MozillaZine

Bugzilla Helper Replacement

Wednesday June 19th, 2002

In the words of its maintainer Gervase Markham, the Bugzilla Helper "has been creaking for some time now. It's buggy, uses JavaScript, uses popups, has dodgy formatting and is generally broken."

The good news is that a replacement is in development. Read Gerv's newsgroup posting for full details and send feedback to netscape.public.mozilla.webtools.


#1 Personally, never had a problem with old helper.

by JBassford <jasonb@dante.com>

Thursday June 20th, 2002 4:42 AM

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It may have some bugs, but I've never noticed them myself. I've always found the old helper easy to use.

#2 good stuff

by morg

Thursday June 20th, 2002 9:34 AM

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I like it a lot. If there are any bugs to shake out, I hope that happens fast. This will make triaging and QA'ing bugs faster and easier.

I'd also like to see the Bugzilla Helper be given more prominence on the Bugzilla front page. Currently, we have "Report A Bug - Use the Bugzilla Helper" atop the page, but only "Report A Bug" is linked. I'd like to see the linked text become: "Report a Bug - Use the Bugzilla Helper."

#3 Re: good stuff

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Thursday June 20th, 2002 12:48 PM

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"I'd also like to see the Bugzilla Helper be given more prominence on the Bugzilla front page. Currently, we have 'Report A Bug - Use the Bugzilla Helper' atop the page, but only 'Report A Bug' is linked."

Actually, the 'Report A Bug' link does go to the Bugzilla Helper.

Alex

#4 1.1alpha is great

by morg

Thursday June 20th, 2002 3:01 PM

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But the text "Use the Bugzilla Helper" is not linked.

#5 An idea for a design change in bug report

by jmd

Friday June 21st, 2002 8:26 AM

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For some time, I've been using the Bugzilla Helper, been reporting bugs, and came to the conclusion the interface is not optimal.

I always really took care of avoiding duplicate, but sometimes even fastidious researches were not enough to avoid that. With the current interface, as Mozilla becomes more popular, number of duplicates will grow exponentially.

The most important is give someone who arrives on Bugzilla a way to known easily whether his bug is alreay known and lead him to discover what similar bugs there is in Bugzilla, and only then add his own.

The current bug report is designed in a way only a Mozilla developer can correctly report bugs. The casual user know what problem he has, but how should he know what part of Mozilla is is related to ? Currently this is the very first thing he has to choose !

After some thinking, I came to the conclusion that the interface that would help most to reduce the number of duplicates would be a tree-like interface.

The top of the tree would be a list of simple question about the type of bug, then about where it happens, then more and more detailed questions about what happened exactly. When the user arrives at the leaf level, he gets a list of very similar bugs. Whenever needed, a new sublevel can be created to keep the number of leaf low. The leaf level should show be default currently living bug (all those that are not closed/solved since more than 1 month).

At any level, the user has a predetermined list of choices to continue, and is told he should try to find one that correspond to what problem he has. Several different path could lead to the same destination to easier things.

If he is unable to classify his bug inside the tree, then he should just be given a way to enter it without classification, and then a dedicated team will try to find the proper classification, and undertand why the bug couldn't be classified, maybe create new entries in the tree, so that's this kind of bug becomes easier to classify.

I don't know exactly how this could be built on top of the current Bugzilla, but this could be in a quite independant database, with the only direct links that the classification of the bug would give a list of key word in the bug description and the leafs would be a bug number inside Mozilla.

#6 Re: An idea for a design change in bug report

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday June 21st, 2002 11:55 AM

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I've been thinking about this for a couple of years. I wrote out a description for a simple wizard that would do, I think, much of what you're suggesting. Here's my thoughts from about a year ago:

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I am thinking of a simple wizard interface with about four questions/pages. Each question would narrow down the list of possible existing bugs. The questions I've got so far are something like this:

I. did you find this problem in A)browser B)mail or newsgroups C)html composer D)other?

IIA. did you find this problem in 1)the content area (like the webpage) or in 2)the application chrome (like buttons, menus or scrollbars)? IIB. did you find the problem in the 1)content area (like the server folders, message titles or message content) or 2)the application 4)sending or receiving messages 5)account settings/preferences? IIC. did you find this problem in 1)the content area (the composed webpage) or in 2)the application chrome (like buttons, menus or scrollbars)? IID. did you find this problem in 1)preferences 2)chatzilla 3)bookmarks window 4)history window 5)addressbook 6)other?

IIIA1. is your problem best described as a)incorrect alignment of textual elements on a page b)incorrect alignment of image or other images or other elements on a page d)forms (including text areas) or form submission behaving incorrectly e)dynamic content not behaving as expected? IIIA2. is your problem with an item in a)menus or menubar b)navigation toolbar c)URLbar (aka addressbar) d)personal toolbar (aka bookmarks bar) e)tabs f)scrollbars g)taskbar/statusbar?

IIIB1. did you find the problem in the display of the a)accounts and folders pane, b)the message header pane, or c)the actual message? IIIB2. is your problem with an item in the a)menus or menubar, b)toolbar buttons, c)splitters or grippies (seperator between the different panes), or d)taskbar/statusbar? IIIB3. is your problem in a)addressing the message, b)text entry, or c)adding html or images d)attachments? IIIB4. is your problem in a)not receiving message, b)sending messages failed? IIIB5. is your problem in a)display of the account settings/preferences, b)creation of a new account, or c)modification of an existing account?

IIIC1. is your problem in a)typing, selecting, copying, or pasting plain text, or b)adding or modifying html elements or images? IIIC2. is your problem with an item in a)menus or menubar, b)formatting toolbar, c)views tabs, or d)other dialogs (table properties, link properties, etc.)?

IIID1. is your problem with a)appearance or layout of preferences window or panels, or b)saving preferences? IIID2. is your problem with a)chrome, b)message content, c)irc commands or d)connecting to servers/channels? IIID3. is your problem with a)moving bookmarks (cut, copy, paste, delete, drag&drop, etc), b)sorting bookmarks or c)creating or modifying bookmark properties? IIID4. is your problem with a)removing history items, or b)sorting history items? IIID5. is your problem with a)organizing cards(cut, copy, paste, delete, drag&drop, etc), b)sorting cards or c)importing or exporting cards IIID6. is your problem with a)dialogs, alerts, warnings, etc.?

IVA-D. please enter 3 key words that describe your problem.

With this information I believe that we could construct a very accurate query and deliver a short list of results that would have a good chance of containing the reporter's problem. If we don't return results with the reporter's problem then we've got a very good shot at picking the correct component and assignee for the problem.

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If you are interested in helping to make something like this happen please let me know. The questions could definitely use refining and ideally this would be a small XUL app wizard that you could access from the "File a bug" menuitem in the browser.

--Asa

#7 formatting is hosed. sorry (n/t)

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday June 21st, 2002 11:56 AM

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.

#9 An idea for a design change in bug report

by jmd

Friday June 21st, 2002 3:29 PM

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<i>If you are interested in helping to make something like this happen please let me know. The questions could definitely use refining and ideally this would be a small XUL app wizard that you could access from the "File a bug" menuitem in the browser. </i>

I'd love to help, but timing is bad. Right now, I'm already 100% buzy with other involvements. Well if it gets better in a pair of month, we'll see.

I don't know if there's enough/adequate information in every bug entry so that the final query can return just the right list of bugs. The number of issues tracked with meta-bug and _not_ with fine tuned bugzilla request, tends to show this won't work even if maybe simply for performance reasons.

I was thinking more of an external base that would be organised just like a deep multi-level bookmarks list.

Also would it be possible/reasonnable to update the XUL app wizard often enough to really follow the evolution in the current most frequent problems ?

#11 Re: An idea for a design change in bug report

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Saturday June 22nd, 2002 2:38 AM

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my thinking was that with these four or five questions the wizard could construct a sufficiently good query to return a list of bugs which contains the reporter's problem and if the query didn't return the reporter's problem the wizard would have gathered sufficient information to assist the reporter in filing a good bug report. i don't think that the wizard would have to contain any list of frequent problems, it would just be the means of gathering info from the reporter to do smart queries against bugzilla (including duplicates.cgi).

--Asa

#13 The new page looks great

by Salsaman

Monday July 1st, 2002 5:51 PM

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I hope it will go into service soon.

#8 Your mozillazine login

by jmd_

Friday June 21st, 2002 2:44 PM

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Hi jmd. You don't have a public e-mail, so I'm posting this here. I've used 'jmd' for my name on the #mozilla IRC channel for 2-3 years now. A few people saw your message here and were contacting me there about it. It's fairly confusing. Was wondering if you would mind creating a slightly different login, if you plan to post here more in the future. Would save confusion both ways.

Thanks for listening, jmd :)

#10 name collision

by jmd

Friday June 21st, 2002 3:42 PM

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Sorry about that :-)

When I took the id, I just thought I was so lucky it was still available ;-) I have been posting a few times, but never got that kind of reaction.

I'll think about changing my id. As a first step, I made the email public, and this one has my usual nick on #mozilla .

#12 You may be interested in these bugs...

by afranke

Sunday June 23rd, 2002 4:10 PM

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I had some similar thoughts about one and a half years ago. Here are the RFEs I filed back then:

Bug 65929 (tracking bug): Make it easier to find bugs in Bugzilla <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65929>

Bug 43940: Component trees for Bugzilla <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=43940>

Bug 65965: Bug type classification <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65965>

Bug 66084: (Query based) Partial Bugzilla Index by UI Element Names <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=66084>

Bug 75172: FeatureZilla - an integrated SW development tracking tool <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=75172>

Have fun, Andreas