Be sure to Follow Bug Reporting Guidelines
Wednesday October 13th, 1999
Eli Goldberg of the Mozilla QA team has a request for everyone submitting bugs for M10:
"While a number of these bug reports have been fantastic, we're seeing a lot of new bug reporters who haven't yet learned how to submit Good Mozilla Bugs. Correspondingly, easily 20% of them have been tossed out as INVALID or WORKSFORME on the spot. (!) Almost none of the M10 bugs have followed the Bug Writing Guidelines, or used the Bug Template. In some cases, the bugs turned out to be valid --- but we didn't know, since the reporter didn't provide sufficient clues for an investigation."
Also be sure to check out the "Most Frequent Bugs" page before submitting a bug. Duplicate bugs need to be weeded out by the QA team - time that could be much better spent.
#2 Bug reporting process: incomprehensible
Thursday October 14th, 1999 6:34 AM
You are replying to this message
I'm a developer mys'elf and have used bug tracking systems before; even those (while difficult to understand) have been nowhere near as actively user-hostile as the bugzilla system.
What I'm saying is, it would be better if there were "simpler" forms for use by external testers aka Normal People, while keeping the complex, fully-featured forms for Mozilla developers / advanced users.
Example, simpler search; should allow selection of product (default to browser) and subarea (e.g. "HTML form components", there's an existing list). That should be the only options to select, then a standard keyword search (enter list of keywords, choose to AND, OR, or phrase search, or else use altavista syntax - cf any web search engine). While a few people might want to use the current forbidding, advanced interface, sure - they still can. Most people could make do with that simpler interface and get results much more effectively.
Reporting a bug could include the same two dropdowns plus the info QA people need (machine OS, version etc), then the URL/attachment, summary and full description... that's it. But with a detailed, simple explanation on the actual page of how to fill in each section, without needing to reference extra pages.
IMO this would increase the number of bug reports, and reduce the proportion of duplicates / bad bug reports. Writing guidelines as to the use of truly horrible software might help, but fixing the software to give it a better UI should be a far more successful solution.
ps I developed a custom web-based bugsystem for use here, (though it was for a far smaller/simpler project), so I do have some experience in this stuff :) I wouldn't have the first clue about bugzilla code though, so unfortunately I can't offer to make the changes... am certainly willing to give UI advice though ;)