Database Schema chart

David Miller justdave at
Mon Sep 13 22:04:45 UTC 2004

Shane H. W. Travis wrote:

> You may or may not remember me; in April of this year, I contacted you about
> the Database Schema chart, and how it was out of date, and would you like me
> to update it for you. Well, as life happens, as soon as I promised I would I
> got dragged off onto another project for six months, and it completely fell
> through the cracks.
> As of late last week, I'm back doing Bugzilla work for the company, and this
> is one of the things that I wanted to bang out while I've got bugzilla-time
> to spare. My apologies for disappearing off the radar completely; I have
> never forgotten that I said I'd do it, though, and it's been bugging me that
> I never got it finished. I was wracked with guilt, and would like to make it
> up to you now.  :) 
> I looked through some of the documentation links for bugzilla today, and
> found this one:
> where just last week! you posted a work-in-progress version using dia. As it
> happens, I was able to get someone to install dia for me on the main
> Bugzilla machine (which is slow as a pregnant pig with about as much
> memory). Was a real PITA to open this and work with it, but it could be
> done.
> What I'm wondering, therefore, is:
> a) is someone else already doing this, or was this sort of a raw info dump
> on a slightly-slack afternoon? If the former, then I'll thank them and
> apologize to you for not getting it done sooner; if the latter, then I'll
> try and pick it up and run with it.

Yeah, I was in the UK for work last month, and spent the return flight 
working on that.  I haven't had a chance to touch it since, and I'm not 
aware of anyone else that's said they were going to, so by all means 
feel free to take it on. :)

> b) is this the preferred format (dia)? I ask because I have access to both
> corel and visio, either of which could produce better-looking diagrams (and
> be a lot easier for me to work with). Dia is *great* for a free tool, but it
> does seem rather... primitive.

Yeah, Dia is the preferred format, mostly because it is free, and it's 
easier for the average developer to get their hands on it and update the 
chart next time we make schema changes.

> c) Is this the preferred style? There seems to be a lot more information on
> this W-I-P than there was on the 'original' schema -- foreign keys, uniques,
> listings of enumerations, etc. That sort of stuff really clutters up the
> page, I can tell, but some people may consider it necessary. (If you're
> going to do it in Dia, foreign keys probably ARE necessary, since I can't
> find a way to make good clean lines to show interconnections between the
> tables.)

Yeah, it was my intention to draw lines...  the generic 
"square-cornered" lines with arrows on the ends seemed to work best for 
the couple I tried (there are two or three drawn so far).  It will take 
a lot of rearranging the tables on the document to get the lines to make 
sense.  I just added tables where there was blank space to get all the 
data entry done.

For the immense size of the data on there, it may work best to rearrange 
the tables into logical areas of functionality, and actually put each 
functional area on a separate page, and have arrows that need to lead 
out of that functional area just end in midair saying what they point at 
(and maybe a short arrow inbound on the other end to point out the 
reference to it).

Functional areas might be: group security (all the xxx_group_map 
tables), User profiles (profiles and profiles_activity, perhaps mix this 
with groups if it fits), Bugs (bugs, cc, depends, duplicates, etc), 
Products (products, components, versions, milestones, etc), and so on.

Dave Miller      Project Leader, Bugzilla Bug Tracking System   

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