prioritizing custom fields development

Benton, Kevin kevin.benton at
Thu Feb 23 18:06:07 UTC 2006

> Frédéric Buclin wrote:
> >>     * administer custom fields via a web interface;
> >
> >
> > This one is definitely what I would like to see asap. I hope
> > 'administer' also means creating and removing fields.
> I am curious about this one, because it really seems to me like one of
> the lowest priorities.  Administration is a rarely done task, typically
> done at configuration time.  And since it doesn't support per-project
> custom fields, you don't even do the administration on a per project
> basis.
> Perhaps I am wrong here, but it seems like the priority should be about
> functionality for the operation and use of custom fields. Heck, I don't
> mind making changes in a configuration file or simple perl code changes
> to administer custom fields.
> Is the issue that you are targeting a system where the bugzilla
> administrator does not have command line access?

In my mind, it's a usability issue.  While it's true that we're technical enough to do this kind of thing as developers, I don't think it's fair to expect Bugzilla administrators to 1) have to manually edit configurations, and 2) know enough to be able to figure out how to fix it when they screwed up their installation due to syntax errors.  A web-based UI helps prevent that kind of mistake, and greatly improves usability.  Not to mention, doing that also makes it a lot easier for administrators of large / multiple installations to manage customizations (if done properly).

Having a web-based UI also makes it a lot easier to train other users how to maintain their own custom fields.  It's true that here, some of the users don't have access to the command prompt and are not able to modify configuration files.  Frankly, I don't want to give someone the opportunity to cause critical problems with an installation they don't have ultimate operational responsibility for.

So, having said all that, in my mind, doing this kind of update from a web-based UI isn't optional, it's a requirement.

Kevin Benton
Perl/Bugzilla Developer/Administrator, Perforce SCM Administrator
Personal Computing Systems Group
Advanced Micro Devices
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