Bugzilla 3.6: Consistency, Completeness, and Usability

Max Kanat-Alexander mkanat at bugzilla.org
Thu May 7 22:44:56 UTC 2009

	Okay, so I have a somewhat-radical proposal to make for Bugzilla 3.6, 
that I've talked to LpSolit and a few of the other reviewers about 
already, and it's this:

	No new features for Bugzilla 3.6. Instead, we focus on fixing the 
features we already have.

	This means that we fix all the major HCI (usability) issues in 
Bugzilla. We finish any incomplete features that we have (so adding 
enhancements that actually just complete existing features is fine), and 
we make Bugzilla behave in a universally consistent fashion.

	There is work for everybody in this scheme! Refactoring the backend for 
consistency is something we can work on. Fixing the frontend is good. 
Updating documentation to actually be in sync with Bugzilla--that's 
another good thing. Completing features that you have worked on in the 
past would be another good item. There's something for everybody, 
believe me.

	The highest-priority items would be all the usability issues discovered 
by pryzak's students, as tracked at this bug:


	Examples of "completing a feature" would be: adding defaults to custom 
fields, allowing multi-select custom fields to show up in the bug list, 
indicating the sort order of a bug list, allowing email_in to accept 
attachments, the ability to disable certain field values, finishing the 
functionality of the "see also" field so that it's more useful--the 
sorts of things that were "always in the plan" and that everybody 
actually wants, but that we somehow never got around to.

	"Fixing" a feature would be things like: allowing the patch viewer to 
use other VCSes than CVS, because nobody uses CVS anymore, making the 
way extensions and template hooks work to be more consistent, etc.

	I've tagged some bugs that I think would be good to work on as part of 
this plan with [3.6 Focus] in the whiteboard. Here is a URL to these bugs:


	Note that I'm more interested in fixing things that actually affect UI 
users at this point more than I am interested in fixing or completing 
APIs, though some of that could possibly be done too.

	I came up with this plan because I am absolutely tired of hearing 
people complain about Bugzilla (try a daily Twitter search for 
"Bugzilla" and see what you get), I think that we're racking up 
incomplete features faster than we can complete them, and we're adding 
new incomplete UIs faster than we can fix them. We already have more 
features than any other bug tracker in the world--now we should make 
them *nice*.

	Feel free to tag some bugs as [3.6 Focus] yourself. If you're not sure 
that a bug would qualify, just ask me. Basically, any long-term "wow 
this is an annoying and enormous problem" bug would be qualified.

	Also, to be clear, I'm not going to forbid anybody to work on a whole 
new feature. You're still welcome to do that. I'm just saying what I'd 
like our *priorities* to be as reviewers and developers.

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