Bugzilla: Philosophy

David Marshall dmarshal at yahoo-inc.com
Wed Mar 3 01:42:42 UTC 2010

On 3/2/10 4:18 PM, "Max Kanat-Alexander" <mkanat at bugzilla.org> wrote:

> On 03/01/2010 03:40 PM, David Marshall wrote:
>> "The purpose of Bugzilla is to help people record and find information they
>> need to fix bugs effectively."
> How about this?
> "The purpose of Bugzilla is to help people store and organize
> information about bugs so that bugs can be fixed effectively."
> "find" isn't broad enough, because it doesn't include reporting, etc.
> "record" might be fine, but I'm not quite as sure about it as I am about
> "store".

I didn't intend my statement to be parsed so literally that anyone who does
not actually file bugs, perform searches, or personally fix bugs would feel
disenfranchised.  I tried to state the generic purpose as concisely and
briefly as possible.

My final suggestion, with a rather verbose explanation following:

"Bugzilla help people and organizations fix bugs effectively by cataloging
bug reports and coordinating effort."

We should focus on the ends rather than the means, which is why I don't
think the statement of purpose should be "to store and organize bug

To what specific end should anyone use Bugzilla?  We need to state that
clearly enough so that someone who really wants project management or a
general ticket system doesn't choose Bugzilla instead of a more appropriate
tool.  I believe that the specific end is fixing bugs.  People who don't
actually fix bugs by editing code are still in the enterprise of bug fixing.

You don't need Bugzilla (or anything similar) to fix bugs, but if you want
to do it well or "effectively," you probably need Bugzilla or similar.

How does Bugzilla help them achieve the end?  The statement of the means
should (in my opinion) be subordinate to the statement of the end.  After
some thought about terms like "find," "store," "record," and "organize," I
think the best word for what Bugzilla does with data is "catalog."

We should also include something about how Bugzilla implements workflow,
sends email, etc.  "Collaboratively" is way too hackneyed now,

End: Bugzilla helps people and organizations fix bugs effectively
Means #1: by cataloging bug reports
Means #2: by coordinating effort

P.S. I could go on all day about shades of meaning in words, but I have to
get off that merry-go-round!  I don't feel personally invested in whatever
the final wording is.

P.P.S. "To Fix Bugs" -- it's a cookbook!

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