Please don’t shoot the Bugzilla devs

August 29, 2008 by
Filed under: Bugzilla, Work 

So bugzilla.mozilla.org got upgraded to Bugzilla 3.2 last night.  Since the upgrade, there’s been a lot of complaints about the new UI.

First off, given the differences in the way Mozilla uses Bugzilla compared to a lot of other places, some of these complaints are valid.  But, please try to be polite and state exactly why you think you have issues and suggest ways for improvement.  Don’t just run around saying it sucks or file bugs stating that you’re ticked off at the world because we broke your workflow.

One of the primary complaints Bugzilla as a product has received over the years is how the UI is ugly and hard to manage.  The last year or so the Bugzilla developers have been spending a lot of effort to fix that problem, with the assistance of professional UI designers.  Some of them are taking personal offense to some of the feedback we’ve gotten so far this morning about the UI changes because it makes them feel like all the work over the last year was for nothing if everyone just wants the old UI back.

Yes, in some cases, maybe you just have to suck it up and learn a new way to do things.  In others, there’s probably a lot of room for us to still clean things up.  In either case, please don’t burn the Bugzilla devs in effigy or anything. :)  Be kind on the bugs you file (but do file them).  Be constructive.  Don’t say “This and this are bad they way they are now, please put them back how they were.”  Do tell us “this is my usage case and what I need to do with Bugzilla, and here’s why the old way helped me be efficient doing this. Let’s come up with a way for it to be easy for me to do this again.”  In all honesty, I bet there’s use cases that weren’t thought of in the current design, and maybe it was just overlooked.  Give them the benefit of the doubt, and let us work with you to get something set up that makes your life easy again (maybe we’ll come up with something even better than both the old way and the current way, who knows?)

The major upgrade to 3.2 is done.  All the schema changes that took hours to run are in place.  Deploying changes to the UI at this point is just be the flip of a switch and it’ll just be live with no downtime at all, in most cases, so we can continue to tweak as we go over the next few weeks.  But please try not to get pissed at us and let us help fix it.  We really weren’t intentionally trying to break your world, you know. :)

Comments

5 Responses to “Please don’t shoot the Bugzilla devs”

  1. RyanVM on August 29th, 2008 5:57 pm

    I dunno, I personally like the changes. It makes it much harder to accidentally modify the bug when CCing, which was one of my biggest issues with the old style. Good job!

  2. alanjstr on August 29th, 2008 8:00 pm

    Is there a repository where you have all of the usage cases? Do you allow people to upload there so that you can consider things for the future?

  3. Justin Dolske on August 29th, 2008 8:08 pm

    Yes, in fairness the backend changes to BMO have been positive, as far as I can recall.

    I think the current grumbling is a combination of few things:

    * Changing the UI of a heavily used tool is always contentious. Sometimes people are set in their particular ways, sometimes the UI is “improved” for the worse, sometimes less-common use cases are not understood, sometimes it’s forgotten if something had been done on purpose or was cruft, difference of opinions, etc.

    * OMGCHANGE!

    * It wasn’t clear from that announcement that this was a big UI change, and not just a boring backend upgrade.

  4. Luis on August 30th, 2008 12:06 pm

    One thing I might suggest: making sure that everyone who complains publicly is guilted into filing a bug about their complaint, so that the thing can be discussed. Been very irritating to see people posting greasemonkey scripts to modify the UI without also linking to bugs where the complaints can either be dealt with or refuted.

  5. افكار و احلام » Reporting Bugs on September 8th, 2008 3:38 am

    […] bug-reporting mode, finding three bugs to report while testing a fix for one other bug. The recent Bugzilla upgrade had a few rough edges, and for whatever reason I seemed to find a number of them first. In addition […]

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