Quoting Robert O’Callahan’s blog post Optimizing Bugzilla Usage. This observation holds equally for YellowGrass.

Optimizing Bugzilla Usage

I spend a lot of time processing bugmail and looking at bugs. Interacting with bugzilla.mozilla.org is pretty slow, but I think it could be greatly improved, potentially saving me 15 minutes a day or more. Multiplied across our Bugzilla-using engineers and managers, that could be a large return on investment.

Every day (ideally) I read my bugmail using GMail. This is actually pretty fast. However I often need to load a bug’s bugzilla page in the browser, either to re-read the context of a bugmail (earlier comments, or the contents of attachments or patches, etc), or to make changes to the bug — usually add a comment, but sometimes change flags or other fields. I get bugmail on more than 50 bugs a day usually, and given I often scan my bugmail more than once a day, I reckon I might spend up to an hour on this on many days.

The problem is that loading a Bugzilla bug takes me about 5 seconds under the best circumstances and a lot longer for large bugs or busier networks. Also, every time I commit modifications to a bug I have to wait for about that much time for it to be acknowledged (one has to wait to ensure there wasn’t a dreaded “mid-air collision”).

Pretty much all that wait time is unnecessary and could be avoided with a different client. For example, we could have a Web app that does the following:

  • Tracks which bugs have been modified since I last viewed them
  • Preloads the complete data for those bugs
  • Lets me instantly move from one bug to the next
  • When displaying an updated bug, scrolls automatically to the first update that I haven’t already seen
  • Lets me make changes in situ
  • When committing changes, instantly move to the next bug
  • If there’s a mid-air collision, alert me even if I happen to be looking at some other bug at the time
  • Try to avoid mid-air collisions by receiving notifications of updates by other users while I’m viewing the bug

As far as I know, all of these features except perhaps the very last could be implemented using existing Bugzilla API, without changing the server side.

A client like this could make us a lot more efficient in the way we currently work. We’d probably also use Bugzilla differently and more effectively.

Submitted by Eelco Visser on 9 February 2013 at 12:33

Log in to post comments