Strategic features (was Slashdot article)

Sean McAfee etzwane at
Mon Dec 13 23:12:49 UTC 2004

Vlad Dascalu <vladd at> wrote:
>Following the Slashdot article, I took a closer took to our competition 
>and I came up with a strategic feature list that we should implement as 
>a priority. Our competition has all of the below features (and more!):

>-> custom fields

For my part, I'm willing to start working again on getting my own custom
fields implementation reviewed and approved.  As a bonus, we'd get this one
for free:

>-> custom workflow management

...since I've implemented such a feature already.  It works by designating
one custom field of the selection type as a "state" field, then defining
transitions between the states--that is, between the elements of the domain
of the field.  The transitions are named, and buttons with the transition
names appear on the show_bug.cgi page, which is now mostly read-only by
default.  Pressing a transition button reloads the page in its traditional
writeable form.  The state custom field is not shown as the other custom
fields are; it is changed invisibly, behind the scenes.

One cool extra I've also implemented is a show_workflow.cgi program which
feeds a bug's workflow to the Graphviz "dot" program, which can produce a
visual representation of a directed graph.  Bugs with associated workflow
now have a link on the show_bug page that says "_Show_ the bug's state in
the context of its workflow."

I've been a little discouraged at how custom fields discussions in the past
have tended to peter out, with no one in particular willing to try out the
code, schema, templates, etc. I've proposed.  I'm not really sure how to
address this issue.  Maybe by starting with something really basic, and
going forward in small steps?

I've also been thinking that the fastest way to start experimenting with
large volumes of readily-accessible, public data would be to create a
copy of the Bugzilla database itself, then create custom fields which are
simply duplicates of the existing built-in fields.  How does that sound?


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