QA Contact Reclamation

21st Feb 2012


The “QA Contact” field on BMO will soon go back to containing the email address of a real QA contact; new component watching should instead be done using the new “Component Watching” facility. Watching a component by watching a specific specially-named user will still work, but is deprecated. However, you can still CC the specially-named user on bugs in order to send mail to anyone watching the associated component.

This change should have no effect on which bugmail people receive.


For quite some time has (ab)used the “QA Contact” field, in combination with the “watch user” facility, to allow users to receive emails for all bug changes that happen in a given component. While this has worked well, it has left the QA team fieldless.

In early 2011 an extension to Bugzilla was developed and deployed which allows your to watch components directly, rather than watching the dummy users which were set as the QA contacts. This has opened the way for us to finally return the “QA Contact” field back to the QA team.

Why are you doing this?

Currently there is no clear way for someone to own the verification part of a bug, so reclaiming the QA Contact field would significantly help the QA process.

The component watching facility has a number of advantages over watching users: it is easier to configure, and you can watch entire products rather than trying to keep your preferences current with a list of dummy QA contact email addresses, one for each component.

What will not change?

If you are currently watching dummy QA users, you will continue to receive the same notifications without the need for you to take any action. Your prefs will continue to show you as watching the dummy users; however we suggest you migrate yourself to using component watching.

What will change?

All bugs that have a component-watching QA user will be updated; the QA contact field will be cleared out. This change will not trigger any emails.

The ‘reason’ for the emails you receive will change from “watching the QA contact” to “watching the component” in the footer, and from “QAcontact” to “Component-Watcher” in the X-Bugzilla-Reason header. This may require updates to any email filtering you have.

What will not change yet?

User preferences. At some point later, we will be automatically migrating the preferences across so that people who are watching the specially-named users will instead show up as watching the associated components. The two actions are exactly equivalent, so this should not lead to any change in the bugmail being received. However, it will mean the Bugzilla preferences UI more correctly reflects the user’s intent and the actual outcome.

Where do I report problems?

Problems should be filed in / Extensions: Component Watching.