Josh Bleecher Snyder edited this page Jan 15, 2017 · 10 revisions
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What is gardening?

"Gardening" in open source projects refers to the background maintenance tasks done to keep the project healthy & growing & nice looking.

This page lists common Go gardening tasks.


If you've been regularly active in the Go community for some time, feel free to ask for Gerrit and/or Github access to modify things.

See and

Gardening Tasks

Before doing any gardening work, especially on the issue tracker, remember to familiarize yourself with the issues life-cycle, described here: Handling Issues - Issue States.

Triage new bugs

Look at the untriaged bugs. For Go, we use the presence of a Milestone field to mean that the bug has been triaged. To search for un-milestoned issues, use

While triaging the bug:

  • is it a duplicate? Close it, referencing the dup.
  • is it a Question rather than a bug? Close it and reply with something like "For questions about Go, see"
  • is the subject the correct format? It should start with the package path and a colon: "net/http: fix crash in Server during foo operation"
  • is it in a subrepo? Set the milestone to "Unreleased". Unless it's a subrepo that goes into a release, like godoc or http2.
  • if it is a regression and you can reproduce it, use git bisect to find the bad commit (optional but very helpful).


Find bugs that are in state WaitingForReply ( and ping them, remove the label when replies arrive, or close the bugs if a reply never arrived.

Pending CLs

Review the format of commit messages and presence of tests and formatting of code and typos/grammar in incoming pending CLs. All of that can be done without determining the correctness of the change itself. See for the list of pending CLs.

Once it has a +1, the owner of that area can give it a +2.

Read a +1 as meaning "triaged", or "not obviously wrong". If it has tests, is formatted properly (references a bug number, probably), and is ready for more review, give it a +1.

Pending CLs: ask about tests

If a new CL arrives without a test, but could/should have a test, ask if they could add a test. Or suggest how.

Pending CLs: run TryBots

If you have access (see to run the TryBots and you see a CL with plausible (and non-malicious) code, kick off the TryBots. (We've never seen malicious code trying to escape our TryBot sandboxes, but that's why it's not automatic yet. Please alert us if you see something.)