Archive for March, 2011

Winner of the “Make Bugzilla Pretty” Contest

All the votes are in for the “Make Bugzilla Pretty” contest, and we have a winner!

First off, let me say that every single entry was amazing. Every single person who entered had innovative ideas, and nearly every entry was prettier than our current UI.

There were four candidates who were mentioned in some positive way by almost every voter:

Any of these designers would be a worthwhile addition to any UX team anywhere. Simply the ability to take Bugzilla’s existing UI and turn it into something that nearly everybody finds attractive is an accomplishment that few designers could achieve. In the 13 years of Bugzilla’s history, I’ve never seen it done before these entries. I would be personally happy to write a recommendation for any of the above designers, and they may contact me for that if they wish.

Let’s just say a few words about each of these designs:

Alex Faaborg

There were a ton of positive comments on the usability aspects and organization of Alex Faaborg’s [Bracket] theme, particularly some of the new fields suggested and the brilliant use of color to improve the scanability of the page. It was impressive that everything on the page is basically text or lines, and yet it creates a very readable, clean, simple layout.

We expect future versions of Bugzilla to draw a lot on the usability concepts present in Faaborg’s design, even though it is not the first-place winner.

Zeeshan Syed

There were a lot of positive comments on the use of space in Zeeshan Syed’s design. The color contrast really makes things readable, the tab navigation is very clear, and the section titles really stand out.

Long Duong

Voters were almost overwhelmingly positive about Long Duong’s design. Many people mentioned that they liked the clean lines and very “Bugzilla” feel of the bug page, and that the collapsible sections were a great touch while still being visually appealing. There was also a lot of positive feedback about the header design–people really loved its organization and style. Finally, the home page design was just really cool.

Based on the number of votes and the general amount of positive feedback, Duong is our first runner-up for the Make Bugzilla Pretty contest, and it is very likely that we will end up incorporating some of his UI concepts into our final design.

Jonathan Wilde

This was a stiff competition, and all of the above designs would have worked great as our new UI. However, the winner of the “Make Bugzilla Pretty” contest, and indeed the recipient of the majority of votes, is Jonathan Wilde:

Jonathan’s ability to convert our UI into something beautiful and simple that even new users will find approachable is beyond anything that we had ever imagined could be done with Bugzilla. We are thrilled that Jonathan has won, and excited to implement his design as the official UI of Bugzilla 5.0.

Thanks to Everybody

We would like to thank everybody who entered. Your entries made this contest a fascinating and transformative experience for the Bugzilla Project. We were consistently amazed at the creativity, intelligence, and design sense that so many of you displayed, and wish you great fortune in the future of your careers.

-Max

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Bugzilla 4.1.1 Development Release

Less than a month after our release of 4.0, we have our first development snapshot, Bugzilla 4.1.1 available for you! This is our first release towards what will eventually be 4.2, and it’s got a bunch of new features. Here’s a really quick overview of what’s new in 4.2:

  • Bugzilla now sends bugmail in both text and HTML.
  • You can disable component, milestone, and version values.
  • You can now create an attachment by pasting it into a text field.
  • If you are using a modern web browser, then after you update a bug, the URL in your web browser will be the URL to view the bug. (So, pressing refresh will simply let you see the bug, and not try to update it again. Also, if you have “session restore” in your browser, it will load the bug instead of an error page.)
  • Comments are no longer automatically word-wrapped by the server, but are instead word-wrapped in the browser. This means that they are no longer exactly 80 characters wide–they are now wider.
  • Tabular reports now look nicer and can be sorted.
  • There is a new link, (take) that appears next to the Assignee field and allows you to assign a bug to yourself.
  • Bugzilla can now run on SQLite as its database system. This is experimental and should not yet be used for production systems.
  • You can now say that a custom field should only appear when any of a set of values are set on another field. (So, for example, you could say that a single field appears in multiple products.)
  • You can now choose to optionally (as a user preference) not have Quicksearch search bug comments.
  • The default list of columns for search results is now more sensible.
  • Bugzilla now audits most changes to most things in the system, and stores this auditing information in a table in the database. There is not yet a UI into this table.
  • The system for deciding how and when to store attachments on the disk (instead of in the database) has been simplified.
  • long_list.cgi, xml.cgi, and showattachment.cgi are gone. (They were not in use since a very old version of Bugzilla.) We also removed sidebar.cgi (the sidebar) because it wasn’t in use and future versions of Firefox will not support it.
  • You can search for bugs based on the number of comments that they have.
  • Also, you can add “number of comments” as a column in your search results.
  • Boolean charts now work sensibly for almost all fields. For example, searching for “CC is not equal to” now finds bugs where that user is not CC’ed, instead of all bugs that have at least one CC who isn’t that user. However, some of the old “magical” boolean chart functionality (such as searching for only attachment flags if you specify both a flag criterion and an attachment criterion) is temporarily missing while we redesign the search system.
  • By default, searches now only return 500 results. (You can click a link to see more.) Searches may also now never return more than 10,000 results.
  • The “See Also” field now accepts many more types of URLs. It also accepts simple bug numbers to refer to a bug in your current Bugzilla. Adding a local bug number to the “see also” field will also cause that bug’s “See Also” to point to this bug.
  • If you only have the “editcomponents” privilege for one or more products, you can now manage Flags for those products.
  • You can now specify “limit” and “offset” as URL parameters for all searches. These work much like their similar SQL equivalents.
  • You can now require a certain level of password complexity for your users.
  • When you run checksetup.pl to create a new Bugzilla database, it will print out far less information than it used to.
  • Almost all of the important information that checksetup.pl prints out can now be localized.
  • There is now a specific directory in bz_locations (in Bugzilla::Constants) for where the pre-compiled templates are stored, that can be customized.
  • This release contains an initial implementation of a new tags system. The new UI for this tags system has not yet been implemented.
  • There is now a special group for moderating quips, so you don’t have to be an admin.
  • Bugzilla can now automatically detect the correct encoding for text attachments that aren’t in UTF-8.

Those are most of the major new changes that are in 4.1.1 over 4.0. We also have many other features planned for 4.2.

We hope that you enjoy testing Bugzilla 4.1.1 and we would love to hear your feedback, both on how the new features work and any bugs that you may find!

-Max