Self-Introduction: Fergus Sullivan

Gervase Markham gerv at
Wed Aug 29 19:19:00 UTC 2007

So much to ask about!

Fergus Sullivan wrote:
> == Anything else you'd like to say ==
> Yahoo has been happily using Bugzilla for the last six years.  We now 
> have a mandate from our top-level management to contribute to the open 
> source effort.


> We are currently using a customized version of 2.22.  

Do you have an upgrade plan?

> We serve Bugzilla 
> on FreeBSD 6, mysql 4.1, perl 5.6.  We use a mixture of MyISAM and 
> InnoDB.  

As in, different tables use different engines? Which uses which?

> We have a dual-master database (we have our own proxy that can 
> switch as needed) 

So MySQL supports this?

> and a VIP handling 3 front-end and servers and search 
> slaves.  We have a second colo for BCP with an equivalent architecture.  
> We have additional machines as reporting slaves.

As in, they have read-only mirrors of the DB and are used for running 

> Our database currently stands at about 1.5 million bugs and grows at 
> about 50k per month.  

That's the biggest known Bugzilla database, by about 3x. GNOME is at 
about 470,000.

> We have 20,000 named accounts (one per employee, 
> plus many internal mailing lists), of whom about 8,300 are active in any 
> one month. 

LDAP? RADIUS? Or a mirror of your internal employee database into the 
Bugzilla DB?

> In terms of active users and new bugs opened, our load has 
> increased 50% in the last year.  We have 2,400 separate products in our DB.

Red Hat has 7814 components in a single product, but I don't know of 
anyone who has that many products.

> In addition to myself, we have two developers and one QA assigned full 
> time on Bugzilla.  We have another two guys working full time on it at 
> the moment, although they may move to other tasks in a few months time.

Presumably you have a testing installation?

> Speed
>  - The core SQL within Bugzilla did not scale to meet our needs.  We 
> reached a tipping point at around 800,000 bugs.  The main cause was lock 
> contention within the DB.  The causes and solutions would fill an 
> academic paper.  We rewrote and greatly increased 
> performance.  Some of the changes were trivial.  A two line change 
> improved our "search for bugs where person X is cced" from 45 seconds to 
> 0.4 seconds.  Other changes were vast.  The overall effect was search 
> times have dropped from up to 45 seconds in typical usage to about six 
> seconds.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing these! Do you have any idea of 
how well the changes fit with our changes between 2.22 and now?

Was it only search that was a problem?

> Product Management
>  - With 2,400 different products, the vanilla product chooser does not 
> scale for us.  We have built an entirely different version.

Have you been eyeing Classifications with interest, or do they not help? 
How do you do the UI for this?

> UI
>  - We have made many minor and a few major changes to the UI.  One 
> interesting one is the use of a JavaScript datatable for client-side 
> sorting of buglist results.  This greatly reduces server load.

I use a Greasemonkey script for this. I agree, it needs to be a core 

>  - We have unified comments and the bug activity table.  Both appear 
> inline in the show bug page.

Do you find this useful in practice?


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