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Recently, I have been trying to spend a little time each day looking over the most frequent intermittent test failures in search of neglected bugs. I use Orange Factor to identify the most frequent failures, then scan the associated bugs in bugzilla to see if there is someone actively working on the bug.

I have had some encouraging successes. For example, in bug 1307388, I found a frequent intermittent with no one assigned and no sign of activity. The test had started failing recently – a few days earlier – with no sign of failures before that. A quick check of the mercurial logs showed that the test had been modified the day that it started failing, and a needinfo of the patch author led to immediate action.

In bug 1244707, the bug had been triaged several months ago and assigned to backlog, but the failure frequency had since increased dramatically. Pinging someone familiar with the test quickly led to discussion and resolution.

My experience in each of these cases was really rewarding: It took me just a few minutes to review the bug and bring it to the attention of someone who was interested and understood the failure.

Finding neglected bugs is more onerous. Orange Factor can be used to identify frequent test failures; the default view on https://brasstacks.mozilla.com/orangefactor/ provides a list, ordered by frequency, but most of those are not neglected — some one is already working on them and they just need time to investigate and land a fix. I think the sheriffs do a good job of finding owners for frequent intermittents, so it seems like 90% of the top intermittents have owners, and they are usually actively working on resolving those issues. I don’t think there’s any way to see that activity on Orange Factor:


So I end up opening lots of bugs each day before I find one that “needs help”. Broadly speaking, I’m looking for a search for bugs matching something like:

  •  intermittent test failure
  •  fails frequently (OrangeFactor Robot’s daily comment?)
  •  no recent (last 7 days?) human-generated (not OrangeFactor Robot) bug comments

OrangeFactor does a good job of identifying the frequent failures, but I don’t think it has any data on bug activity…and this notion of bug activity is hazy anyway. Ping me if you have a better intermittent orange triage procedure, or thoughts on how to do this more efficiently.

** Update – I’ve been getting lots of ideas from folks on irc for better triaging:


  • look to aurora/beta for bugs that have been around for longer
  • would be nice if a dashboard would show trends for a bug (now happening more frequently, etc) – like socorro
  • bugzilla data fed to presto, so marrying it to treeherder with redash may be possible (mdoglio may know more)


  • might be able to use redash for change detection/trends once treeherder’s db is hooked up to it


  •  there’s an OrangeFactorv2 planned
  •  the bugzilla es cluster has all bug data in easy to query format