Bugzilla: Philosophy

David Marshall dmarshal at yahoo-inc.com
Mon Mar 1 23:40:10 UTC 2010

On 3/1/10 2:16 PM, "Max Kanat-Alexander" <mkanat at bugzilla.org> wrote:

> Perhaps:
> The purpose of Bugzilla is to help people store and organize bug
> reports so that they can be addressed.

If I may offer a paraphrasing of the "vision statement" I had to write a
while back:

"The purpose of Bugzilla is to help people record and find information they
need to fix bugs effectively."

I offer this as a compromise between Max's and Gerv's statements.  Hopefully
no one is using Bugzilla because they just like to store and organize bug
reports, so I think Max's statement makes bug reports seem more like an end
than the means.  On the other hand, Gerv's statement is a little too vague
about exactly how Bugzilla is going to help people fix bugs in software.

So let's say I'm engaged in the business of fixing bugs - how is Bugzilla
going to help me do that?  I argue that it can best help me do that by
firstly being a place that I (or others) can record information about the
bugs I am fixing.  If I am recording a lot of data, however, it may be
difficult to use it effectively, and thus Bugzilla secondly helps me find
the information (among all the information that has been recorded) that I
actually need to do the fixing.

Max suggests at the bottom of the Philosophy page that the phrasing of new
features should be "Bugzilla is preventing me from storing and organizing
bug reports because..."  I think that's too general.  I would break it down
to "Bugzilla is preventing me from recording information because..." or
"Bugzilla is preventing me from finding information because..."  Of course,
the more general problem statement should be "Bugzilla is preventing me from
fixing bugs effectively because...," with the supposition that Bugzilla is
limited to recording and retrieving information.

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