More on custom fields

Paulo Casanova paulo.casanova at
Thu Dec 16 12:12:47 UTC 2004

Hi all,

When I wrote the first e-mail with this subject I tried to state that, 
IMHO, we shoud *NOT* discuss implementation right now. It is very 
difficult for people who code not to try to figure out a solution 
immediately. However, I would ask you to slow down a bit.

First of all I don't think we all agree on what custom fields are. Here 
are some thoughts:

Bugzilla has two main concepts: products and bugs. They work in an 
"aggreagation", that is, a product has bugs and a bug always belongs to 
a product. Bugs have a life of their own: they follow a (somewhat loose) 
workflow, they serve as a discussion forum.

Information in a bug can be divided according to several "views":

1. Concerning "scope" it can be divided in two groups: site-wise 
information and product-wise information. Examples of the former are the 
status whiteboard and keywords. Examples of the latter are component or 
target milestone.

2. Concerning "value" it can be singe-valued (subject) or multi-valued 

3. Concerning "structure" it can be simple (status whiteboard) or 
complex (time tracking).

4. Concerning "validation" it can be basic (as in subject or keywords) 
or complex (such as QA contact where it must be a registered user).

So we must think a little on all those aspects. I think object-oriented 
comes as a major helper for this.

As a basis for custom fields, I would like them be:
    - Product-wise or site-wise.
    - Could have any kind of structure, value and validation.
    - Could be presented on a UI in a customizable fashion.

I find this far more complex than discussing tables and field names. 
And, even in BZ only provides some basic field types we should be 
provide the structure for kind'of arbitrary infomation to be stored and 

Of course, some limits must apply or this will become the sort of 
absolutely-generic-and-do-it-all product.

I would suggest, at first, to discuss in what level of abstraction 
should we put ourselves in.

Best to you all,

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