6.9. Hints and Tips

This section distills some Bugzilla tips and best practices that have been developed.

6.9.1. Autolinkification

Bugzilla comments are plain text - so typing <U> will produce less-than, U, greater-than rather than underlined text. However, Bugzilla will automatically make hyperlinks out of certain sorts of text in comments. For example, the text "https://www.bugzilla.org" will be turned into a link: https://www.bugzilla.org. Other strings which get linkified in the obvious manner are:

bug 12345
comment 7
bug 23456, comment 53
attachment 4321
mailto:george@example.com
george@example.com
ftp://ftp.mozilla.org
Most other sorts of URL

A corollary here is that if you type a bug number in a comment, you should put the word "bug" before it, so it gets autolinkified for the convenience of others.

6.9.2. Quicksearch

Quicksearch is a single-text-box query tool which uses metacharacters to indicate what is to be searched. For example, typing "foo|bar" into Quicksearch would search for "foo" or "bar" in the summary and status whiteboard of a bug; adding ":BazProduct" would search only in that product.

You'll find the Quicksearch box on Bugzilla's front page, along with a Help link which details how to use it.

6.9.3. Comments

If you are changing the fields on a bug, only comment if either you have something pertinent to say, or Bugzilla requires it. Otherwise, you may spam people unnecessarily with bug mail. To take an example: a user can set up their account to filter out messages where someone just adds themselves to the CC field of a bug (which happens a lot.) If you come along, add yourself to the CC field, and add a comment saying "Adding self to CC", then that person gets a pointless piece of mail they would otherwise have avoided.

Don't use sigs in comments. Signing your name ("Bill") is acceptable, if you do it out of habit, but full mail/news-style four line ASCII art creations are not.

6.9.4. Attachments

Use attachments, rather than comments, for large chunks of ASCII data, such as trace, debugging output files, or log files. That way, it doesn't bloat the bug for everyone who wants to read it, and cause people to receive fat, useless mails.

Trim screenshots. There's no need to show the whole screen if you are pointing out a single-pixel problem.

Don't attach simple test cases (e.g. one HTML file, one CSS file and an image) as a ZIP file. Instead, upload them in reverse order and edit the referring file so that they point to the attached files. This way, the test case works immediately out of the bug.

Bugzilla stores and uses a Content-Type for each attachment (e.g. text/html). To download an attachment as a different Content-Type (e.g. application/xhtml+xml), you can override this using a 'content-type' parameter on the URL, e.g. &content-type=text/plain.

6.9.5. Dependency Tree

On the "Dependency tree" page linked from each bug page, you can see the dependency relationship from the bug as a tree structure.

You can change how much depth to show, and you can hide resolved bugs from this page. You can also collaps/expand dependencies for each bug on the tree view, using the [-]/[+] buttons that appear before its summary. This option is not available for terminal bugs in the tree (that don't have further dependencies).