[Fwd: Feature focus - status/keywords/flags/fields]

Jake jake at bugzilla.org
Tue May 15 19:12:05 UTC 2007

A voice from afar said....

On 5/15/07, Gervase Markham <gerv at mozilla.org> wrote:
> Status whiteboard begat keywords, and keywords begat flags. Now people
> are suggesting that flags be enhanced to allow arbitrary values instead
> of just "  ? + -". Wouldn't that make them like custom fields?

I do believe it would basically make them an enumerated form of a custom
field with the ability to attach events to them (email when they're sent,

> what account should Bugzilla take of the new tagging phenomenon? Is that
> like keywords or like the status whiteboard?

I've seen many people using the status whiteboard as a poor-man's tagging
before. Perhaps it wouldn't be a horrible idea to do tags in a manner that
they are personal/private. Then if I wanted to tag something I wouldn't have
to use the status whiteboard and do something silly like [jake:p1]. Global
tags are really kinda what keywords are. If there was an inclination to make
tags global, I'd suggest instead expanding keywords and adding a
public/private option.

While there is overlap, I think that keywords/flags/status whiteboard all
serve distinct purposes:

Flags can trigger events and be requested, added, or denied and have
permissions set appropriately.

Keywords are globally defined and can be tracked and managed across an
entire project.

Status whiteboard is an unstructured field that resides near the top of the
form, is searchable, and can contain darn near anything.

Custom fields is where the lines start to blur. I remember early on in the
custom field discussion the topic of turning the whiteboard into a custom
field came up. Did that not end up happening?

Some of the same weaknesses of the whiteboard that caused keywords (not
centrally managed) to be created are strengths that caused it to stick
around. Same goes for keywords/flags.

Do we still need all four
> of these features, or can two be merged?

It may be possible to merge a couple, but I think it'd be better to make the
whiteboard a custom field and rework keywords into tags. Though I'm not
volunteering to code it being that I'm so far out of the loop :).

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