Opening and Closing issues (the open-issues and close-issues commands)

Sometimes, the best way to handle an error in a repo is to simply notify affected students about it. This is especially true if the due date for the assignment is rapidly approaching, and most students have already started modifying their repositories. There can also be cases where you want to make general announcements, or communicate some other action item that’s best highly related to the code that the students are writing. Therefore, RepoBee provides the open-issues command, which can open issues in bulk. When the time is right, issues can be closed with the close-issues command. Finally, list-issues provides a way of quickly seeing what issues are open and closed in student repositories.

Opening Issues

The open-issues command is very simple. Before we use it, however, we need to write a Markdown-formatted issue. Just like with the update command, the first line of the file is the title. Here is
An important announcement

### Dear students
I have this important announcement to make.

_The Announcer_

Awesome, that’s an excellent issue. Let’s open it in the task-2 repo for our dear students slarse, glennol and glassey, who are listed in the students.txt file (see Set up student sepositories).

$ repobee open-issues --mn task-2 --sf students.txt -i
[INFO] Opened issue slarse-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'
[INFO] Opened issue glennol-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'
[INFO] Opened issue glassey-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'

From the output, we can read that in each of the repos, an issue with the title An important announcement was opened as issue nr 1 (#1). The number isn’t that important, it’s mostly good to note that the title was fetched correctly. And that’s it! Neat, right?

Closing Issues

Now that the deadline has passed for task-2, we want to close the issues opened in open. The close-issues command takes a regex that runs against titles. All issues with matching titles are closed. While you can make this really difficult, closing all issues with the title An important announcement is simple: we provide the regex \AAn important announcement\Z.

$ repobee close-issues --mn task-2 --sf students.txt -r '\AAn important announcement\Z'
[INFO] Closed issue slarse-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'
[INFO] Closed issue glennol-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'
[INFO] Closed issue glassey-task-2/#1-'An important announcement'

And there we go, easy as pie!


Enclosing a regex expression in \A and \Z means that it must match from the start of the string to the end of the string. So, the regex used here will match the title An important announcement, but it will not match e.g. An important anouncement and lunch or Hey An important announcement. In other words, it matches exactly the title An important announcement, and nothing else. Not even an extra space or linebreak is allowed.

Listing Issues

It can often be interesting to check what issues exist in a set of repos, especially so if you’re a teaching assistant who just doesn’t want to leave your trusty terminal. This is where the list-issues command comes into play. Typically, we are only interested in open issues, and can then use list issues like so:

$ repobee list-issues --mn task-2 --sf students.txt
[INFO] slarse-task-2/#1:  Grading Criteria created 2018-09-12 18:20:56 by glassey
[INFO] glennol-task-2/#1:  Grading Criteria created 2018-09-12 18:20:56 by glassey
[INFO] glassey-task-2/#1:   Grading Criteria created 2018-09-12 18:20:56 by glassey

So, just grading critera issues posted by the user glassey. What happened to the important announcements? Well, they are closed. If we want to se closed issues, we must specifically say so with the --closed argument.

$ repobee list-issues --mn task-2 --sf students.txt --closed
[INFO] slarse-task-2/#2:  An important announcement created 2018-09-17 17:46:43 by slarse
[INFO] glennol-task-2/#2:  An important announcement created 2018-09-17 17:46:43 by slarse
[INFO] glassey-task-2/#2:   An important announcement created 2018-09-17 17:46:43 by slarse

Other interesting arguments include --all for both open and closed issues, --show-body for showing the body of each issue, and --author <username> for filtering by author. There’s not much more to it, see repobee list-issues -h for complete and up-to-date information on usage!