Multi-Bugzilla

Bugzilla is a really wonderful tool. mozilla.org uses it, Linspire uses it for N|Vu development, mozdev.org uses it, the company I work for uses it. That’s four distinct installations of Bugzilla that I know of.
So if someone files a bug in one Bugzilla that really belongs in another…
Put another way, someone files a bug in mozdev’s Bugzilla against Abacus, my MathML editor. I do some research, and discover that the underlying platform, N|vu, is not doing what it should. So it isn’t my fault.
So, I go to file another bug against N|vu, and mark the Abacus bug invalid.
Tristan Nitot gets the bug, does some more research, and discovers I was wrong: Mozilla’s to blame, thanks to a regression the Aviary-1.0 landings had on the trunk. Oops. Well, how would I know? Abacus isn’t intended directly for Mozilla Firefox. So he marks that bug invalid, and files a new bug on b.m.o.
Another scenario: Mozilla is crash-happy with Abacus 0.1.1 installed on Windows. (This is true.) Someone files a bug against Abacus for crashing. (This didn’t happen.) Well, crashes are ultimately the responsibility of mozilla.org, not any extension I write. So I mark that one invalid and file a new bug at bugzilla.mozilla.org for the crash.
What’s my point? We might need a way of cross-referencing or moving bugs between Bugzilla installations.
From my standpoint this is initially a user-interface question. Currently, the Bugzilla database is one-dimensional, at least with regards to bug indexing:
Bug 179621 depends on:
Bug 179621 blocks: 109682
Wouldn’t it be great if we had:
Bug 179621 depends on:
Bug 179621 blocks: 109682 8117@mozdev
See also 7113@linspire
Also, it’d be nice in bug handling features to have an “export bug” feature, where the user clicks a link and gets a window to a specialized enter_bug.cgi from the current Bugzilla reflecting another Bugzilla. Of course, it would help for me to know if one CGI script can send out another HTTP request to a third-party server.
Features like these would require some serious examination of the Bugzilla source code and a good understanding of Perl. I’m not even sure what bugs I would need to file to be specific enough for Bugzilla developers to work on. Just testing & developing this would require two independent Bugzilla installations running on the same box…
Feedback welcomed.

11 thoughts on “Multi-Bugzilla”

  1. Bugzilla actually does have a primitive move feature built in. It was created to allow for bugs to be moved from bugzilla.mozilla.org to Netscape’s internal Bugscape site when they were bugs that only related to the commercial product. It has some pretty serious limitations, but it would be possible to expand it. Most notably, it moves bugs by email, which is a configuration headache, and is pretty unstable. Once Bugzilla 2.18 is released, it would be interesting to look at this.
    One of the major problems is that to move a bug from say MozDev to bugzilla.mozilla.org, the MozDev server needs to know how the products, components, versions, and target milestones work on bugzilla.mozilla.org and allow the user to set new values for these settings. User accounts would also have to be sorted out for anyone who is involved with the bug being moved. You would also have to be able to deal with attachments and flags as well.

  2. Great idea! Very, very, very helpfull.
    Will you fill a bug for this? Please, CC me. I’d likt to try myself with this bug if noone more experienced will.

  3. Well, ignoring the validity of the idea of inter-install dependencies, I think it’d be a better idea to make “outside” bugs be full bug URLs.
    Honestly, I think the feature would probably be esoteric enough that not many people would be interested in spending much time to make it happen (since I suspect the amount of time necessary would be prohibitive). There’s also the question of how inter-install notification of bug status updates should occur… an RSS-like pull-ping would not scale well with many thousands of bugs.
    I agree this seems pretty nifty, but the amount of work necessary to get it to work is daunting, to say the least.

  4. You are able to move bugs between Bugzilla installations, but that’s protected so you’ve probably never seen it. Not sure how well it works (never tried it). See bug 127818 for a request to document it. Bug 134294 is for dependancies, bug 134761 for duplicates.

  5. XML_RPC might do the trick here, then it doesn’t have to be on the same box, just all have to have xml_rpc server, which isn’t that big of a deal I guess.

  6. To be perfectly honest, I do not favor moving bugs so much as I favor offering a specialized bug entry form that will reference the current bug report. In moving, you would end up with possibly very many bug comments that are not meaningful to the product. A fresh bug report linking back to the original can resummarize the problem very neatly.

  7. To be honest, a new bug at a different installtion with a link back to the original bug is more the user’s responsibility than it is that of the software. The instances where this would need to happen is no where near high enough to warrent the nightmare of coding something to do this (complete with the UI issues and simply figuring out which installations to provide this capability with).
    That said, the ability to have cross server dependencies (also mentioned in this post) has been thrown around. I’m pretty sure there’s a bug out there about it somewhere at b.m.o.

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