (in fact me - and other integrators - also have issues awaiting for integration since December, heh) and trying our best towards reducing the pile to the ideal ZERO it should be. But without any change to our behavior when handling issues (call it quality vs quantity if you prefer, to make it clear which our priority is).
Hope this helps a little bit to describe the situation better and how we are expecting to get it fixed soon!