18. November 2002

Bugzilla Status Update

by J. Paul Reed (preed)

State of Bugzilla

We have come to an exciting time in the life of the Bugzilla project. In the last few months, we’ve had a few major companies adopt Bugzilla for their internal bug-tracking systems. OK, nothing new here; lots of companies use Bugzilla.

So what’s the big deal? These particular companies are contributing back. We’ve gotten a number of major features in the last couple months, and some other major features in the works, all contributed by companies who are paying their employees to make Bugzilla meet their needs.

This is a really good thing for Bugzilla, because it means we’re gaining more features that will appeal to the enterprise market rather than just small companies and Open Source groups. It also puts enterprise-level features into the hands of the small companies and Open Source groups. And those same enterprise-level corporations are the ones who can afford to put full-time manpower on improving the product, which just repeats the cycle. I think of it as a “coming of age” for Bugzilla, and a really good demonstration of the power of Open Source.

But this isn’t all flowery and sweet-smelling. With that type of contribution level also comes a great challenge. Not everyone who wants to use Bugzilla is going to want all of these features. Sure, a lot of them are really cool–you can read about some of them below–but each software development environment is different, and not everyone will have a use for every feature. So the Bugzilla team is now presented with the challenge of making sure Bugzilla remains easily configurable and scalable from the very small to the very large. There’s also the challenge of making sure new features don’t slow Bugzilla down beyond a reasonable level, as we’ve already run into in some cases with the changes to products, components, and groups.

There’s also the sense of “too many cooks in the kitchen” that has to be addressed. We love getting all this help but to ensure that Bugzilla’s goals continue to get met, I feel it’s necessary to institute an “approval” process for checkins. This new policy comes as an addition to our existing review policy.

Previously, the only thing developers had to do to check something into Bugzilla’s CVS tree was get one or two people on the review team to say “yes, this is quality code” and they could check it in. That process isn’t going away, but in addition to that, approval will now need to be obtained from myself or a designee before it can be checked in. This won’t amount to a code review, rather a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether this feature or bugfix in this form at this time is the best course of action to fulfill Bugzilla’s design goals.

Our core development team has always been very good about ensuring that their individual work is peer reviewed for quality, and their checkin coordinated with other work going on in the tree to ensure the greatest benefit for Bugzilla, both from a code/feature perspective and a software engineering/management perspective. This new policy simply ensures that all our “master chefs” in the “kitchen” are working on the same course, preparing the same style of food, ensuring that we continue to provide the best damn bug-tracking package available today and tomorrow, for open source project and enterprise customer alike.

– Dave Miller, Bugzilla project lead

Since the Last Status Report…

The Bugzilla Team has been working furiously over the past two weeks on readying the trunk for a 2.17.1 development release. I know many of you reading this were hoping to see that tarball of 2.17.1 by now, but there were some regressions found during the recent mozilla.org upgrade to 2.17.1 from cvs, which we decided were glaring enough that we really should fix them first before we rolled the tarball.

2.17.1 is slated to be released within the week; the Bugzilla team is currently stamping out the last few of the above-mentioned regressions which have cropped up. 2.17.1 is intended for developers wishing to base large landings or patches off an official bugzilla.org release. It should not be used for production purposes, except in special circumstances. 2.17.1 is not a solution for Win32 users (see below). The vast majority of sites wanting to test or use Bugzilla in production should install 2.16.1. If you’re not sure whether you should use 2.17.1 or 2.16.1, you want 2.16.1.

Administrators’ Mailing List Reminder

We’d like to remind all Bugzilla administrators that to assist them in keeping up-to-date with release announcements and security advisories, we’ve started a mailing list for people who administer Bugzillas. It is very low traffic - release announcements and security advisories only. We advise all Bugzilla administrators to subscribe, so they can keep up with important Bugzilla news.

The (Unchanged) Win32 Situation

Bugzilla-on-Win32 is still unchanged: administrators using Win32 as their platform for Bugzilla do not want the 2.16 branch, including 2.16.1, nor do they want 2.17.1. The plan is to make the trunk Win32-friendly (which involves a number of quite large changes, and which unfortunately did not happen in this release cycle) and then announce that fact, allowing Win32 Bugzilla administrators to pull from the trunk on a known tag. This may become a 2.17.2 release. Interested admins can search bugzilla on the [needed for Win32bz] status whiteboard entry to track bugs that are part of this process.

The Bugzilla Team continues to recommend Unix-based operating systems, including Linux, as the best platform for a Bugzilla installation; please consider it if you are starting a new Bugzilla installation and have some say in the platform decision. Trust us: it makes life easier for everyone.

Upcoming Major Features

Major new features are being worked on. If you would like to know when we plan on adding one of these features, you can get that information from the bug requesting its implementation. These include:

  • Ability to send email via SMTP instead of relying on a local installation of sendmail. (Bug 84876)
  • PostgreSQL support. (Bug 98304)
  • Sybase support. (Bug 173130)
  • Ability to add generic customized fields to bugs (Bug 91037)
  • Customised resolutions, that allow adding, removing, deactivating and renaming of resolutions. (Bug 94534)
  • Expanding the e-mail preferences to allow watching components, keywords, etc. (Bug 73665)
  • mod_perl support. (Bug 87406)
  • New makefile-based installation system (Bug 104660, Bug 105854, Bug 105855, and Bug 105856)
  • Generic charting. Allows users to define arbitrary data sets for which historical data will be recorded, and then plot those data sets. Bug 16009.
  • Rearchitect product groups. Gives administrators much more control over how products and groups are related. Bug 147275.

New Bugzilla Features

Reporting Improvements

Bugzilla has a new mechanism for generating reports of the current state of the bug database. It has two, related parts: a table-based view, and several graphical views.

The table-based view allows you to specify an x, y and z (multiple tables of data) axis to plot, and then restrict the bugs plotted using the standard query form. You can take the data as HTML or CSV, for importing into a spreadsheet. Each number in the HTML version of the table is linked to a query which produces the list.

So, for example, a Netscape manager could plot assignee vertically, and severity horizontally, and restrict assignee to the names of his managees. He would then be able to see which of his managees was overloaded with severe bugs.

There are also bar, line and pie charts, which are defined in a very similar way. These views may be more appropriate for particular data types, and are suitable for saving and then putting into presentations or web pages.

Note that no attempt is made to prevent you from plotting silly data sets. For example, if you plot a graph of “assignee” along the X axis, and choose a line graph, your line won’t mean very much.

Example: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/report.cgi?x_axis_field=bug_status&y_axis_field=component &product=MailNews&cumulate=1&format=table&ctype=html&action=wrap (You can switch between report types using the controls at the bottom.)

Request Tracker

The Request Tracker (RT) is a set of enhancements that make attachment statuses more powerful and easier to administer. It includes the following changes:

  • Additional states: Previously attachment statuses could be in one of two states: off or on. RT adds two more states for a total of four: off, granted, denied, and (optionally) requested, where “granted” is the equivalent of “on”. These additions mean it is no longer necessary to define a status to negate another status (f.e. “needs-work” to negate “has-review”) because negation is built into each status via the status’ “denied” state.
  • Bug statuses: Previously only attachments could have these kinds of statuses. RT enables them for bugs as well. Since the word “status” already has a meaning for bugs, attachment statuses have been renamed to “flags” to avoid confusion.
  • Requests: Flags can now optionally be made requestable, which means users can ask other users to set them. When a user requests a flag, Bugzilla emails the requestee and adds the request to a browsable queue so both the requester and the requestee can keep track of its status. Once the requestee fulfills the request by setting the flag to either granted or denied, Bugzilla emails the requestee and removes the request from the queue.
    This feature supports workflow like the mozilla.org code review and milestone approval processes, whereby code is peer reviewed before being committed and patches get approved by product release managers for inclusion in specific product releases.
  • Product/component specificity: Previously flags were product-specific, and if you wanted the same flag for multiple products you had to define multiple flags with the same name. Flags are now product/component-specific, and a single flag can be enabled or disabled for multiple product/component combinations via inclusions and exclusions lists. Flags are enabled for all combinations on their inclusions list except those that appear on their exclusions list.

For more information see the brief online documentation.

User Wildcard Matching

Sites can now enable the use of wildcards and substrings in bug entry and editing forms. If the usermatchmode param is set to wildcard, then any “*” included in email addresses will be treated as a wildcard and cause the entry provided to be matched against all active userids and real names in the system. If usermatchmode is set to search, addresses that do not exactly match an existing email address will be matched as a substring as well.

Two other paramaters influence the behavior of wildcards, maxusermatches and confirmuniqueusermatch permit a site to determine how broadly to apply ambiguous wildcards and to determine if all wildcard expansions should be confirmed.

Support for “Insiders”

If the insidergroup parameter is defined, a specific group of users can be designated insiders who can designate comments and attachments as private to other insiders. These comments and attachments will be invisible to other users who are not members of the insiders group even if the bugs to which they apply are visible. Other insiders will see the comments and attachments with a visual tinting indicating that they are private.

Enterprise Group Support

The 55 group limit is now gone along with the groupset and blessgroupset bitset fields. Each user is now a member of a list of groups. It is now possible to define a group in terms of other groups as well as to place individual users in a group directly.

Bugzilla now keeps track of whether a user was added to a group via a regular expression match or whether they were explicitly added to that group. Changes to regular expressions for group membership now take effect instantly for all users when updated, and no longer apply only to new accounts. If a member no longer matches the group’s regexp, and they were originally added to that group because they matched the regexp, they are removed from that group. Note that the upgrade process has no way to know who was added to a group explicitly and who was added by a regexp, so all members of a group prior to this feature will remain members of that group until explicitly removed from it via the user editor, wether they still match the regexp or not.

Estimated/Actual/Remaining Time

If the timetrackinggroup parameter is defined, members of the named group get controls for tracking the time spent fixing a bug added to the bug form. Any time comments are added to the bug, members of the time tracking group can add an amount of time they spent, and it’s figured into the total and displayed at the top of the bug. Shown in the bug are your original estimate, the amount of time spent so far, the revised estimate of how much time is remaining, and your gain/loss on the original estimate.

Support for database replication

The shadow database is a read-only copy of the Bugzilla database which can be used for queries. Until now, keeping the main database in sync with the shadow was handled internally by Bugzilla. This has several issues with performance, stability, and accuracy, and so Bugzilla now supports using MySQL’s replication to handle the mirroring (bug 124589).

As announced before the release of Bugzilla 2.16, the only supported way for a read-only database will soon become replication (bug 180870). It is not expected that this will cause any problems for sites, as the only installation known to be using the shadowdb is bugzilla.mozilla.org. The old code will be removed from Bugzilla as soon as bmo upgrades, and well before the next stable release (2.18).

Miscellaneous Improvements

2.17.1 also introduces a number of general improvements; these features are now available on bmo.

  • Autolinkification Page - It’s now possible to apply Bugzilla’s comment hyperlinking algorithm to any text you like. This should be useful for status updates and other web pages which give lists of bugs. The bug links created include the subject, status and resolution of the bug as a tooltip.
  • There are more tags on the links toolbar for navigating quickly between different areas
  • Buglists are now available as comma-separated value files (CSV) (link at the bottom)
  • Keywords and dependencies can now be entered during initial bug entry
  • The performance of some queries and CGIs has been improved; unfortunately, some have also gotten worse; “hey, that’s life.”

Trunk Checkins Since the Last Status Update

The following is a list of specific bugs fixed (and their checkin messages) since the last Bugzilla status report. It is ordered by the checkin date, as ordered by Bonsai. It includes checkins on the trunk from 09/22/2002 to 11/17/2002. This list was generated by filtering Bonsai’s output on that query.

Bold italic bugs are security-sensitive bugs.

Checkins made without reference to any specific bugs:

  • Various build bustage fixes (Myk and JayPee)
  • (11/4/2002) Some installation documentation updates (mbarnson)

Checkin manifest:

  • Bug [179886](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=179886 “request.cgi should not use diagnostics; ”) - request.cgi should not use diagnostics
  • Bug 179264 - only quote non-numeric CSV values.
  • Bug 100639 - make resolution more visible on mostfreq list.
  • Bug 180232: removes unnecessary margins/borders around XUL duplicates report
  • Bug 179462 - Clarify description for enablequips param.
  • Bug 179697 - OR terms need extra level of bracketing
  • Bug 178043 - Make it possible to have vertical x-axis labels.
  • Bug 179706 activity log needs to include full account names for requestees
  • Bug 179302 - ‘anyexact’ isn’t an option for boolean charts
  • Bug 179491 Searchs of attachments containing a string do not enforce attachment privacy
  • Second installment of Bug 179260 Unknown table ‘map_assigned_to’ in order clause at globals.pl line 242
  • Bug 179360: puts the filters at the top of the request queue and eliminates that empty table that sometimes is at the top of the queue.
  • Bug 179334: updates the setter consistently. also fixes numerous other bugs in the RT code.
  • Bug 179260 Unknown table ‘map_assigned_to’ in order clause at globals.pl line 242
  • Bug 179290 - login cookie email needs to be escaped
  • Bug 179380: if “enablequips” is off, quips.cgi now presents a message that the quips are disabled instead of letting you view or add quips.
  • Bug 179396 (add 007util.t in order to test Bugzilla::Util).
  • Bug 178984: disables flag requestee field using JavaScript unless flag is set to “requested”.
  • Bug 170464 - OS/2 disappeared from ‘Operating System’ list. This allows selection of any OS, if the submitter is running it, on this form.
  • Bug 178178 Sidebar name should not be hardcoded to “Bugzilla”
  • Bug 173689 - Default comments search box type to “contains string”.
  • Bug 179321 - cannot clear status whiteboard entirely
  • Bug 179264 csv output for the buglist (see url inside) is invalid (too many “s)
  • Bug 179329: filters HTML out of quips on “show all quips” page
  • Adding runtests.pl for bug 143155. runtests.sh will remain for a little while in order to allow tinderboxen to transition and any documents to be updated.
  • Bug 179238 - searching by commenter is ignored if you do ‘exact’ or ‘contains’
  • Bug 176599, Improve performance of duplicates.cgi
  • Bug 179242 Part 2 - Handle both conditions for the if block
  • Bug 178383 - product/component query conditions appear twice
  • Bug 179193 - anyexact should use IN, not OR
  • Bug 179184 - regetlastlist returns all bugs
  • Bug 179203 - “Preset Queries” text does not appear in footer if last named query is not in footer
  • Bug 179188 - The new flag system wasn’t indicating which attachment a flag was changed on. This patch inserts the attachment ID any time it exists in the activity log (to match what show_activity does).
  • Bug 179225 Missing space. “Reassign bug to ownerand QA contact of selected component “
  • Bug 179242 Searching for comment contains string + email gives “Not unique table/alias: ‘longdescs_’ at globals.pl line 242”
  • Bug 179207 Blessing doesn’t work right
  • bug 179205: Makes flag options be correct in all situations.
  • Bug 179177: avoid database errors when inserting bug by locking all tables i need to access
  • Bug [178189](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=178189 “ nsCOMPtr : do we still care about VC++4.2? and if not, can we remove this comment”) - when filing a new bug, the generated bugmail doesn’t include product/component
  • Bug [179174](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=179174 “Need to fix use of $ (for buffering)”) - renable $ = 1
  • Bug 114696 - permission checking in queries not optimal
  • Bug 171505: shows disabled flags in the UI
  • Bug 114696 - permission checking in queries not optimal
  • Bug 178841: removes full paths from filenames in attachments table and prevents them from appearing again
  • Bug 92253 - Boolean chart makes very wide web pages from query.cgi.
  • Bug 164003 - Button “Add another boolean chart” appears twice after clicking “And”.
  • Bug 71794 - processmail shouldn’t bother checking dependencies unless state changes.
  • Bug 171480: make output for non requestee-specific requests look better in the request queue.
  • Bug 178776: Eliminates warning in duplicates.cgi.
  • Bug 172518: makes the request tracker use the generic user matching code
  • Bug 178772 doeditparams.cgi failed with malformed headers
  • Bug 178800: fixes taint failure in graphical charts with Perl 5.6.0
  • Bug 178801: Missing &:: caused function call to fail, resulting in server error.
  • Bug 178794 Request Queue has Internal Server Error if accessed when not logged in
  • Bug 174731: no longer represents spurious flags as being set by default.
  • Bug 171475: make new flags include all categories (product/component combinations) by default.
  • Added information about versioncache back in. See bug 140332
  • Added blurb about movebugs. At this point, only bmo uses it, so I’m calling it an “undocumented feature”. See bug 127818
  • Modified text for cookiepath line for clarity. See bug 162359
  • Included note regarding the origin of “bonsaitools”, per bug 174922.
  • Added section for Bugzilla and mod_perl (future expansion). Right now, it just says “Bugzilla doesn’t work under mod_perl”. See bug 149883
  • A rather controversial new entry to the FAQ. See bug 107917. I decided one way for the Guide, based upon the code I see currently checked in. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct it!
  • Fix for Apache configuration directives from bug 174255 and de-stupidifying of emacs destruction of tags.
  • Removed links to dbschema.jpg image. See bug 173484, it was really outdated and redundant anyway.
  • Removing these images, since they are too outdated to be useful, and they are basically redundant anyway. See bug 173484
  • Added notes on using OpenLDAP; We should probably look at code changes to make Net::LDAP our permanent LDAP plugin rather than Mozilla::LDAP…See bug 167379.
  • Bug 156548: XUL implementation of duplicates report.
  • Bug 173571 - Turn “all selected” into “none selected” for efficiency.
  • Bug 177436 User matching shouldn’t be case-sensitive
  • Bug 62729, “Add real name capability to bug_list.cgi”.
  • Bug 178019 - reports.cgi should use the shadowdb.
  • Bug 176509: “(this bug is not in your list)” no longer appears in the navigation bar when you aren’t viewing a bug.
  • Bug 127200 Query for CC/longdesc/OR takes long time
  • Bug 177430 - buglist.cgi needs a CSV output format.
  • Bug 177435 exact match on assignee fails with user matching
  • Bug 177624 Wildcard rejects –do_not_change– in mass-change
  • Bug 95430 Reopening en masse fails.
  • Bug 177099: stored queries ordering and editing were broken after moving to CGI.pm. They work again now.
  • Bug 175838 Reopening a bug does not clear resolution, nor does selecting ‘clear resolution’
  • Bug 177351 - checksetup.pl tells about deleting templates in silent-running mode.
  • Bug 176953 - version not set properly from form value like others in enter_bug.cgi.
  • Bug 168191 - Checksetup needs to force template recompilation.
  • Bug 173005 - Add bar charts, pie charts etc. to reporting.
  • Bug 176936 minor consistency changes for editproducts and editflags
  • Bug 147833 - start using CGI.pm
  • Bug 171278 - component/product ids mean that you can’t do change queries oncomponent/product
  • Bug 162990Adding missing new file
  • Bug 162990 Shorthand/wildcard entry for login names in assign, cc, qa, fields
  • Bug 172874 - cvs remove old editattachstatus templates, take 2. All tests still pass.
  • Bug 171770 - check in Bugzilla Helper.
  • Bug 175625 Timetracking columns are computed even if not displayed
  • Bug 172875 - Fix site-navigation.html.tmpl to link to flags CGI and not attachments one.
  • Bug 173495 - require perl 5.6
  • Bug 112373 you should be able to enter bug dependencies/blockers when you enter a bug.
  • Bug 174221 - field names should be l10n in user-errors.html.tmpl.
  • Bug 172959 - Remove old reporting (most doomed etc.).
  • Bug 174524 - Tidy up Bugzilla::{Util,Config}, and lazily-load unneeded modules
  • Bug 174464 - buglist code for empty query shouldn’t set headers_done
  • Bug [24789](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24789 “[E A R] Add Estimated, Actual, Remaining Time Fields”) [E A R] Add Estimated, Actual, Remaining Time Fields
  • Bug 174112 Edit multiple bugs broken
  • Bug 173808 - Use of uninitialized value in subtraction (-) at duplicates.cgi line 133.
  • Bug 173719 - warnings in report.cgi.
  • Bug 170903 - review markup I missed.
  • Bug 170903 - Remove hard-coded titles and things.
  • Bug 173581 - Changing milestone sortkeys is broken.
  • Bug 173249 - user-error.html.tmpl: Bogus title, inconsistent indenting.
  • Bug 171437 - Enhancements to generic reporting. Reporting menu, 3D tables, rearranged UI, better API for new report types.
  • Bug 173027 - code-error.html.tmpl misses a </em>.
  • Bug 172740 - “use of uninitialized variable” warnings.
  • Bug 163114 - Templatise all calls to DisplayError.
  • Bug 93667: Minor style fix, uninit var fix, add explanatory comments to CrossCheck/DoubleCrossCheck.
  • Bug 93667: More movement, commenting, and remove an unused variable.
  • Bug 93667: Move some code around, add some section heading comments.
  • Bug 93667: Rewrite double cross checking.
  • Bug 93667: Rewrite single cross checking.
  • Bug 93667: General bug check refactoring.
  • Bug 155389 - More elements & templatization of navigation_links. Fix small regression where I accidentally damaged the user.login field.
  • Bug 155389 - More elements & templatization of navigation_links.
  • Bug 20122 - Bugzilla requires new login if IP changes
  • Bug 172045 can’t see restricted bugs if cc set
  • Bug 172010 voting broken on tipRegression from 43600 and 157756
  • Bug 163114 - Templatise all calls to DisplayError.
  • Bug 170903 - Remove hard-coded titles and things.
  • Bug 171639 dupes not marked in original bug
  • Bug 164038 - token.cgi: Cancel token messages should be moved into the templates.
  • Bug 169819 - remove ‘this is bugzilla…’ text from footer
  • Bug 170073: checksetup.pl (indirectly via Bugzilla::Config.pm) had a dependency on File::Temp, which caused it to crash before the version checks were even done to warn the admin that it wasn’t present. This patch reorders the loading sequence in checksetup.pl so that the version checks are done before the Config module is loaded.
  • Bug 171506: Fixes bustage in sanitycheck.cgi by making it check for correct product IDs in the flaginclusions and flagexclusionstables instead of the flagtypes table, which no longer has a product_id field.
  • Bug 171420: fixes usage of $template, $vars, and &Param in Flag.pm.
  • Bug 171322 process_bug.cgi makes reference to non-existent product variable
  • Bug 171440 editgroups shows system groups as usable for bugs even though they are not
  • Bug 163114 - Templatise all calls to DisplayError.
  • Bug 98801: Implementation of the request tracker, a set of enhancements to attachment statuses.
  • Bug 171296: changing Content-disposition header in attachment.cgi to use ‘inline’ instead of ‘attachment’ so that itdoesn’t force you to download it.
  • Bug 170213 - CVS remove old and obsolete HTML files.
  • Bug 170195 Regression - buglist highlighting broken
  • Bug 170822 - Linkification process destroys whitespace.
  • Bug 170986 - General Summary reports don’t work with taint checking. Also fixes Throw*Error’s $extra_vars parameter.
  • Bug 170843 - cvs remove obsolete file, changepassword.cgi.
  • Bug 12282 - General summary reports.
  • Bug 169197: Explicitly identifies RDF ‘about’ and ‘resource’ tags as being in the RDF namespace to update deprecated syntax and get some RDF parsers to stopgenerating warnings.
  • Bug 170064 - Change error API again to allow vars to be passed in the call.
  • Bug 170075 - Mid-air collision pages should be titled as such.

2.16-Branch Checkins Since the Last Status Update


2.14-Branch Checkins Since the Last Status Update


The Bugzilla team will stop officially supporting the 2.14 branch after December, 2002. All 2.14 users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the 2.16 branch to pick up new features, such as template support, request tracking, and improved attachment handling, among tons of other goodies.