So, today we had a bunch of releases. They are good. They fix stuff! Fixed stuff is good. :-)
Now, I could pretty much end the blog post there, but there is one…tiny…extra…thing to talk about. If you were paying attention, you might have noticed that the 3.7.1 release says that it’s leading up to Bugzilla 4.0! Yes, that’s right, the next major release of Bugzilla will be 4.0, and here’s a bit about it:
So what is it that makes this release worthy of being called 4.0? Well, the biggest thing is that there have been major UI improvements. The biggest one is that the Advanced Search page has been fully redesigned. You can see it at our test site. It’s going to get better than that, too. Also, if you review a lot of patches, you will probably appreciate the new attachment details UI (log in to see the full feature set).
Bugzilla 4.0 will also have cross-domain WebServices support, via JSONP. As a part of that, the JSON-RPC WebServices interface can also now be accessed using HTTP GET and a simple query string in the URL, instead of having to POST a JSON object.
Also in the area of WebServices, we’re planning to have our most-requested WebService function implemented, Bug.update, so that you can update all the attributes of a Bug via the WebServices. There may be other good WebServices improvements which make 4.0, too.
Also, a great feature for installations that get a lot of bugs is the new Automatic Duplicate Detection. To try it out, go to file a bug on our test installation, type a few (real) words in to the Summary field, and then click out of it.
We are also planning on changing the default statuses, based on our 12 years of experience since Bugzilla was first open-sourced. The current status workflow is simple and broadly applicable, but it is ambiguous or less-than-useful in some ways: for example, a NEW bug may not actually be NEW–it’s just not being worked on. And then what does ASSIGNED really mean? Does it mean that somebody is working on the bug, or just that it’s been assigned to somebody (which you can already tell from the Assigned To field)? So, to resolve these issues, the new workflow will be even simpler: UNCONFIRMED -> CONFIRMED -> IN_PROGRESS -> RESOLVED -> VERIFIED. Installations that are upgrading will keep the old workflow by default, although there will be a script included to convert them to the new workflow, if they want.
Features Already In 3.7.1
3.7.1 already has the new Search UI and the new Attachment Details UI, although further improvements to the Search UI are coming in later development releases. 3.7.1 also has automatic duplicate detection and JSONP support for the JSON-RPC WebService.
Some of the other new features and changes in 3.7.1 are:
- There is AJAX auto-completion of usernames in the CC, Assignee, and QA Contact boxes.
- The First/Last/Next/Prev and the “Show my last search results” links at the top of a bug now work with multiple searches, so doing a new search won’t “clobber” your old list.
- Bug ID custom fields can now represent relationships, much like “Blocks/Depends On” do now.
- You can now add Hours Worked to a bug without having to comment.
- There are now calendar widgets on every date field in the UI.
- The Voting system and the Bug Moving system have been moved into being extensions, and at some point will be maintained separately from the main Bugzilla codebase (though they still ship with Bugzilla, for now).
- email_in.pl now takes command-line arguments that allow you to specify defaults for field values, or override the field values specified in the incoming email.
- Multi-select custom fields can now be columns on bug lists.
- There is a new user preference for whether the “Additional Comment” box should show up before or after the existing comments.
- In the code, there is a new function $bug->set_all, which takes a bunch of arguments and updates a bug doing all the updates in the proper order, making it extremely easy for custom code to update bugs.
- The Bugzilla/Search.pm file (which implements the searching logic in Bugzilla) has been majorly refactored to be much simpler to understand and customize.
- When you do a quicksearch, the quicksearch boxes in the header and footer will contain your last search.
- You can now restrict the values and visibility of custom fields by the value of the Component field.
- Custom fields can now be marked as mandatory (that is, they must have a value).
- The “fields.html” page now contains help for every single bug field in Bugzilla, and the fields display the help when you hover over their names, on enter_bug.cgi.
- There are a lot of great new code hooks, including ones for adding new columns and validators to objects, and another for modifying bug field permissions (so you can make certain fields read-only for certain users, using a hook).
- Bugzilla can now be installed using Strawberry Perl, on Windows.
- Comments are no longer manually word-wrapped at 80 columns before being sent to the browser–they are just word-wrapped in the browser.
- Any time checksetup.pl throws an error, it will make it red to make it clearer.
- YUI has been updated to 2.8.1, and Bugzilla now contains almost all of YUI, so all YUI features are available to customizers.
Do remember, though, that this is an unstable release. It may have bugs. They might be really bad bugs. We have no idea, because we haven’t tested this release at all. If it pokes your best friend in the face when you file a new bug, don’t blame us–we warned you. :-)
Right now we expect the 4.0 release to happen some time around the end of this year. To make this target, we’ll definitely need help with QA, so if you want to help out with Bugzilla, see if you can find/fix some bugs in 3.7.1, and also if you want, you can help out the QA Team write automated tests for 4.0!