The recent release of Bugzilla 5.0 was the first release sporting the new, improved Bugzilla documentation, which has been moved from DocBook XML to reStructuredText to make it easier to edit and so more likely to be up-to-date :-).
Readers of this blog may be particularly interested in the User Guide. Feedback on the new docs is welcome, particularly suggestions for where it is lacking – please use the bug filing link at the bottom of each docs page.
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For the past few months, a new experimental modal bug view has been available on bugzilla.mozilla.org. This hides a lot of complexity both through being read-only initially, and also through having expandable and collapsible sections. It is also quicker and less resource-intensive to load. It requires you to click an “Edit” button, which reveals much more UI, when you want to do more than the common operations – add a comment, CC/NI people, or change the Status or Resolution. It is also more dynamic – for example, there are no more interstital pages when moving bugs between Products, because when you change the Product, the new lists of Components, Milestones etc. load into the widgets automatically.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s the initial view:
And here’s the Edit view:
You can enable it in the Preferences – change “Use experimental user interface” to “On”.
Thanks to glob for doing the hard work on making this happen. This view has not yet made it upstream to Bugzilla itself.
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The Bugzilla team recently finished a big project to update, rewrite, improve and centralize Bugzilla’s documentation. You can find it at http://bugzilla.readthedocs.org/. In particular, there’s a User Guide which will be useful to, er, Bugzilla users.
If you have suggestions for further improvements to the documentation, please let the team know.
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People often wonder how to make searches in Bugzilla faster on large installations. Two things will give you the most bang for the buck:
- Specify you only want open bugs (if that’s true)
- Specify a product (and, if you know it, a component) to search
Do those two things, and your searches will be much faster.
Coincidentally enough, Bugzilla’s “Simple Search” (BMO version) allows you to specify precisely those two things.
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Vanilla Bugzilla lets you decide which bugmail you receive based on what changed about a bug. But there are a couple of extensions which give you even more control, and both are installed on bugzilla.mozilla.org. So the new email filtering pipeline is as follows:
Firstly, ComponentWatching, as the name implies, lets you “watch” particular products or components, so you get put on the list to receive bugmail for all changes to any bugs in those products or components. This is very useful if you have an interest in a particular area of the project. You can also watch particular users – that function is built-in.
Secondly, the normal email filters run, which exclude or include you from emails based on the particular fields which have been changed in the bug update.
Lastly, the BugmailFilter extension allows you to define “include” or “exclude” rules based on any one of:
- the field changed
- the current product
- the current component
- your relationship to the bug
- who made the change (useful to exclude changes made by bots).
Using these three capabilities in tandem, it should be possible to carefully control how much bugmail you receive, even if you are using a system like Gmail which does not have good client-side filtering.
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“Quicksearch” is a way of searching Bugzilla using simple yet powerful syntax. The search box at the top of every page supports it.
Jesse Ruderman has written a wonderful Quicksearch Reference – a must-read if you search Bugzilla a lot.
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To speed up quicksearches, limit the search by product or component. Add “comp: <string>” to your query to limit it to components whose names contain that string. As an abbreviation, you can simply use “:” instead of “comp:”, although that also searches in products whose names which contain the string.
By analogy with the use of “:”, there are abbreviations for some other common fields as well.
(Thanks to Ben Hearsum and Ed Morley)
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Another guest post from Stefan Arentz:
“If you do a lot of quick searches to find bugs by summary and you don’t care about also looking into the comments of those bugs, flip the “Include comments when performing quick searches (slower)” to NO in your preferences.
A search for ‘radio antenna’ just went down from 30+ seconds to just a few seconds.”
Guest tip from Stefan Arentz:
“Bugzilla actually does have HTML emails! [As of version 4.2, but it’s been backported to bugzilla.mozilla.org’s 4.0 installation – Ed.] I always though that it did not because I did not look further than the “Email Preferences” tab. But there actually is a “Preferred email format” under the “General Preferences” tab.
This makes Bugzilla emails 100x easier to read on a phone.”
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(If you have tips to share on using Bugzilla, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Mozilla’s Bugzilla now has a left-click menu whenever you see a user displayed. You can email the user (which was the previous left-click action, or see what they’ve been up to in Bugzilla recently on the Activity screen. Administrators can also jump straight to editing that user’s account.
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