Fwd: REST APIs, and Tags

Guy Pyrzak guy.pyrzak at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 18:37:29 UTC 2010

On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 6:07 AM, Gervase Markham <gerv at mozilla.org> wrote:

> On 22/02/10 20:25, Guy Pyrzak wrote:
> > 1. People willing to work on the UI.
> I agree that this is tricky, but if we had a big pile of excellent
> designs and no-one to implement them, we'd be in a much better place
> than we are now.

I am happy to implement actual UIs, getting "ready to build" UI's is
somewhat difficult though. So here is a challenge to you: You get the
designs in a ready to build state, I'll get the developers. I say it that
way b/c I'm happy to implement the UI's myself if I have to, I'll call it my
Bugzilla vacation.

> > 2. Mozilla folks who are supportive of simplification of the UI
> That's an incredible thing to say. It's Mozilla folk who scream most
> loudly at me that Bugzilla is overly-complex.
See most of my UI changes. However, to be fair they might be the few angry
folks and 99% of the community might like it but just stays silent. I'm not
as familiar as some of the veterans at ignoring the "trolls" and I usually
try to listen to everyone who is willing to give feedback and find solutions
that fit as many issues as possible.

> Who have you heard complaining about UI simplification ideas, and where?

I really dislike naming names, but see my latest blog post about the new
search UI.

> > 3. Designers willing to post constructive ideas about how to improve the
> > complex parts of the UI
> I have recently posted proposals for:
> - Tagging (which would allow us to remove some hard-coded fields and
> increase flexibility, thereby simplifying the UI)
> - Generic bug relationships (which would allow us to remove
> depends/blocked and See Also and increase flexibility, thereby
> simplifying the UI)

Tagging is something we have talked about for a while in terms of UI. I
think the disagreement is how Tags would actually work and how they would
fix EVERYTHING or just some things. I thought jjclark was working on a
generalized bug relationship, but again, i see that as a how the backend
works not the UI/experience.

I think being able to remove ANY of the Bugzilla fields from the UI is a
good idea and I think there is a bug to make many of the built in fields
into custom fields so that they can be removed. Not sure what the status of
that bug is. On that note i think stuff like OS/Platform etc could also be
made into custom fields so they could be removed if that was a desire. By
moving the built in fields into custom fields we'd also get showing and
hiding of fields based on other fields so that some components could use
them and others could chose to not use them.  I chalk this up to Bugzilla
moving slowly, not to Bugzilla being unwilling to listen to feedback.

> and both of these suggestions have received negative feedback from
> prominent members of the Bugzilla community.
> There have also been shedloads of posts from Mozilla community members
> about UI design and simplification, including some actual practical
> implementations (things like Jesse's TidyBug).
> http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/improving-bugzilla-people-bugs-search-and-planning/
> http://jboriss.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/my-bugzilla-redesign-2%C2%A2/
> http://blog.fligtar.com/2009/04/23/fancypants-a-new-bugzilla-skin/
> http://www.squarefree.com/2009/04/20/getting-bugs-done/

I've been involved with all of these guys and talked to them at length and
filed bugs, made jetpacks, worked on mocks based on these discussions. But 4
posts does not equal an active design community. Please read through these
and you'll see that I've either implemented or discussed many of the
suggestions in one way or another (aza's will be the next thing i work on by
trying to add more "human" elements via gravatar). Fligtar's UI/Tidybug I
have turned into a jetpack and Mkanat has a similar UI that tries to follow
a similar concept of getting rid of lots of the fields.

Jesse's GBD stuff is great! It's a great idea for BMO and probably lots of
other places. It can technically be implemented via the current
infrastructure so all we really need is mocks and specifics and we could
start playing around with it either as an extension or core Bugzilla, but I
personally need more than just a matrix to implement this UI. If the
BMO/MoCo/MoFo folks want this lets move on it and get some mocks put

Jborris's hompeage UI is actually available on BMO right now (you filed the
bug to make it the default) and as far as I know it is awaiting 1 bug fix to
make it the default UI on BMO. I've been hesitant to fix it b/c in its
current state I think it is SUPER ugly, and needs more TLC but maybe I
shouldn't wait anymore.

Aza's stuff will take longer but just last night I was talking to Mkanat
about an extension to add a more human element to Bugzilla via a
gravatars extension. His concepts are defiantly a direction I'd like to see
Bugzilla or some Uber Extensions go, but I think you would agree many of
them are big features that are much more than just UI.

And on a side topic, Gerv, we should post Aza's ideas for some of the summer
of code work. Should I do it or do you mind?

> The problem is many
> > people who post UI ideas are only thinking about how they use the tool
> > (which isn't a bad thing but that's why we usually don't
> > just implement their ideas directly) not how new users AND extreme
> experts
> > would use the tool which is what makes designing for Bugzilla
> challenging. I
> > myself am guilty of doing this and have slowly learned the right way to
> > approach doing these sorts of designs.
> I don't think the professional UI people represented in the above blog
> posts could be accused of that. (And I, while not being paid to do UI
> design, have read extensively on the subject, redesigned several sites,
> and count it among one of my primary interests.)

The guys posted above have done a FANTASTIC job of posting ideas, I
encourage others and these guys to post more! I know the Bugzilla community
(and me personally) have listened and tried to implement and experiment with
their ideas. I would hope that the same way you defend their 4 posts as a
"shedloads" of ideas, you would recognize the work we're doing on the
Bugzilla community side to implement the suggestions. Yes, we're slow and if
that's the accusation then it's a very fair one. But accusing us of not
caring about UI or not trying to fix it is not.

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