Related Issues

Issues in Google Issue Tracker can be related to one another through blocking and duplicating.

Blocking issues

When you block an issue, you indicate that the issue should not be resolved until another issue is resolved. The issue that needs to be resolved first is the blocking issue, while the issue that will be resolved second is the blocked issue. An issue can block and/or be blocked by multiple issues at the same time.

Blocking does not impose any actual restrictions on issues. That is, the blocked issue can still be updated or closed even if no changes are made to the blocking issue. For this reason, blocking should be thought of as a tracking or notification system. Decisions regarding how to respond to a blocked issue are left to the individuals and teams responsible for resolving the issue.

Blocking is tracked in the Related Issues tray of both the blocked and blocking issue. For example, if you go to Issue A's page and set it to block Issue B, then the page for Issue A lists Issue B in its Blocking drop-down tab, while the page for Issue B lists Issue A in its Blocked by drop-down tab.

The title of the Blocking and Blocked By tabs show how many issues are in the drop-down section of each. The number preceding the / is the number of open issues and the number following / is the total number of issues. For example, if the Blocking tab reads 2/5, then there are 5 issues in total set that block the current issue, but only 2 of those issues have yet to be resolved.

Clicking on either the Blocked By or Blocking tab displays a list of relevant issues. Each issue entry has several parts:

  • Status icon: Hover over the status icon to display the status as text.
  • Issue ID: Hover over the issue ID to display a Hovercard for that issue.
  • Issue Title: Click on the title to open the issue details page in a new tab.
  • X: Click on the X to remove the entry from the list of blocked/blocking issues.

You can also click on the View in Issue List link to view a search results page that contains the issues listed in the drop-down tab. This is helpful, for example, if you want to perform a bulk edit on the issues in the list.

Marking an issue as duplicate

When you mark an issue as duplicate, you indicate that the content of the issue is reported in another issue, called the canonical issue. The canonical issue may be chosen because it's older, has more visibility, or encompasses a larger scope when compared to the duplicate issue. You can mark an issue as duplicate either on that issue's page or in a search results page (using a bulk edit). However, you cannot mark an issue as duplicate from the canonical issue's page.

When you mark an issue as duplicate, it is considered closed and given a status of Duplicate. The Reporter, Assignee, Verifier, and any users or groups in the CC list are added to the CC list of the canonical issue. The duplicate issue appears in the Duplicates drop-down tab of the canonical issue. Last, the duplicate issue's page gains a yellow bar near the top indicating the duplicate status. You can hover over the link in the yellow bar or in the status field to display a Hovercard for the canonical issue.

Information for an issue marked as duplicate is found in the Duplicates drop-down tab in the Related Issues tray on the details page of the canonical issue.

The number of duplicate issues that a canonical issue has is displayed in parenthesis within the Duplicates tab's title. Clicking on the tab displays a list of issues that are marked as duplicate of the canonical issue. Each issue entry in this list has two parts:

  • Issue ID: Hover over the issue ID to display the Hovercard for the issue.
  • Issue Title: Click on the title to open the issue's page in a new tab.

Unmarking an issue as duplicate

An issue can be unmarked as duplicate in several ways:

  • Click the Unmark as Duplicate button in the App Bar.
  • Click, the Re-open link beneath the status field.
  • Change the status of the issue.

Note that an issue cannot be unmarked as duplicate from the canonical issue page.

If you click Unmark as Duplicate or Re-open, the status for the issue becomes either New (if there is no Assignee) or Open (if there is an Assignee).

Once unmarked, the issue no longer appears in the canonical issue's Duplicates drop-down tab. However, people that were automatically added to the CC for the canonical issue remain on that list unless explicitly removed.