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A New Mug for Bugzilla

Version 2.16 on Its Way

Mike Angelo -- 17 December 2001 (c)


Note about the headline graphic: the praying mantis eats other bugs -- including the bothersome sorts of bugs that mess up your garden vegetables and flowers. So it seemed to be an appropriate headline graphic for this article -- in large part much as the noble mantis helps to control bugs in the real world, Bugzilla is an aid to controlling and eliminating pesky software bugs. The Mantis on Thyme (C) graphic, by Mike Angelo, used here is a modification of one used in an About Computers article about digital photography.

Seems that Bugzilla's HTML front-end mug is about to get a facelift. Bugzilla is the Mozilla Project's collaborative MySQL database for tracking bugs, requests for enhancements (RFEs), problems, and other such project management matters.

Bugzilla is perhaps the shining star of the Mozilla Project. The Bugzilla source code is open source and available for public downloading. (Download link in the Resources section below.) Many multi-developer software projects use Bugzilla for their problem management database.

Jan Sandred, in his book Managing Open Source Projects (Wiley, 2001), notes on page 144: "On the problem reports side there is no clear winner, but Bugzilla, JitterBug, and GNU GNATS are probably the most popular." He further notes at page 177 that the Mozilla Project so far "has not created any Web browser at all. (There are other useful products from www.mozilla.org like Bugzilla . . ."

Note: The Mozilla Organization Web browser, Mozilla 1.0 is not expected to be released until April 2002. However, the latest Mozilla milestone offering, Mozilla 0.9.6 is pretty decent in so far as the browser goes and is usable. The Netscape 6.2.1 browser is based upon the Mozilla 0.9.4 browser.
Development-tree freeze for the next version of Bugzilla, version, 2.16, was set for 16 December 2001, and the target release date is 1 January 2002. These dates could slide some. There currently are 31 release-blocker bugs listed for Bugzilla 2.16. It's likely the Bugzilla UI (User Interface) facelift will be included in Bugzilla 2.16.

You can take a look at development test installations of Bugzilla on the Landfill Bugzilla test server. There are test/demo implementations of the new Bugzilla mug there too. (Download links in the Resources section below.) Figure 1, below, is a screenshot of the current version 2.15 Bugzilla UI. Figure 2, below, is a screenshot of the new Bugzilla mug as it is at this time. Of course there might be changes in the new face of Bugzilla when version 2.16 is released.

Acccording to the Bugzilla UI makeover tracking-bug (98707) in the Mozilla Project's Bugzilla database, the main goal . . . is to make Bugzilla both more learnable and more usable in general. It clears up a lot of unnecessarily obscure language (like `query' and `OpSys'). And it dramatically reduces the amount of scrolling required to search for bugs, by placing the most useful search fields (and a `Search' button) first and by arranging the rest of the fields in a more compact fashion. (Link in the Resources section below.)

For more information about Bugzilla, what it is and how to use it, please see our article Meet Bugzilla -- Mozilla's Secretary of Bug-Busting & Feature Requests Lizard.

If you are involved in collaborative software development, you might want to give Bugzilla a try. The information on the Bugzilla home page has been well re-organized. You should be able to find everything there you need to download, install, and use Bugzilla. (Links in the Resources section below.)

Figure 1. The current Bugzilla 2.15 HTML front-end query page as implemented for the Mozilla Project. Please click on the above screen shot for a full-sized view.

Figure 2. Anticipated new HTML front-end query page for Bugzilla 2.16 as implemented for a demo on the Landfill Bugzilla test server. Please click on the above screen shot for a full-sized view


Resources


Related Bugzilla Article


Meet Bugzilla -- Mozilla's Secretary of Bug-Busting & Feature Requests Lizard


Related Mozilla Articles


Mozilla Milestone 0.9.6 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape 6.2.1 Browser-Suite Released


Mozilla Roadmap Update: Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002



Related Bugzilla & Mozilla Web Pages


Bugzilla UI makeover tracking-bug (98707)

Current Bugzilla (2.15) Query Page

Proposed Bugzilla (2.16) Query Page Demo


Bugzilla Home Page

Landfill, the Bugzilla Test Server


The Bugzilla Guide

How to Download & Install Bugzilla

Download Bugzilla


Mozilla Organization Bugs Page

Bugzilla Implementation for the Mozilla Project


Other


Managing Open Source Projects: A Wiley Tech Brief



Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved


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