Accueil > Bugzilla, Mozilla > What’s your feedback about Bugzilla 3.2?

What’s your feedback about Bugzilla 3.2?

As most of you know, Bugzilla 3.2rc1 is available for download since August 12 and upgraded to this version two weeks later, last Thursday. As I wrote in my last blog, b.m.o is not the first major installation to upgrade to 3.2rc1, so now seems a good time to get some feedback from people using this version of Bugzilla to know what’s their feeling with it, both about its UI and about its usability and new features. Mozilla folk reported a pretty large number of bugs, usability regressions, and complains, but as someone told me, they didn’t file bugs for things they like. So I thought this blog would be a better place to get your feedback, both positive and (highly?) negative, to get a better picture of what people think before releasing the final version of Bugzilla 3.2.

Note that this feedback can come from everybody using Bugzilla 3.2rc1 (or 3.1.4+), such as users of RedHat’s Bugzilla or OpenSSH’s Bugzilla, or even from smaller installations which already upgraded to this version. The wider the audience, the better. :)

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Catégories:Bugzilla, Mozilla
  1. Arthur
    5 septembre 2008 à 8:24  

    Hm, not much more to say than "I’m happy". Thanks for the great work.

  2. Teemu Mannermaa
    6 septembre 2008 à 12:04  


    I was positively surprised when I looked at some BMO bugs again few weeks ago after many months. It seems these small edit-links and other similar improvements that make pages more dynamic are indeed making things feel and look better in the long run.

    I did have some small problems like finding the Show Activity link and the first version of changed CC list display was confusing (no idea if I’m on the list already or not). I did find the link after some searching but I still want (probably optionally) that information integrated to main display. Also, the confusing CC list was already fixed (atleast on BMO) so things are still getting better and better. Good job, indeed!

  3. Frank
    6 septembre 2008 à 5:30  

    Bugzilla is wonderful — "but." I’ve been using it in my workflow (web and software development, general task management) for a year. I’d hoped to get others in my workplace to use it too, but most rebel when they see it. Even the 21 year old who works for me prefers to stay away. I think it’s the "first impression" problem: too much info, too fast. They think task management in email is easier, and at a quick glance, they’re right.

    My thoughts are these:

    * Big pat on the back for seeking feedback. That’s open and cool.

    * You can’t do much about this for 3.2 — it’s too big.

    * bz is not modern. Shades of gray — "dusk?" — does not invite users to explore or focus on anything in particular. It’s a little like looking at the sky on a hazy day. ActiveState and Songbird did good work in this area. You can’t duplicate them, but they do have lessons to teach. Some color, some contrasts, some sharp delineations in screen real estate make people comfortable. And frankly it’s hard to please everybody, so maybe the best approach is to focus on *clean*: remove as much from the screen as you can, use white space, words, and font weight to guide the eye rather than boxes and shades of gray.

    * The bug entry, edit, and search pages could stand a thorough review by UI designers *who aren’t engineers*. It would be a big job, but some kind of "progressive disclosure" treatment could help. We understand your problem–UI requires code changes to enable it, and progressive presentation is loaded with moving parts. Design and development can’t really be separated cleanly.

    * The bug edit page could be improved by putting aside all those status fields in favor of the comment, attachment, and time fields, which are likely the focus *after the bug is first created.* Even the latest draft spends a screen of page real estate on values that may not change after the bug’s been created. To a person who doesn’t live in bz all day, the comment, time, and attachment items might as well be invisible.

    * Maybe making more assumptions based on the "common work" of the bz installation would help. For example, I don’t primarily use bz for software development, so most items in the upper left of the recent bug edit draft are irrelevant. But the "what are we doing," "who’s involved," lifecycle items, and "what last happened" concepts are relevant to any kind of work.

    * Maybe you could have some new presentation idioms. They are not easy because there’s no native UI element for them. Lifecycle, for instance, might be shown as a horizontal thermometer with "bulbs" for each condition: new, open, verified, closed. Then use color to show the bug’s progress. Use a mark for "reopened." Lots of work for this idea.

    * I’ve always thought you need a middle kind of search page: the simple one is too simple and the "advanced" one is over the top with complexity. Search for bugs:
    – with this word or phrase in summary or comments
    – that are closed or open or either
    – involve this person in some way (cc, reporter, assigned, q/a)

    *Almost* every search a smaller installation would ever need could be handled with those three items. Maybe you need one or two more to make more people satisfied, but the big search is unusable by most human beings.

    Thanks for the opportunity. Keep going. bz is great, it’s evolving with the times and expectations.

  4. lpsolit
    7 septembre 2008 à 1:15  

    @Frank, yes, what you mention is perfectly valid. About the skin, Dusk is a first step in the right direction. The UI is IMO much better than the old Classical skin. As Bugzilla now supports concurrent skins (which you can choose from your user prefs), it would be very easy to add new ones (even if we don’t integrate them in our CVS). For instance, Bugzilla:Addons on our wiki offers another "Flat Green" skin.

    About most common actions, it appears, when doing some stats on Mozilla’s Bugzilla and Mandriva’s Bugzilla, that editing the bug status and resolution as well as CC’ing himself or changing the assignee are by far the most common actions. Besides this, it’s hard to say which fields are always relevant to different projects. Based on a (not yet published) survey, it appears that many projects wish the ability to hide the OS and platform (a.k.a hardware) fields, which are not relevant at all for them. We hope to implement this in the next major release (Bugzilla 3.4).

    It’s also true that the simple query form is too basic to be useful, and the advanced query form may be too complicated to "non-expert" users. We are already working on having the simple query form more useful to these users. not sure when the UI will be ready, though.

    Thanks for your feedback! :)

  5. James
    7 septembre 2008 à 6:48  

    I quite like the gnome bugzilla, which has some status info at the top and right, then the comments, with the comment box and all the fields at the bottom. This keeps the comment box and other fields together.

  6. James Napolitano
    12 septembre 2008 à 4:21  

    Thanks for asking for feedback; I’ve had an idea for the query form brewing for a while. I’d really love to have a query form that is based on the boolean charts but looks like Thunderbird’s UI to enter a new message filter. Right now, for each criteria of a boolean query, the user is presented with 3 controls per row. The first is a drop down listbox for what characteristic of the bug to examine, the 2nd is a drop down listbox for some type of relation (is, is not, is before, is greater than, etc), and the 3rd is a text box for the user to enter a value for the comparison. We could make this a lot more user-friendly with some simple javascript. When the user selects the characteristic from the first list, the page should automatically limit the 2nd listbox to the type of relations that apply (e.g. for any characteristics that are dates, the user would only need to select from ‘is’, ‘is before’, and ‘is after’, not meaningless relations like ‘is greater than’). And after selecting the relation, the page can then automatically change the 3rd control (e.g. for dates, the 3rd control could become one of the new time-picker widgets, and for characteristics like Status, it could become the Status listbox we have now). You’d also have to change it so that adding another row to the query wouldn’t require a page refresh. The TB filter UI already implements all these kinds of behaviours.

    *The key point is that you’d get the full power of the advanced search with a minimal UI that would only focus the user on one control at a time and would only show what fields the user was actually using. This would also make reading someone else’s query much faster, and it may help shrink those infamously long search URLs.

  7. D.
    27 novembre 2008 à 3:38  

    sorry to rain on the parrade.

    I tried to install bugzilla on my local machine, which is already running Apachie with PHP and mySQL.

    I just spend 2 hours and have not gotten a single perl module to intall. (I had 8 of the total 27 needed)

    Why do I have to be saavy with perl just because I want bug tracking software?

    I don’t have time to sit around and massage a bunch of perl modules. Even Bundle-Bugzilla failed me.

    I guess I’ll have to find another solution. anyone know any good PHP based bug trackers?


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