posted 31 mar 2015

« bugzilla.mozilla.org's new look

this quarter i've been working on redesigning how bugs are viewed and edited on bugzilla.mozilla.org -- expect large changes to how bmo looks and feels! unsurprisingly some of the oldest code in bugzilla is that which displays bugs; it has grown organically over time to cope with the many varying requirements of its users worldwide.  while there has been ui improvements over time (such as the sandstone skin), we felt it was time to take a step back and start looking at bugzilla with a fresh set of eyes. we wanted something that was designed for mozilla's workflow, that didn't look like it was designed last century, and would provide us with a flexible base upon which we could build further improvements. a core idea of the design is to load the bug initially in a read-only "view" mode, requiring the user to click on an "edit" button to make most changes. this enables us to defer loading of a lot of data when the page is initially loaded, as well as providing a much cleaner and less overwhelming view of bugs.


major interface changes include:

  • fields are grouped by function, with summaries of the functional groups where appropriate
  • fields which do not have a value set are not shown
  • an overall "bug summary" panel at the top of the bug should provide an "at a glance" status of the bug
the view/edit mode:
  • allows for deferring of loading data only required while editing a bug (eg. list of all products, components, versions, milestones, etc)
    • this results in 12% faster page loads on my development system
  • still allows for common actions to be performed without needing to switch modes
    • comments can always be added
    • the assignee can change the bug's status/resolution
    • flag requestee can set flags

you can use it today!

this new view has been deployed to bugzilla.mozilla.org, and you can enable it by setting the user preference "experimental user interface" to "on". you can also enable it per-bug by appending &format=modal to the url (eg. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1096798&format=modal).  once enabled you can disable it per-bug by appending &format=default to the url.

what next?

there's still a lot to be done before there's feature parity between the new modal view and the current show_bug.  some of the major items missing with the initial release include (edit: these items have all been implemented):

  • cannot edit cc list (cannot remove or add other people)
  • comment previews
  • comment tagging (existing tags are shown, cannot add/delete tags)
  • cc activity is not visible
  • bulk comment collapsing/expanding (all, by tag, tbpl push bot)
  • alternative ordering of comments (eg. newest-first)
  • bmo show_bug extensions (eg mozreview, orange factor, bounty tracking, crash signature rendering)
you can view the complete list of bugs, or file a new bug if you discover something broken or missing that hasn't already been reported.

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