Please don’t shoot the Bugzilla devs

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. 🙂

What do you want to see while you wait?

On bugzilla.mozilla.org, when you run a search, if your browser supports “server push,” Bugzilla will show you an interim page while the search runs.  Currently it shows an animated dino head (left) chomping on bugs, and the text “Please wait while your bugs are munched retrieved.”  It’s cute and all, but it’s kind of getting old.  And being that the page is entirely a cosmetic thing designed to entertain you while you wait, we should change it out once in a while anyway.  We’re planning to upgrade Bugzilla tomorrow night, and it’s the perfect opportunity to spice it up a little.

Gerv’s got a few ideas over on bug 438362… a neat javascript backed game where you click on the ants or somesuch.  If you like it or think you’d hate it, comment here (go try the mockups on the bug first).

If you have other ideas, or can implement one of the existing ones, feel free to post them on the bug.  I have a couple ideas, but no artistic skills to implement them…

  • A Mozilla dino standing there waiting for bugs – Buggie walks over to him carrying a basket of critters and hands it to him.
  • Buggie standing there with his hand shielding his eyes from the sun, turning his head back and forth like he’s looking for something…

Maybe if we have several of these things, it could randomly pick one each time.

Buggie poses for you, courtesy of Dave Shea.

wither build-graphs.mozilla.org?

We have this site called build-graphs.mozilla.org.  We seem to have a situation where nobody remembers why it still exists.  Given the number of tinderboxes that still report data to it, I find that hard to believe, so hopefully this blog post will shake out a few people who remember (in case I failed to CC the right people already). 🙂  If that’s you, go make yourself heard on bug 428617.

bugzilla.mozilla.org now in version control

So this is something we’ve been wanting for a LONG time, and we finally got it set up as we were staging bugzilla.mozilla.org for last week’s upgrade.  The exact code that we’re running on bugzilla.mozilla.org is now directly checked out onto the production servers from a version control system.  What’s more, there’s a read-only mirror of it visible to the public, including all of our custom templates and everything, so anyone is welcome to check out the exact code we’re running and make patches against it if there was something about one of our customizations that bothered you, or you felt like fixing one of the myriad of bugs in the Other b.m.o issues component in Bugzilla that are local to our installation rather than upstream Bugzilla.

We ended up using Bazaar for the version control.  This was a hard decision to make because Mozilla is using Mercurial for most of the newer stuff these days, so we really wanted to follow suit and not have “yet another VCS” in use, but we wanted to be able to merge in code from the upstream Bugzilla repo periodically (which still lives in CVS, and doesn’t appear like that’ll be changing any time soon), and someone was already doing a sync of Bugzilla from cvs->bzr every 6 hours.  Trying to set up any kind of regular import to Hg wasn’t turning out to be very fun.

So, if you want to check out a copy of what we’re running, you can do this:

bzr co http://dm-bugstage01.mozilla.org/bmo/3.0/

Have fun!

UPDATE: Bugzilla’s upstream is now natively in Bazaar and no longer exporting from CVS, and BMO’s source has moved and is now in a permanent IT-supported Bazaar repo instead of hacked onto the staging box. The new URL is http://bzr.mozilla.org/bmo/ (followed by the version number of course, which has changed a few times since then, too, and will probably change again).

stage.mozilla.org take 3?

So as you may or may not have noticed, the stage.mozilla.org update previously advertised wound up getting partially reverted about a day after it was deployed.  After getting the full production load on it, we wound up crashing it several times again.  There’s just not much we can do to emulate real users using WinSCP to upload files from our load testing scripts. 🙁

We’ve gotten some new patches to the unionfs filesystem driver that attempt to fix some of the crashes we’ve been getting.  Unfortunately our only real way to test them is to throw it back into production and see what happens.  As such, over the next week or two, the stage.mozilla.org domain name will be swapping back and forth between the old machine and the new one periodically as we test things.  If you were following the directions given in the previous announcement this shouldn’t affect you at all, but I thought it would be good to give people a heads-up.  Obviously this means today’s deadline for the old machine to remain available has been averted, and it’ll probably still be around for another week or two at least.

If you absolutely need to reach the old machine, it’s at stage-old.mozilla.org.  The new machine is at stage-new.mozilla.org.  The stage.mozilla.org domain name could point at either one of them at any given time for the next week or two while we continue testing.  If possible it’d be great if you can continue to use stage.mozilla.org and follow where the domain points so you can help with the testing.  But if you run into any problems, feel free to use stage-old.mozilla.org just to guarantee the old way of access.

#build on irc.mozilla.org is the place to ask if you have questions or have any issues.