Once Upon a Time in Bugzilla Land (custom fields)

Myk Melez myk at mozilla.org
Tue Dec 14 22:20:58 UTC 2004

Gervase Markham wrote:

> Stuart Donaldson wrote:
>> Yes, Flags and Keywords are similar enough that it is worth looking 
>> at how to combine them.  But it would be far better to put that brain 
>> power into getting a custom fields solution and then make flags and 
>> keywords instances of custom fields.
> Custom fields are best for things which don't require special back-end 
> support or UI - like "a text box" or "a multi-select". "Keywords" and 
> "flags" require a lot more infrastructure than that; I don't think 
> they could be instances of custom fields.

Right, or at least flags do, since they can plussed, minused, and, most 
significantly, requested.  Adding generic support for these behaviors 
into a custom fields implementation overburdens that implementation with 
additional requirements that are unnecessary for everything else we want 
to do with custom fields.  Given the significant challenge of getting 
custom fields into Bugzilla at all, this should not be a priority for 
the initial implementation, if ever.

> Individual keywords and flags couldn't be one custom field each, 
> either - that would give b.m.o. over 100 custom fields.

Right.  Matty says:

>In my mind keywords already are customised boolean fields.

But 100 custom fields on b.m.o and other sites using more than a dozen 
keywords is too unwieldy, as our experience with flags shows, and 
building grouping into custom fields so that we can display a bunch of 
them with UI as compact as keywords has and flags could have is yet 
another burden we don't want to place on our custom fields implementation.

If we wanted to implement keywords using custom fields, we would be 
better off implementing them as a single "multi-select" field (i.e. a 
field with multiple values, zero or more of which can be set) which is 
very similar to--or the same as--field types already existing in most 
custom field proposals.

But even better would be to fold them into flags, improving the flags UI 
in the process so it can handle as many flags as our keywords UI can 
handle (but without the typo fallibility of keywords).


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