Two especially nice days

What a gorgeous day! I could feel the vitamins shining into me! While it may be boring to read I would like to record how much I enjoyed the last two days back in SF and getting over my jet lag. I was in bed all weekend wondering if I had ruined myself forever and would never get to do anything nice again. Though it was so cosy to be home, to have Danny to talk everything over with, and to have Milo here and a cat to cuddle. Then . . . of course . . . by Tuesday and after a lot of sleep, everything was fine again. I feel lucky (and a little silly for panicking).

Yesterday Val came over and we worked from my house with several pots of tea and conversations in between our meetings and moments of fierce concentration. Yatima walked in around 4:30 to join us. It was like a fabulous dream come true to have my house full of feminist friends who can just drop in. At some point Val and I headed off to dinner at Balompie with Danny. Then to the Noisebridge meeting and elections. I shelved some books. Thus ends my dutiful stint on the Noisebridge board, where the main job is to practice not wielding authority.

Today, hazelbroom picked me up at 8:30 after dropping off her son at school. She hoisted my scooter for me and left us outside Haus on 24th street. I adore 24th street with its trees shading the sidewalks, the million Precita Eyes murals, the bakeries, excellent mercaditos, new bookstores, and lively community life. It makes me happy just to be there. Worked really well from Haus, which had peaceful music and rows of somberly dressed laptop people with big headphones and knit caps, facing each other across the room, with the light from the street streaming in. Outside a group of guys in orange vests were digging up the street and I wished that someone would courteously bring them coffee and pastries on a tv tray. Usually the window tables in Haus are taken first but today no one seemed to want to be on whichever side of the aquarium windows it may be with the guys up to their knees in red clay dirt glassed off from the cleanness of the insides. I enjoyed my chocolate croissant and cappucinino and felt all fired up as I triaged some Firefox bugs, wrote email, and planned a screen reader bug day.

Discolandia

Then I beetled over to Garfield pool. The entry guy recognized me which was nice but guilt-inducing since I have not done any pool/swimming physical therapy since October. There is a new push button door opener, which is very exciting and awesome for me in the scooter! And the women’s bathroom, which previously was like one’s nightmare of a state hospital circa 1955 where they hose you off or whatever, with no door to the “accessible” stall and many other horrors, and I had planned to bring a shower curtain to at least have privacy to pee — now it is all fixed up with a higher toilet seat, handrails, large stall you can get a powerchair into, and bench. They took out 2 sinks and just totally fixed the problems. So great! While I don’t know what else they did in the renovations, everything looked a little less skanky, and all the things I was emailing the SF parks and rec dept about last year are fixed.

I strapped on some arm floaties and rode the hydraulic lift into the pool. It was reasonably warm!!! My upper back and neck are kind of “stuck” right now, one of those things where I can’t look all the way up and to the right, a bit hunchy-over . . . so I was moving very cautiously. I also didn’t want to over do my activity on my first day back in the pool. So it was gentle thrashing about in the 5 foot deep area like slow water treading while leaning back and a bit of walking back and forth and doing leg lifts.

Got to chatting with a guy who asked me if I had back problems and told me about his. He has to have some vertebrae fused and is worried about it.

As we gently flailed I felt I was making a really nice friend and now look forward to hanging out with him in the pool some more. He is a garbage collector in my neighborhood (but not on my street) and lives over near the pool. We talked about places we have traveled (him: south africa, greece, italy, mexico, me: london, vienna, beijing, greece, mexico) and places we want to travel. He told me about his ranch in the country and his grown children and the young visiting Sicilians who came to stay temporarily and then became renters in his house, and what his village was like where he came from in Mexico (near Guadelajara, with lots of river and underground water for wells and springs, near ocean, very relaxing, good restaurants, nothing happening ever) And how his co-worker retired there by him buying his aunt’s place by the river which has a spring-fed swimming pool and now all the children and people love him because he helps everyone with his truck. We agreed about some of the things that are nice in life. We agreed on our love of pick up trucks (I had one for 13 years.)

I love a fellow extrovert . . . With the distraction of talking I stayed in the pool the full 50 minutes. It really helped to get a ride there, too.

Then went to hazelbroom’s house nearby where she gave me an amazing massage. The stuck bit of my back is still stuck. (I am icing it.) And she fed me the most amazing lunch. I love my friends. Trout (?) on rice with broccoli and then jars of kim chi and japanese seaweed seasoning and soy sauce and pickled things. delish. I got to hold her son’s new hamster. She invited me to ride out to the VA hospital with her where I could work while she went in to have a physical for her new job there.

Hammy2

I worked from her car on the way there (with 4G on my phone giving me internet) but paused to gawk at golden gate park and try to take pictures as we drove through. The pond was especially pretty. A guy was just bending over to sail his model sailboat. It was like some idyllic scene out of Stuart Little.

I felt so happy to be in the moving car in the warm sun, seeing trees and water and flowers and birds.

Va sunny liz

Got a hot chocolate from the VA canteen which had ramps to the outside picnic benches that overlook Land’s End with a great view of the golden gate (the opening of strait, not the bridge) and Marin headlands. There is a wheelchair accessible table right next to the Battle of the Bulge Memorial Trail. There was good wifi with 4G reception and it is a quiet, good place to work. I felt a little funny going through the VA on my scooter getting the “special smiles”. No – I was not blown up in combat. I did have a pretty great race with a guy in the parking lot who had a super huge scooter engine. He kicked my ass. It wasn’t as big of a scooter as the one I had in London though.

Showed the marine traffic site to hazelbroom when she was finished with her physical and came out to join me. She also loves cargo ships and we saw one come in in real life and on the screen.

Then she drove me past Sutro Baths. I wanted to believe that the lump we saw way down there was Sutro Sam the river otter who is eating all the goldfish in the pond. But now that I see the photo magnified on my screen sadly it is just a rock. I felt like it was the otter sleeping in the sun and was happy. Who needs reality. Anyway we knew he is there.

Sutrobaths sunset

As if this weren’t enough she then drove us down Irving and got us bubble tea. I had ginger milk tea with ENORMOUS tapioca bubbles. The ginger was so strong it made tears come to my eyes and cleared out my sinuses. I will sweat ginger for days. Cannot remember all the things we talked about on the way home but it was lovely.

If anyone in SF feels like giving me a ride to pretty much anywhere on a nice day, I am very portable, and as long as I have wifi, power, or decent phone data reception I can work from wherever. I spend so many days working from bed (because of pain or mobility issues) that a quiet outing on a good day cheers me up amazingly. I miss the times when I used to be able to drive all around town, going to random places off the map and settling myself in a good cafe or in a parking lot overlooking the beach.

Now am going to put in a little more work (collecting email addys of people who report screen reader issues in bugzilla, to invite them to a bug day). Danny will come home soon from the EFF office and tell me all about his day and my sister is going to drop by.

The only way this could be nicer is if the kids were here. Ada’s birthday party is this weekend so that’s going to be great, and then Milo’s party is in a couple of weeks. I plan on making him a cake that will be a block from Minecraft – three 9 by 9 pans should get me a block shape, chocolate cake, and then green frosting on top and chocolate frosting on the sides. I think that gummy worms in the layers will be a good touch. If I can find the frosting spray paint in varied colors maybe I can pixelate the cake surface.

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Bugs and sheriffs in London

Travelling Bugmaster update! I am in London with a bunch of the automation tools team for a work week. Ed, jeads, Chris, Ryan, dave, and mauro have been neck deep in making decisions about the structure of a new version of TBPL. By eavesdropping in their conference room I have learned a bit about how Ed and RyanVM and others watch the tree (sheriffing). Also, dkl and gerv and I met up to talk about bugzilla.mozilla.org and I got to bounce some ideas off them about possible ways to tweak the incoming bug triage workflow.

The London office is right between Trafalgar Square, Chinatown, and Covent Garden. It’s very accessible. If you come to Mozilla London offices and are a wheelchair user, you should know that the Tube stations near the office are not accessible. Give up and take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and then a taxi.

Lanterns sky

The BMO and IT teams (glob, dkl, and fox2mike, mostly) are planning to upgrade bugzilla.mozilla.org on March 8th. You can give it a test drive here: bugzilla-dev.allizom.org. This brings Mozilla’s implementation in line with the upstream version of Bugzilla 4.2. In theory, the new server hardware and architecture will also make BMO much faster.

I’m mostly excited about the user and product dashboards in this release. They look extremely cool — great for people who are doing bugmaster and triaging work. Someone who wants to drop in to triage Firefox bugs, or to get a mental image of what’s happening with bugs of interest to them, will be able to do so easily, without having set up a sort of pachinko palace labyrinth of bugmail and filters.

Bugzilla user dashboard 500

So if you would like a sneak preview of the user and product dashboards, take a look on bugzilla-dev.allizom.org and poke around! You can talk to us on #bmo or #bugmasters on irc.mozilla.org if you have feedback. And do please help us by filing bugs!

Besides the upgrade and move, and the archictecture of bzAPI current and possible future — gerv, dkl and I discussed the re-framing of early bug triage as “Bugmaster” or bug management work. We kicked around some ideas and it was very helpful to me to get their advice.

I am adding links to current wiki docs into the show_components.cgi descriptions and dkl has promised to expose those descriptions in show_bug.cgi views of individual bugs. My thought is that within the bug itself, the reporter and triagers, or an aspiring new developer, will have multiple ways to dive deeper into the bug.

We talked about adding common reply templates, which I am collecting in the Bugmaster Guide but which would work well, I think, built into Bugzilla. It turns out that dkl already has an extension started, canned comments, to do exactly this. Very intriguing!

Another thing I’d like to see is something that invites extra information when a bug is filed. This can be context sensitive, so that, if you file a bug in Firefox for Android in a particular component, there can be a link to relevant support forums, wiki pages, the irc channel, and the module owner information. This landing screen could also invite the bug reporter to add bits of information they have not included. If they haven’t attached a screenshot or included a url there could be an attempt to elicit them, or a few “next steps to help make this bug more reproducible” suggestions.

I am still thinking about the READY status flag and other ways to mark “early triaging is happening, or should be happening” vs. “in the hands of dev team”. That is a fuzzy boundary and different conditions would lead to it for different products/components. In this discussion we looked at Gerv’s and Jesse Ruderman‘s proposals for BMO workflow:
* Workflow Proposal 1 which simplifies the status chain.
* Workflow Proposal 2 which more radically changes the flow and statuses to a “next action” framing.

I can see benefits and drawbacks to both models.

It would be helpful from a triaging point of view to be able to declare, in an obvious-to-all way, that a bug is as triaged as we can get it for the moment and it either is ready for a developer to look at or is in some sort of Bug Limbo waiting for later re-assessment. We can do that with some assortment of existing tags and keywords but it may lack clarity and ease of use.

We brought up the idea that if I am doing some triage on a bug but don’t feel it is “ready” yet — for example perhaps I have identified its component, but not reproduced it, or vice versa — I can list myself as the QA contact. What would that indicate, though? Would it keep away other triagers? That is not what I’d want, of course. We could end up with some sort of “needstriage” checkbox, or make a tagging taxonomy that is well documented and evangelize it.

On Sunday I spent some time wandering around in a rented mobility scooter. It is possible now in London to hire a scooter for 70 pounds a week. Very much worth it not to have to push myself over thousands of cobblestones. I have only run over one person’s foot so far in the swarms of tourists, theater-goers, schoolchildren going to museums, and Londoners purposefully striding around in overcoats staring at their mobile phones. Though the scooter delivered is bigger than most cars in this country. It is like an enormous Mecha Gundam Wing suit on wheels so my adventures in the London streets are reminiscent of the Pacific Rim movie trailer.

Lion unicorn palace

In London, when confronted with a giant wheeled exoskeleton, people generally give a tiny gasp and start (theatrically), mutter apologies, and make a show of getting out of the way while looking bewildered. They are relatively good at not acting shocked that I exist. That’s kind of pleasant really. Some buildings and restaurants are somewhat accessible. I get along here as long as I don’t think too hard about how I can’t use the Tube at all and I can afford the glorious taxis.

In Vienna, I used my manual chair. Almost nowhere is accessible even when it is declared to be. People there would loudly gasp, almost a little shriek, and leap forward to grab me, which reminded me of how people act in Beijing when they see an independent person using a wheelchair. They scream, and they leap, like kzinti. More details on hilarious wheelie adventures in the Hofburg, coming soon. Travel is lovely but I’ll be glad to be back in San Francisco at the end of the week.

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To Vindobona! and beyond

I am leaving tomorrow for Vienna where I will be speaking at the OSCE Internet 2013 conference. They had asked me to write a chapter for their 2013 book on Internet freedom — on the Amina hoax, identity on the Internet, and journalism. For the conference, I’ll be on the Social News panel along with Christian Möller, Anna Kachkaeva, Leonard Novy, and Filip Wallberg. I’m looking forward to meeting people at the conference! I’ve never been to Vienna. In preparation I read some histories on the net and a very boring book called Vienna: A Cultural History, and also I raced through Man Without Qualities and Young Torless to give me some atmosphere.

The only interesting facts I got from the Cultural History were that Marcus Aurelius probably died in Vindobona and that Austria’s first writer was Ava of Melk. I have found better book recommendations now! The conference will take up most of my time but it would be nice to wander around the Inner Stadt and find the Museum of the Romans on Marc-Aurelstrasse. It was completely engrossing to study maps of the city and try to orient myself before getting there. I am trying to practice useful phrases like “Wo ist die Fahrstühl?” and “Eine Melange, bitte, danke schon”. My other ambitions for Vienna are to go to Metalab (the hackerspace) and the Frauen Cafe (the feminist cafe and I think bookstore). Metalab is not very accessible sounding but they have written me lovely email basically promising to haul me up there.

I will keep the glories of the Austrian Year firmly in mind as my hands freeze in my manual wheelchair rims and I cough my lunghs out with asthma from the cigarette smoke that will surely be everywhere. At least this way (languishing in Vienna) I’ll be in solidarity with Marcus Aurelius.

vindobona_map.jpg

Next Friday I will be heading to London and working there for a week with other people on the Automated Tools team and dkl who does a lot of work on Bugzilla. Probably will meet up with my friend Bryony, Danny’s niece Ro, cdent who I used to work with at Socialtext, and other friends. I would like to have tea at the National Portrait Gallery, go to Forbidden Planet and some interesting sounding political bookstores along with Foyles which seems to have eaten the feminist Silver Moon bookstore. Then will go to the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin’s in the Field which I think sounds hilarious and amazing. It sounds wheelchair accessible and plus it is described thusly:

Once inside the Crypt there is a warm welcome awaiting you with beautiful 18th century architecture brick-vaulted ceilings, historic tombstones beneath your feet and delicious home-cooked food to feast your eyes and stomach on.

That sentence is so wrong; so perfectly wrong. The warmth, the brick, the tombstones, and the mention of several body parts in conjunction with the word “feast” make it sound like a sort of Zombie Pizzeria. All this and Bach fugues too for 26 quid. It really can’t fail.

I am vowing to slink off at lunchtimes to take virtuous naps while my coworkers from Mozilla go to fascinating pubs, but am not sure that will ever really happen. In London it will be super tempting to go lots of places because I’m renting a mobility scooter and it won’t be hurting my hands and shoulders to push my chair around town.

This is going to be fun though I’m worried about being in pain especially on the plane trip, but then also in pain and alone much of the time, which can be a little hard to take. So I really need to slow that mustang down and be patient, rather than trying to do all the things I would like to do. Luckily I really enjoy reading and learning about places so that it is like I get to do that much more, just by reading later about where I’ve been.

This weekend we went to Tom’s house for a Ping Pong Deathmatch and I sat watching the kids and other lively people playing. The garage with the ping pong table was cold so I was huddled in my huge woollen scarf/shawl. At one point I began imagining how things would go if we were in a Three Stooges skit. I could see the old fashioned font with a title like “Ping Pong Gone Wrong” or “Kings of the Ping”. Larry, Curly, and Moe would be in the garage to do some menial job and in the garage there would be a new invention of an automatic ping-pong ball launcher. Milo and I started describing all the things that could happen as the garage came apart catastrophically, with a really good bit where Larry goes head first into the washing machine which spins his legs around and around like a drill. Someone would be folded into the ping pong table and the whole skit might end with the garage door opening and the table (with all 3 on it, plus the automatic launcher) racing uncontrollably down a hill. Again I felt lucky that I can enjoy things without leaping around. I am like Des Esseintes except (usually) not filled with loathing. Also, how lucky that my son loves to go on these imaginary voyages too!

Then we played an excellent and clever resource management/politics board game called Chicken Caesar, which we didn’t fully get into the swing of because we needed to get home, but I might like to buy it and play it for real!

Other than that the kids played Minecraft *all weekend*. They are completely obsessed.

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The bottom of my ramblin’ shoes

I had ambitions today to be intellectually productive but am still convalescing from this annoying cold. Since I don’t have a fever and am getting better, I went back on immunosuppressants. This weekend I had a fantastic time with friends including Els from Vancouver who is on a book tour for Purim Superhero and who has regaled us with her children’s librarian ukelele songs!

Nate loves aliens and he really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. What will he do? With the help of his two dads he makes a surprising decision.

Els brought me several books: Greengage Summer, The Mystery of the Whistling Caves, Tink, (all of which I read last night while waking up to cough ) and The Brontës Went to Woolworth’s which she explained as a fabulous feminist sf classic and which I am saving as best-for-last. Greengage Summer was fantastic… Anyway it is lovely to have her here!!! We know each other from early blogging days, back to 2002 or maybe before.

Yatima picked me and Moomin up yesterday to give us a ride, which meant we could go to Hazelbroom’s son’s 10th birthday party. Fabulous. It was odd and beautiful after a week alone and much of it with laryngitis not able to talk at all (writing notes for bus drivers and pharmacists) to have so many people come over or take me out.

I felt very grateful this weekend as I thought about things I can and cannot do. These days I can pick up a teapot full of tea with one hand and pour the tea. It still hurts, but I’m able to do it. Voltaren gel gets me through most days.

Things that especially hurt my hands, that I still do anyway:
* washing dishes
* getting wet laundry out of the washer
* shaking hands with people
* bumping my fingers into anything
* doorknobs
* holding hands
* holding a book
* typing (BOO.)

I mean to celebrate feeling better or adapting rather than complain. It is all still there but seems less forbidding than everything was last year.

Last year at this time I could barely shuffle in inch-long steps, was terrified of getting in the shower, and was just beginning the most intensive period of strapping and unstrapping my ankles endlessly from night-boots to walking boots. I think it was October before I was really walking around the house without the wedges and boots – barefoot! And in December I finally started to wear shoes outside of the house. The feeling of coming out of REI with these furry boots (3 sizes too big, so they don’t rub into the backs of my ankles) was indescribable. It was good to have real shoes. It still gets me down to be in pain every day and that I can’t go out and participate in things around town that I’d like to go to. In the mornings it is just crushing pain and sometimes for hours before i wake up. Moving very slowly and stretching, drinking coffee, Voltarening my knees, ankles, and hands, doing very slow light housework or tidying up as a warmup, till I unstiffen. My mid-back is increasingly hard to unstiffen so I can be really straight backed but I can usually get it within an hour or so. This sounds like complaining (and half-way is), but I mean it as part of a package of gratitude that my ankles are good enough that I can walk around the house and move enough to limber up!

This week I also read Melina Marchetta’s fantasy trilogy The Lumatere Chronicles, and am in the middle of another Hugh Howey book I somehow missed on the first go-round — Halfway Home. It’s completely great. Though — I do wonder that the vat-grown blastocyst colonist boys on the ship are specially taught to police each others’ gender roles and sexuality. Howey’s exploration of that is pretty interesting.

I also started (for the 2nd time) to read Daina Chaviano’s Fábulas de una abuela extraterrestre. I read literary prose very slowly in Spanish but I get along decently. Am inspired in this by how my dad re-reads Don Quixote over and over and has now tackled Walter Moers City of Dreaming Books in German!

Moomin and I had an unexpectedly intense conversation as we contemplated what books we would recommend to Els while she came to visit. We both were commenting on how amazing it is that you can be in a book and it is like you are in it, in another universe entirely and then you don’t want to finish the book, and after, are homesick for the book, actually feeling pangs of loss. And that it is miraculous that other people have all this stuff going on in their heads even as we have very boring conversations about it being a nice day or what we had for dinner, and that some people manage to whoosh a whole universe of a story *out* of their heads into a book which then magically comes into our head. We don’t even need magic or telepathy because books already do this. It’s amazing. We both embarrassingly teared up a little.

Listened to Bach cello concertos and Hank Williams a lot as they are soothing when I’m sick. Jimmie Rodgers is also good but mostly it was Bach on repeat. When I was a teenager I used to rig up my record player to play Switched-On Bach on repeat all night — still the most comforting thing I call to mind when at the dentist or having an MRI or something tedious like that.

It is comforting that everyone else in this town is sick too not because of weird disabled person schadenfreude but just so that my own dropping off the face of the earth from a head cold does not make me look completely wimpy. All I ask is not to lose a month out of my life to yet another round of bronchitis. In my head everyone is judging me for not being tougher. They probably aren’t. Pain has worn me down a lot. I wish it hadn’t. I hope I get more mojo back with these new meds. While it is nice to hope for that I don’t count on it and realize (this is so cheerful!!!) that we are all getting older anyway so it’s not reasonable to expect everything to be “fixed” and I have to think fondly on my past selves, what I was capable of and not at different times.

I feel super appreciative of my friends and everyone awesome in my life.

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Walking through early bug triage

Here is a good example of a bug that went through several stages of triaging:
Scrolling a page up leaves residue in GTK slider
. I would like to walk through what happens in triaging this bug. Blow by blow report!

The bug reporter, Przemek, was new to Bugzilla, so their report was automatically put into the UNCONFIRMED status. The bug summary (the title) was originally “artifacts on scrollbar in seamonkey 2.15” and it was put into the product Seamonkey and component General. (Here is a list of Seamonkey components, if you’re curious.) Przemek attached a screenshot of the problem. At the bottom right corner of the screenshot you can see the scrollbar has some weird stripes on it.

Scrollbar bug screenshot

Matti suggested a possible duplicate bug. That shows us a related problem and which product and component it might belong to. It also can reveal some people who work on this type of issue.

Another commenter, Slim, relatively new to Bugzilla, chimes in to say they have exactly the same issue, in Linux and that it may be a GTK problem. They include the information from about:buildconfig .

A fourth person, Philip, asks if someone who sees the problem (either the reporter or Slim) can try toggling a preference. Slim tries it but it doesn’t fix the issue. He speculates it is related to Bug 297508. Philip uses the NEEDINFO flag to ask Przemek a question (this emails Przemek with particular Bugzilla mail headers). Przemek replies, which
automatically clears the needinfo flag. Philip then decides to move the bug from the product Seamonkey to “Core”. component General to Widget: Gtk. That shows up as General -> Widget:Gtk in the comments.

Cotton Harlequin Bugs

One week later, Karl shows up in Comment 10. If we look at the list of module owners and peers for Mozilla, we can see that he is the owner for Core::Widget:GTK. I figure he was probably was looking at bugs in that area, or reading his bugmail backlog. There are 328 bugs UNCONFIRMED or NEW for Core::Widget:GTK, which you can see if you do an Advanced Search. Anyway, Karl reproduces the bug and moves its status from UNCONFIRMED to NEW. He added the keyword, “regressionwindow-wanted”. The next day he comes back and adds some info about the regression window and removes the “regressionwindow-wanted” keyword. narrows that window even further. He then moves the bug to
Core:: Layout
and adds the keyword “regression”. It is probably out of his hands now. But whose it it in?

There are over 2300 open bugs in Core::Layout, 1809 of them new and not assigned to any particular person. If I look to see how many of them have the keyword “regression” there are only 140, most of them assigned to “nobody”. So if I wanted to fix something in Core, that might be a good place to look for a bug that needs attention.

All the commenters described here were doing bug triage or what I am now calling bugmastering. Five people, two weeks. I think all their efforts and comments were useful in moving the bug along and adding new information to it. It is also instructive (and for me, reassuring) that not everything was “right”, right away. Actually, I think it’s beautiful to see how well everyone communicates, much of the time in Bugzilla.

At this point, if Bugzilla had the READY status implemented, I would call it READY. Not just to signal to developers that it is ready to be worked on, but to signal to other triagers that it may be done and they don’t need to keep looking at it. That is part of why having a clear demarcation point will be useful. Even though there is more than could be done, this is probably enough for someone knowledgeable to take it and work on it. I would consider its “early triage” life to be over and for it to be in the hands of engineering, QA, and rel-eng, who have their own models for triaging internally for their stages of handling the bug.

Now, that doesn’t mean that as your Mozilla Bugmaster, I can blithely ignore all bugs once they are done with early triage. Yet since this is a minor layout bug that does not seem to affect function I think I can let it go and hope that someday it is fixed.

It is possible that we could make some cruft-killer searches, reports, or other views that could pick up this sort of bug 6 months from its first reporting, and do anohter check to see if it still exists. If it’s been cleared up in the meantime, make a comment mark it RESOLVED WORKSFORME. Right now I’m sure some people have figured out good systems to do this, but I think most people stay focused on what’s incoming or what is especially brought to their attention. Re-assessing old bugs, or bugs within a particular time window (6 months to a year old, but not 10 years old) may be a good way for beginning bugmasters to start chipping away at some of the cruft in the system.

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Bug history and conversations

David Baron wrote an interesting post recently, Moving bug history out of the primary display of a bug report. I have noticed this problem in Bugzilla, that even if a bug is “ready to be fixed” or has patches submitted it is necessary to read through 5, 10, or 50 comments to understand what is supposed to happen next (if anything). dbaron proposes that the main page of a bug report should show its current state. What is true about it? And what is to be done next? This would be obviously awesome for some bugs, but not for others for which there isn’t a clear state of truth. My first instinct is to question dbaron’s idea, as there might be bugs for which the conversation is the most important aspect.

For example Bug 130835 – Make Bugzilla’s index.cgi (home page) useful for logged-in users has over 150 comments, stretching back 10 years. Here the problem may actually be that the bug (or enhancement request) was not well defined in scope, so had no clear end. It might be worth untangling the useful ends of these 150 comments to close this bug, and open several new and more specific ones for which “current state” *could* be summarized as dbaron suggests.

But what about a bug like Bug 83192184 – Make the plugin click-to-play UI look less like ‘plugin broken/crashed’ UI , where there is a useful active conversation? In that case trying to synthesize the conversation at every step of the way, each time someone comments, is probably not useful.

Day 32: Cats

So in some cases there is clear “current state” or content, as there is on a Wikipedia page, but in some, the conversation is the content. I don’t want to have (or read) conversations in a Bugzilla equivalent of Wikipedia talk pages and am not sure that would be an improvement on the current state of Bugzilla comments. For bugs with a long history, especially ones which have mutated significantly since their beginning, the “current state” field might be an easy way to untangle the mess.

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