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When maintaining an open-source project, issue tracking is a critical component of managing contributions from the community. Issues allow contributors to report bugs, request features, and ask for help, and they provide a central place for discussion and collaboration.

However, not all issues are created equal, and without a well-designed issue template, it can be difficult to capture the essential information needed to resolve the issue efficiently. In this article, we will explore some best practices for setting up an issue template for your open-source project, including what to include and how to structure it.

1. Start with the basics

The first step in setting up an issue template is to include the essential information needed to understand the problem. This includes a clear and descriptive title, a brief summary of the issue, and steps to reproduce the issue. It's important to make sure that the information is concise and easy to understand, as this will help contributors quickly identify the problem and get started on a solution.

2. Include relevant labels

Labels are a useful tool for categorizing issues, making them easier to find and manage. For example, you might include labels for different types of issues (e.g., bugs, feature requests, documentation), or for different levels of urgency (e.g., critical, high, medium, low). Make sure to choose labels that are relevant to your project and its goals, and provide clear guidelines on how to use them.

3. Provide guidance on contributing

Contributing to an open-source project can be intimidating for newcomers, so it's important to provide clear guidance on how to contribute. This might include instructions on how to set up the development environment, coding standards, and guidelines for submitting a pull request. Providing this information upfront can help contributors to get started quickly and avoid common mistakes.

4. Use templates to structure the issue

Templates are a useful tool for structuring the issue and making sure that contributors provide all the necessary information. For example, you might include sections for the problem description, steps to reproduce, expected and actual results, and a proposed solution. Templates can also help to ensure that contributors provide information in a consistent format, making it easier to review and manage issues.

5. Encourage discussion and collaboration

Finally, it's important to encourage discussion and collaboration on issues. This might include providing a space for contributors to ask questions, suggest alternative solutions, or provide feedback on proposed solutions. Providing a welcoming and inclusive environment can help to build a strong community around your project and encourage more contributions over time.

6. Example issue template

Here is an basic but effective template that you can change, Add this markdown file as .github/

## Expected Behavior

## Actual Behavior

## Steps to Reproduce the Problem

## Specifications
- Version:
- Platform:
- Subsystem:


In conclusion, setting up an issue template is an important step in managing an open-source project. By providing clear guidance on how to contribute, structuring the issue template effectively, and encouraging collaboration, you can make it easier for contributors to report issues and provide valuable feedback. With these best practices in mind, you can create an issue template that helps your project to thrive and grow over time.