This is the first installment of a series of posts on moving Second Life issues from Jira to a new community engagement portal, feedback.secondlife.com as well as Github Issues.
jira.secondlife.com is Second Life’s venerable bug reporting repository, development tracker and feature request system. It is used by thousands of users and the entire SL development team to envision, fix and build the future of Second Life.
Unfortunately, Jira Server, the software and license agreement we use to host Second Life’s jira.secondlife.com site, is being discontinued and its official replacement cannot handle the number of users (over 300,000) that Second Life needs. Long story short: we need to move off of Jira before support ends in early February, 2024.
As part of this migration effort, we’re excited to announce that we are opening up a new community feedback portal for early preview: feedback.secondlife.com. This site will host feature requests, bug reports and ultimately replace the public BUG project on jira.secondlife.com.
Support issues should still be reported to support.secondlife.com. We will keep using Freshdesk for all personal and content-sensitive tickets.
Where are my issues going?!
Your issues will be preserved and will not be deleted. Second Life has a 20 year history, and Jira represents one of its best sources for documentation. Jira will remain in operation until we migrate all issues to a new home on Github. We will share more information about working with the issue archive in a future blog post.
Second Life has a long history of collaboration with its residents. Rather than be bummed out by needing to leave Jira, we wanted to take this opportunity to select a community site that offers a better experience to both users and staff.
You can check out the new engagement portal at feedback.secondlife.com. This new site uses canny.io, a platform designed for receiving and responding to community feedback. We believe it will be a demonstrably better experience for residents due to features such as:
A public roadmap
We will be providing a public roadmap of user-suggested features which have been accepted and will be implemented. This will provide greater transparency into the future of Second Life and drive accountability for us, so that we deliver what we say we would. 😜
The new feedback portal provides boards for different areas of Second Life: general feature requests and bugs, website bugs and features, scripting, etc. This will allow users to easily read up on bugs and feature requests pertaining to their area of interest, and allows triagers on our side to more easily figure out who should review new information.
- Markdown – Text can be formatted using a simplified version of Markdown
- Issue merging – Staff can merge issues instead of marking them as duplicate
- Trending Posts – Boards may be sorted by trending posts, which combines freshness and popularity
We have come to realize that the effects of some of our Jira workflows were, intentionally or otherwise, rather adversarial to engagement (read: unfriendly.) We are fixing this by acknowledging the following problems and resolving them with different behavior on the new feedback site:
Conversations remain open
One of the most detrimental features of our public Jira workflow was how it locked conversations (comments, etc.) after tickets were marked as accepted. This is not the default behavior in the new portal: comments will be allowed throughout the entire lifecycle of the request!
Know when your idea ships
The “clone issue” process on Jira resulted in a large portion of user-submitted issues never being marked as completed when their respective issues were shipped. This will be much less of an issue on feedback.secondlife.com because issues will be directly tied to their internal development tickets and automatically closed when the change ships.
Voting is Encouraged!
Vote to your heart’s content. We want to hear from you which issues are most important.
Behind the Scenes
Part of the rationale for moving to Canny, the software behind feedback.secondlife.com, as opposed to alternative issue tracking solutions is that it is a very focused product that is tailor made for responding to user feedback and prioritizing ideas. In addition, the platform fit the bill by providing the following necessary requirements:
- Single sign-on (SSO) – Users can log in using their Second Life account
- Github Integration – Posts can be linked to Github Issues, the platform we are adopting for software development, and automatically marked as completed when the Github issue is finished.
- Triage Tools – Canny provides a fast, unified view for triaging issues, prioritizing work, and getting it onto a roadmap.
Public issues are not the only thing moving off of Jira –internal tickets will be migrating to Github Issues. Canny provides easy ways to create and link issues on Github, providing a better workflow than the previous “Clone” system we used on Jira.
Open Source Collaboration
On the topic of Github, we will be making it easier for open source contributors to engage with Second Life project maintainers and our OSS projects through Github and Github Issues. Canny provides convenient integration with Github Issues, and we will be exploring ways of opening up Second Life development to open source contributors by more directly working in the open.
😖 Differences from Jira
Not everything is perfect. Both staff and residents have developed a lot of well established mental wiring, process and infrastructure around Jira. Canny is also not a Jira replacement: it’s a community engagement tool which may require changes to behavior:
- Limited attachment support – Canny only supports image attachments. All other media types will need to be linked to.
- No private posts – If your report contains sensitive information then please redact/censor private information. If this is not possible, because it is material to the issue being filed, then please file a support ticket if it is personal in nature or security report if it represents a vulnerability.
Timeline and migration details
Jira access will end in early February. In the time leading up to that date we will be performing backups, migrating existing issues to their new home on Github, and allowing residents to use and provide feedback on the new engagement portal.
Details about the issue migration process, such as how to find Jira issues post jira.secondlife.com shutdown will be talked about in a future post. Until then, we are excited to see new feature requests and reports over at feedback.secondlife.com.
Making a significant change like this is no small task. Staff and residents alike have grown deeply familiar with jira.secondlife.com through countless hours spent using the site. We hope you will have patience as we migrate data, build documentation, develop new muscle memory and smooth out wrinkles in tools and processes. These updates, along with changes like moving our engineering organization to Github and Github Actions, are part of a larger initiative to modernize Second Life development. The future is exciting, and we hope you can bear with us as we drive down the path to get there.