Custom fields schema

Christopher Hicks chicks at
Sun Jan 30 14:25:31 UTC 2005

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Daniel Berlin wrote:
> On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Steven Suson wrote:
>>   I have to agree whole heartedly with this. It seems every time that a 
>> discussion of custom fields begins, that it deteriorates into a flame 
>> war... And each and every time, the proposed contributor is nit picked to 
>> death, until the custom fields discussion dies away. Come on guys! MANY 
>> bugzilla users have wanted custom fields for several years now (including 
>> my company and I); remember that best is the enemy of good enough.
> I can't stress enough how true this is.
> Myk, i hate to say it, because you are a valued bugzilla contributor, but 
> unless you garner more support for your position (which nobody seems to have 
> thrown their weight behind, no offense), i believe it is time to say 
> "objection noted, let's move on".
> This is not a design that is so flawed it is unusable, because there is an 
> existence proof that it is usable.
> If you truly believe your design is better, i believe it is time for you to 
> implement a custom fields patch yourself, so we have two working patches to 
> compare, instead of comparing "database theory" and "working code".

Abso-bleeping-lutely.  Props to Steven and Daniel for jumping into the 
melee that is custom fields.

There seems to be somewhat broad agreement on a few points:

(1) Anybody who tried to get a design approved by the bugzilla community 
before implementing custom fields would never start implementing.

(2) A workable implementation exists and people seem to be falling back in 
the quagmire of (1).

(3) Working code should trump theory, but its not.  As a long time 
pedantic a*hole myself I truly sympathise with the purists... but this 
situation lost its "virginity" so long ago that purity and idealism 
haven't fit for a long time.

One other red herring that I'm tired of seeing is that we're stuck with a 
bad implementation and that another lump of tweaking can't 
move us to another way of doing things.  If FAC and FAD are implementing 
the same fields in different ways then there is a one-to-one mapping 
between how something would be represented in each and there's an 
algorithm for converting them.  It would seem easier for the FAC purists 
to patch something that works so that it works they way they want than to 
start over.  (But since the purists are busy arguing against somebody who 
made a major accomplishment no progress on either has been made.)

Yet another red herring is that big changes are bad.  Something like 
custom fields is something that by its very nature is a big change. 
Splitting it up into a dozen chunks doesn't change this fact and is just 
a pointless exercise in fitting a 10 pound bad of salt through a one pound 


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