Mastering @rustbot

@rustbot (also known as triagebot) is a utility robot that is mostly used to allow any contributor to achieve certain tasks that would normally require GitHub membership to the rust-lang organization. Its most interesting features for contributors to rustc are isssue claiming and relabeling.

Issue claiming

@rustbot exposes a command that allows anyone to assign an issue to themselves. If you see an issue you want to work on, you can send the following message as a comment on the issue at hand:

@rustbot claim

This will tell @rustbot to assign the issue to you if it has no assignee yet. Note that because of some GitHub restrictions, you may be assigned indirectly, i.e. @rustbot will assign itself as a placeholder and edit the top comment to reflect the fact that the issue is now assigned to you.

If you want to unassign from an issue, @rustbot has a different command:

@rustbot release-assignment

Issue relabeling

Changing labels for an issue or PR is also normally reserved to members of the organization. However, @rustbot allows you to relabel an issue yourself, only with a few restrictions. This is mostly useful in two cases:

Helping with issue triage: Rust's issue tracker has more than 5,000 open issues at the time of this writing, so labels are the most powerful tool that we have to keep it as tidy as possible. You don't need to spend hours in the issue tracker to triage issues, but if you open an issue, you should feel free to label it if you are comfortable with doing it yourself.

Updating the status of a PR: We use "status labels" to reflect the status of PRs. For example, if your PR has merge conflicts, it will automatically be assigned the S-waiting-on-author, and reviewers might not review it until you rebase your PR. Once you do rebase your branch, you should change the labels yourself to remove the S-waiting-on-author label and add back S-waiting-on-review. In this case, the @rustbot command will look like this:

@rustbot modify labels: -S-waiting-on-author +S-waiting-on-review

The syntax for this command is pretty loose, so there are other variants of this command invocation. For more details, see the wiki page about labeling.

Other commands

If you are interested in seeing what @rustbot is capable of, check out its wiki, which is meant as a reference for the bot and should be kept up to date every time the bot gets an upgrade.

@rustbot is maintained by the Release team. If you have any feedback regarding existing commands or suggestions for new commands, feel free to reach out on Zulip or file an issue in the triagebot repository